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USA: Universal Studios
UK: Pathe Distribution
Cast: Kumal, Sangha, Guy Pearce, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Freddie Highmore, Oanh Nguyen, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, Stephanie Lagarde, Vincent Scarito, MaÔ Anh Le, Moussa Maaskri, Jaran Phetjareon, Bernard Flavien, Nozha Khouadra, BO Gaultier de Kermoal, Annop Varapanya, David Gant, Teerawat Mulvilai, Somjin Chimwong, Jerry Hoh, Caroline Wildi, Juliet Howland, Thavirap Tantiwongse, Sakhorn Pring, Delphine Kassem, Alan Fairbairn
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Countries: France / UK
UK: 104 mins
USA Rated: PG for mild violence
UK Certificate: U contains mild peril
USA Release Date: 25 June 2004
UK Release Date: 23 July 2004
Deep in the heart of the Southeast Asian jungle in the early 20th century, two tigers are born, amidst the ruins of a forgotten temple. They grow up surrounded by moss-eaten statues, under the protective gaze of their mother, the Tigress, and their father, the Great Tiger. Uncontested heirs to the throne, the two brothers Kumal and Sangha are destined to one day rule this kingdom.
Thousands of miles away, a passion for ancient treasures has swept the western world, creating an insatiable market for the statues that adorn the temples and bringing fortune hunters to the jungle, determined to loot these artifacts. One of these men is Aidan McRory (Guy Pearce), a romantic adventurer famous for writing books about his big game hunting prowess. Having assembled a local crew to assist him, Aidan unintentionally violates the tigers' sanctuary and is forced to kill the Great Tiger when it attacks a member of his party.
While Sangha manages to escape with his mother, Kumal is captured by Aidan, who takes an immediate liking to the cub. Their opportunity to bond is cut short when Aidan is imprisoned for looting statues, and Kumal is sold off to a circus. Motivated by his own ambitions, the regional governor Eugene Normandin (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) arranges for Aidan's release and then coerces him into leading a hunting party for the local Prince (Oanh Nyguen).
Kumal is miserable in his new circus home. Much to the chagrin of the animal tamer Zerbino (Vincent Scarito) and the circus performer Saladin (Moussa Maaskri), he refuses to eat and begins wasting away. While Zerbino is sympathetic towards Kumal, Saladin resorts to using harsh measures to make the tiger perform. Robbed of his spirit, Kumal lifelessly goes through the motionsógrowling, roaring and jumping through hoops of fire.
The Prince's hunting party is full of surprises when the Tigress, believed to be shot dead by the Prince, escapes with only a shot through the ear, while Normandin's son, Raoul (Freddie Highmore) finds Sangha hiding in a cave. When Normandin and his wife Mathilde (Phillipine LeRoy-Beaulieu) agree to bring the cub home, Raoul is delighted with his new playmate. But their pet dog is not happy about sharing his turf and relentlessly provokes the cub. When Sangha finally fights back, the results are disastrous, and the family is forced to give him up to the Prince's royal menagerie. There, the prince's animal trainer resolves to break the cub's gentle nature and turn him into a fighter for sport.
Months later, to entertain the Prince and his new fiancee Paulette (Stephanie Lagarde), a fight is held in the royal arena between the Prince's tiger and the star tiger from a nearby travelling circus. Now fully-grown, Kumal and Sangha face off in a battle to the death, but when the two brothers recognize each other, they are soon rolling around, playing leapfrog, turning somersaults, and rediscovering their other childhood games. Fleeing the arena, they celebrate their freedom by engaging in a variety of pranksówreaking havoc in the marketplace, invading homes and riding atop a bus.
Offering a reward for the capture of the "outlaw" tigers, the governor persuades Aidan to lead the locals in hunting them down. Closing in on Sangha and Kumal, they start a series of brushfires to keep the tigers from escaping. As the two tigers arrive within sight of their birthplace and their beloved temple, they are trapped by a wall of fire. Kumal, now an expert at leaping through flames, shows his brother the only way out.
Raoul and Aidan bid goodbye to Kumal and Sangha. The two brothers return to their kingdom, reunited with the Tigress, to be free forever among the splendour of the jungle and the forgotten temple.
Feature running time: 109 mins
Subtitle: English Hard Of Hearing
Original Aspect Ratio: 16x9
Sound Quality: English 5.1
DVD Special Features:
Director's audio commentary
Call of The Wild (tiger roars set to music)
Documentary on tigers
Special Effects Featurette
Tiger trainers featurette
Tiger brothers featurette
Tiger tech featurette
Tiger cam featurette
Location scouting featurette
Costume design featurette
Baby tiger outtakes