“Do you really think my work is amazing,” Frank asks Lily in Jungle Cruiseand audiences can absolutely tell that’s when he takes them on an adventure through the Amazon in search of an immortal myth. Jungle Cruise is one of the few films inspired by a perfectly functioning theme park attraction.
It oscillates between funny and dramatic with witty one-liners and plenty of banter that echoes the 1999 version of The Mummy. Some of the film’s best lines poke fun at the characters while others let the audience get to know them a little better.
MacGregor provides the opening line
“All legends are born in truth.”
MacGregor Houghton, giving a speech at the Adventure Club that his sister is not allowed to, opens the film with a narration that tells the story of a magical cure. While its audience is skeptical, the film’s audience knows the talk is likely to be true.
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As is the case with almost every Disney film that features a dark legend or a story of magic, they always turn out to be true. It’s part of the charm of the story to see the one person who believed rewarded in their faith. This is also, to some extent, true in the real world. Legends, fairy tales and myths are all born of humans trying to explain something to a skeptical audience; they just feature more embellishments to entertain.
Frank has little patience for his boat’s audience
“Don’t interrupt me again or I’ll feed you to the boa.
When audiences see Frank on his first “jungle cruise” of the film, they do so with a lot of corny puns on his surroundings. These puns are directly borrowed from Jungle Cruise theme park ride at Disney. His passengers audibly moan at the jokes, and a young girl repeatedly interrupts him and asks her mother to stop her.
Frank jokingly tells her that another interruption will see her feeding the boa constrictor they pass. Although Frank is in good spirits throughout the trip, it’s clear he has little patience for tourists who dislike his theatrics. He’s just trying to entertain them while they’re traveling and earn some extra money doing it.
Frank sees the adventure as too dangerous
“You can’t do it. Nobody can. And if they could, they wouldn’t.”
When Lily Houghton explains exactly what she’s doing in the Amazon, Frank adamantly refuses to take her on his search. That doesn’t stop her from pressing, which leads to this particular quote about the dangers of the jungle and not even being able to reach the tree she’s looking for.
While the idea of the line is a trope present in many adventure films, it is also followed by another trope – accepting the mission for the money. Frank eventually realizes that Lily is the real deal because she has the missing arrowhead, but the line deliveries as the two debate the trip is what really makes this line memorable. Dwayne Johnson has a fast pace in his lyrics which makes him even more entertaining.
Lily admits Frank is good at his job
“You’re a lot of things I don’t really care about, but you’re…capable.”
Despite friction between Lily and Frank after she learns he was lying to her, she’s willing to admit he knows what he’s doing. His boat may be a bit run down and he might be more than willing to scam a few people with some extra cash, but Frank can handle himself on the river – and against a jaguar.
Of course, the fight with the jaguar that convinces Lily that he’ll be a better option than Nilo is a set-up, but she doesn’t know it yet. Even her hesitation before saying “capable” demonstrates that she’s still not sure she’ll make the trip with Frank, but she’ll do it anyway.
Lily has a great capacity for empathy.
“I don’t need to know anyone to care.”
Lily’s research is about medical breakthroughs that will come from the magical petals of a tree that can heal anything. Her search is not because she knows someone who is sick or because she wants power for herself. It’s because she wants to do good in the world.
Frank refutes this because he claims he doesn’t care about anyone, that he doesn’t have anyone in his life anymore who justifies him. Lily, however, doesn’t believe she needs someone specific in mind to care about humanity. Her empathy is part of what makes her one of the Jungle Cruise best characters.
Frank enjoys Lily’s admiration
“Do you really think my work is extraordinary?”
At the start of the film, Frank and Lily have a discussion about drawing in which he admits that he hasn’t drawn anything in a long time because he has nothing left to draw. She thinks he needs some inspiration, but later finds out that he is the cartographer who actually drew the map she used in her quest.
Once this is revealed to her, Frank is able to voice a question he’s probably been having since she first showed him the card and complimented it. He was clearly surprised and flattered by the praise. Although the two have been at odds for most of the film at this point, her question demonstrates that he values her opinion, even though he claims he doesn’t. They are two of the smartest characters in Jungle Cruiseand have a certain respect for each other’s knowledge, though their banter otherwise hides it.
Frank is tired
“Everything you see new in this world, I’ve seen hundreds of thousands of times.”
Lily has an undeniable joie de vivre. Some things, like swimming, can terrify her, but she’s excited about anything new that comes her way. She loves adventure and discovery, and her trip to the Amazon gives her both.
While her excitement might be contagious, Frank points out to her that everything new to her is very, very old to him. Living past 400 can do that to someone. He’s all set to say goodbye to the world which he thinks has nothing new to offer him, but it turns out he might be wrong.
Frank is also pragmatic
“I got tired of being stabbed, so… I trapped them in a cave.”
Frank is seen as the traitor by his former allies. The truth is he was just nobler than them, unwilling to kill for a cure, and this conflict trapped him for decades once they were all cursed.
Frank grew tired of this conflict, which is understandable. As someone who couldn’t really die, but had to stay in one place, the group of cursed former allies had to cross paths again and again. As the others couldn’t let the conflict pass and continued to pursue it with various weapons, Frank took matters into his own hands, trapping them in the jungle. It’s a horrible way for them to spend hundreds of years, but it’s brought Frank some peace.
Lily echoes Frank’s idea of love
“One person might be global enough.”
Despite all the hard work they do for each other, Lily and Frank grow to truly care for each other on their adventure. When Frank tells Lily about wanting to finally “rest” because he’s tired of the world offering him nothing new, Lily echoes a sentiment he expressed earlier in the film.
While she doesn’t outright tell him she wants him to stay with her, she might as well. Variations of the line are repeated several times by the two characters as they gradually come to terms with their feelings for each other. The two reuniting in England even creates the potential for more adventures in a Jungle Cruise after.
MacGregor speaks for Lily
“Gentlemen, you can take your invitation, and you can push it into your association.”
MacGregor’s film closing speech echoes his at the start of the film, but this time his arguments are non-theoretical and come from Lily’s original article. They detail the siblings’ experience on Amazon first-hand.
It’s also clear that the company has learned at least some of what the Houghtons report is true, as MacGregor has an invitation to join them. His rejection of this invitation is perfect, showing that he is more confident after his adventure and that he will always support his sister through everything.
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