Disney's 'Jungle Cruise' Featurette Has Emily Blunt Claiming She Can Bench-Press More Than Dwayne Johnson
According to bench-press.net, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson can lift up to 450 pounds — “on a good day.” Maybe Emily Blunt just caught him on a bad day. The two actors co-star in Jungle Cruise, the latest live-action film adaptation of one of Disney’s theme park attractions. A new featurette takes viewers behind the scenes of the upcoming movie and it also has Blunt setting the record straight about who’s really stronger, her or Johnson.
Jungle Cruise Featurette
Jungle Cruise is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, who has previously helmed a handful of horror films and no less than four Liam Neeson action movies. His best-reviewed flick is the Blake Lively-led shark tale, The Shallows, so maybe the best place for him to be is on the water. You could say the same thing about Disney attractions turned live-action movies, which have enjoyed their greatest success thus far with the likes of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
The official plot summary for Jungle Cruise is as follows:
Inspired by the famous Disneyland theme park ride, Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” is an adventure-filled, rollicking thrill-ride down the Amazon with wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff and intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton. Lily travels from London, England to the Amazon jungle and enlists Frank’s questionable services to guide her downriver on La Quila—his ramshackle-but-charming boat. Lily is determined to uncover an ancient tree with unparalleled healing abilities—possessing the power to change the future of medicine. Thrust on this epic quest together, the unlikely duo encounters innumerable dangers and supernatural forces, all lurking in the deceptive beauty of the lush rainforest. But as the secrets of the lost tree unfold, the stakes reach even higher for Lily and Frank and their fate—and mankind’s—hangs in the balance.
The Changing Face of the Jungle Cruise Ride
As Johnson notes in the featurette, the Jungle Cruise ride was one of Walt Disney’s main attractions when Disneyland opened in 1955 and the Magic Kingdom opened (half a century ago this year) in 1971. The ride has undergone various changes over the years but some of the most extensive alterations have occurred here in 2021 in the lead-up to this new movie release.
There are still plenty of animals, but gone is Trader Sam, the animatronic shrunken head salesman, as well as the tribal headhunters who ambushed guests as they made their way down the river in a boat captained by a jokey skipper. These elements were deemed culturally insensitive in that they presented a British colonialist view of indigenous Africans. Smithsonian Magazine notes how Hollywood films like The African Queen and even the Joseph Conrad novel Heart of Darkness influenced the ride’s development and, in turn, may have helped reinforce certain stereotypes.
The updated Jungle Cruise ride is set to reopen at Disneyland on July 16, the day before its 66th anniversary. Jungle Cruise, the movie, hits U.S. theaters and Disney+ Premier Access on July 30, 2021.
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