Lois Alter Mark
July 25, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

With each remake of this age-old fable, the moral of the story becomes clearer: Humans are nature’s real predators. This latest live-action version, Rupyard Kipling’s The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli and Baloo, is billed as a prequel but basically rehashes the same old tale of man-cub Mowgli, his furry cohorts, and — boo! hiss! — the two-legged bad guys. Even beloved bear Baloo can’t hold a candle to his animated counterpart in the 1967 Disney classic. And the casting of McDowall as the monkey king merely proves that no matter how many VCRs and cell phones we own, we haven’t left the planet of the apes. C

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