Directed by Steve Trenbirth, starring the voices of John Goodman, Haley Joel Osment, Phil Collins, Tony Jay, Mae Whitman.

This has got to be one of the most redundant sequels of all time. Disney take characters from the much beloved 'Jungle Book' - the last animated film that the great Walt himself worked on - organise a script by committee and throw three, yep THREE reprises of 'The Bare Necessities' song from the original into the mix. That 'Jungle Book 2' was given a cinema release is testimony to Disney's lack of imagination - and pure greed.

Picking up where the first film left off, Mowgli - voiced by I-may-be-able-to-see-dead-people-but-I-can't-sing Haley Joel Osment - is now living in the village but longing for his friends in the jungle. Meanwhile Baloo the Bear (the ursine John Goodman, growling warmly) is missing his man-cub. The two meet up for a couple of song'n'dance numbers in a jungle cabaret and encounters with 'Jungle Book' characters Bagheera, Kaa, and Colonel Hathi - but Mogwai's nemesis Shere Khan the tiger is still on the prowl for revenge.

Screenwriter Karl Geurs does try to introduce some new characters. There's a little boy called Ranjan (who bears more than a passing resemblance to the Rugrats crew), Mowgli's hearty adoptive father and musician Phil Collins cameos as the voice of Lucky the Liverpudlian vulture with a line in terrible puns. But these additions add very little to a tired and hackneyed storyline which is not enhanced by a handful of forgettable songs from Lorraine Feather and Paul Grabowsky (no wonder they kept having to use 'The Bare Necessities').

Although 'Jungle Book 2' is a cheap rip-off of a much loved classic, the tots will still enjoy it. Accompanying parents, however, may well wonder what the point was.

Caroline Hennessy