Jungle Cruise is the newest live-action movie from Walt Disney Studios, and it also happens to be the latest film based on a classic Disney Parks attraction. But even though the film is inspired by the Jungle Cruise ride at Disneyland, one of the stars — Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns, Into the Woods) — hadn’t actually experienced the attraction until recently.
In fact, Blunt didn’t ride Jungle Cruise before making the movie.
During the virtual press conference for Jungle Cruise, the film’s stars were asked about their experiences riding the attraction of the same name, which first opened at Disneyland Park in Anaheim on the theme park’s opening day.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (Moana, The Game Plan) explained that his experiences riding Jungle Cruise at Disney Parks date way back to his childhood:
“I went on the ride when I was a kid…many moons later, I went to Disney World for the first time and went on the ride then, too, as well. So, it had a nostalgic element to it when it was first presented to me.”
But, interestingly, his co-star Emily Blunt didn’t share similar anecdotes. Blunt admitted that she actually did not ride the attraction before making the film; her first experience on the ride was just a few days ago at Disneyland, where the world premiere of Jungle Cruise was held:
“I only rode the Jungle Cruise ride two days ago at the premiere for the first time…I loved it. I thought it was very whimsical and sweet, and I could see the elements from the ride that made it into the film.”
Of course, when asked if the film was what she expected it to be, based on the Disney Park attraction, Blunt deferred to Johnson, who went into making the film with much more nostalgia having experienced it as a child.
“I think the movie is so much more than what I expected. The charm of the ride is the simplicity of it and the education of it, too, as well, and the silliness of it, and the calmness of it, too. You know, you go in the Park and there’s so much to do in the Disney Parks. Then you get on this ride and it’s almost like you can exhale…But our movie is anything but simple.”
Jack Whitehall, who plays MacGregor Houghton in the film, and Edgar Ramirez, who plays Aguirre, also chimed in to share their favorite things about the Jungle Cruise attraction.
“I would say that’s the element of the Jungle Cruise ride that I like most is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously.”
Whitehall, who makes his Disney debut in Jungle Cruise (his one line was cut from Frozen!) said that he loves that the movie, like the attraction, doesn’t take itself too seriously.
“I also did the ride for the first time, too, two days ago…So I saw the movie for the first time and then went into the ride with my family and some of my closest friends, and I loved it for the same reasons that Emily just described. ‘Cause it was simple, it was cute, it was tender, and it was silly.”
Ramirez noted that the famous “backside of water” joke (which Disney Parks fans know and love from the attraction) is going to stay with him forever. The joke actually makes it into the Jungle Cruise film and apparently got a big laugh at the premiere.
Catch Jungle Cruise in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access beginning July 30.
Do you plan to watch Jungle Cruise when the film is released later this week? Which Disney Parks attraction do you hope to see made into a film in the future? Let us know in the comments!