You’re reading The Complete Infinite Crisis, a Comprehensive and Encyclopedic look through the universe-changing superhero event published by DC from 2005 to 2006. Shelfdust are proud to provide a complete overview of the story, and everything that happens in it. We’ve had to get some experts in though – there’s so much going on that needs to be explained!
At this point in the series I’m a bit lost. But are you ever truly lost when you have someone like Ardo Omer there to guide you? Ardo, we’ve been talking about Himbos, and I believe you want to sing the praises of one of the all-time legends in the Himbo field?
Ardo! Please tell me everything you know about George of the Jungle! Is it a good film? A Brendan Fraser classic?
Ardo Omer: George of the Jungle is a fantastic 1997 comedy that still holds up. I remember being obsessed with my VHS copy of the movie. It’s based on the 1960s cartoon of the same name and made fun of the story of Tarzan (not the Disney film which would come out in 1999). A plane crashes in the heart of Africa and a baby boy ends up being raised in the jungle but despite being called the king of the jungle, he’s notorious for swinging right into trees. The movie has him encountering humans for the first time: Ursula, a sweet heiress; Kwame, Ursula’s local guide along with three porters (N’Dugo, Kip and Baleto); and Lyle, her fiancé who shows up with two poachers.
What I loved about it was that it made fun of the colonial aspects of Tarzan where the African characters had agencies and the white Americans were the butt of the jokes. In fact, my favourite characters were the three porters who were so funny and made fun of Lyle quite a bit. There’s also a sweet romance at the heart of it and a narrator that the characters sometimes address directly. Brendan Fraser is at his best in this as George and he’s the textbook example of a himbo. Oh and did I mention that in the climax of the movie there’s a great moment where George puts on a pair of Nike Air More Uptempo so he can run into the jungle? Yeah, this movie is great.
What is… the Dela Song?
Omer: Dela is a song by Johnny Clegg and Savuka that’s featured in the movie during an important bonding scene for George and Ursula. It’s actually the thing that stuck with me since my first viewing of the movie as a kid and I still listen to it today. Johnny Clegg died in 2019 and that’s when I realized that his band, Savuka, was a multiracial band of Black and white South Africans founded during apartheid which made it illegal to exist. Clegg himself was a white South African but it sounded like he used music to be an ally to Black South Africans and fusing Celtic and Zulu musical traditions in the band’s music. It’s nice to know that someone behind a song you enjoy was doing something cool.
I highly recommend checking it out!
In your opinion, what movie would you say features “peak” Brendan Fraser?
Omer: This is a hard question. I absolutely adore The Mummy because I grew up wanting to be an archaeologist once upon a time but I’m also a big fan of action adventure movies that feature banter. I’m also aware that it’s very of its time and there are complicated feelings when it comes to white archaeologists – especially Egyptologists – and I realised just days before answering these questions that the actor playing the pharaoh is white!
So I’ll say that George of the Jungle is the better movie overall but I think both George and Rick O’Connell (Fraser’s character in The Mummy) are peak versions of Fraser in two different genres. I will also shout out Fraser in the TV show Doom Patrol which he’s incredible in. Honestly, we need more Fraser.
So in essence: suck it, Citizen Kane. Thanks so much, Ardo! You told me you sat down and rewatched the movie just so you could answer these questions, which is the sort of dedication we love to see!!
Ardo Omer is a writer, editor and podcaster whose work has been seen at sites including WomenWriteAboutComics and The MNT. She’s co-host of the “Put A Blurb On It” podcast, and the Kids Co-Ordinator for FOLD. You can find her on Twitter here!