From tots to teens, this is how kids’ movies have changed to entice the entire family


Once upon a time, in a faraway land, story time was a family ritual enjoyed by both young and old. From fables that taught little lessons to fairy tales that inspired dreams, there was a magic twist in every tale that spoke to the entire family. And since stories had to be told to be carried forward over generations, story time meant bonding time for parent and child.   

Fast forward to not so long ago, in a land not so far away, time stood still for no parent and the hustle and bustle of life meant story time was often put on the backseat – quite literally with the children. Some kids’ entertainment evolved to completely omit the involvement of a parent, allowing busy mom and dad to continue their time-pressed lives while their kids listened to recordings and watched their own movies.  

It may have taken a pandemic to shake the world to its core, but 2020 once again brought story time back to homes and reiterated the value of togetherness. Globally, lockdowns meant that entire families had to work, learn and live together from home sharing space - and sharing the remote. Thankfully many children’s films have kept true to their fable and fairy tale roots that’s inclusive to the whole family.  

Brent Dawes, writer and director of Jungle Beat: The Movie, says he wrote the film so that anyone who watches it will enjoy it. As a father of four himself, Dawes always tries to find movies that the entire family can enjoy. “I’ve got a range of ages too, 5 to 15 years old, so finding a movie we can all watch, where the 5-year-old isn’t too scared and the 15-year-old isn’t bored, is tricky,” he admits. Luckily, Jungle Beat: The Movie’s storyline will speak to both your tots and teens. 

When a homesick alien named Fneep crash-lands his spaceship near the colourful African Jungle, his new animal friends, including the Jungle Beat series favourites Munki and Trunk, decide to help him get back to his ship. As the animals help him on his journey home, Fneep learns that friendship could be the greatest force in the universe. But will it be enough to stop his Space-Conqueror father from taking over the planet?  

Besides breaching the age gap, stories like Jungle Beat also have the power to build bridges between various polarising sectors of society. “We love the power of ‘story’ and Jungle Beat: The Movie is a great example of how animation has the remarkable power to cross race, cultural, age and gender barriers better than any other medium,” says executive producer Phil Cunningham.  

Cunningham and his fellow producers believe that this story is made for a time as this where the world is putting up walls, suspicious of others and their belief and intentions. This brave story of Fneep, Munki, Trunk and the rest of the jungle animals shows how positivity and love are the most powerful weapons we can have.  

Jungle Beat

Get into the jungle spirit and stand a chance to win!  

Sandcastle Studios’ Jungle Beat: The Movie, made in collaboration with Sunrise Productions, will be released on the 26th of June and will be available for download on Apple TV and locally on DStv BoxOffice and TruthTV. Share how you and your family made the most of your Jungle Beat movie night by tagging @JungleBeatTheMovie #PlanetEarthHugsAgain and stand a chance to win a luxury family vacation to the jungle. 

To help increase your chances of winning, you can also find some inspiration in this nifty online playbook which includes cool set-up ideas for your home theatre, printable masks of your favourite characters, exciting crafts for the kids, and delicious jungle-inspired recipes. 

This post was sponsored by Jungle Beat: The Movie and produced by BrandStudio24. 

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