George of the Jungle (film) Based on the well-known animated 1960s television series, this live-action film features the klutzy George, who grows up as a Tarzan-like character after surviving a jungle plane crash and being raised by gorillas. He rescues a beautiful wayward traveler named Ursula when a lion attacks her while she is on safari. While Ursula warms to George and his fantasy jungle world—complete with a talking ape, named Ape, and an elephant who thinks it is a dog—Ursula’s irksome fiancé, Lyle, plots to regain his lady love and destroy the balance of nature in George’s rain forest kingdom. When George is injured, Ursula brings him back to her world, specifically San Francisco, where he naturally has a difficult time adjusting and longs to return to his jungle home. Directed by Sam Weisman. Released on July 16, 1997. Stars Brendan Fraser (George), Leslie Mann (Ursula Stanhope), Thomas Haden Church (Lyle Van de Groot). 92 min. The elephant, Shep, is played by Tai, the 28-year-old veteran of such films as Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book and Operation Dumbo Drop, with his doglike movements added by Dream Quest Images through computer-generated enhancements. Ape and the other gorillas were the result of teaming live actors with a sophisticated radio telemetry system devised by the Jim Henson Creature Shop. Inspired by the wit, style, and humor of Jay Ward, who produced the animated series for four years, the film’s producers even retained the series’ catchy and now classic theme song. While San Francisco and Hawaii provided outdoor locations, parts of the jungle were also built indoors, utilizing the former Hughes Aircraft hangar in Playa del Rey, California, the same place where Howard Hughes built his Spruce Goose. Released on video in 1997.