I have to admit, I was excited going in. I mean, not the very first time I heard someone was making “The Jungle Book.” My first reaction then was more akin to “man, can’t they come up with something new? The original was so much better.” By original of course I was referring to the Disney animated movie. Now, yes, I am aware that it’s a stretch to call that the “original” since it was based on Rudyard Kipling’s book from over 100 years ago. And let’s face it, even that wasn’t the first movie version. So I shifted my attitude a bit. After all this isn’t the first time a book has been made into a movie. Batman, Superman, Dracula, Frankenstein. These are all literary characters (yes, Batman and Superman count as literary) that have had multiple movie versions.
And then I saw the trailer. And I was wowed. To put it mildly. This was a movie I wanted to see. And I was NOT disappointed. In case you’ve been living under a rock, The Jungle Book is a collection of short stories detailing the life of Mowgli, a man-cub raised by wolves in the jungles of India. When Shere Khan returns to their part of the jungle, Mowgli must travel to the man village for his own safety. Unlike the 1967 Disney version, this one was live action, not animated. And unlike the 1967 version, this one was definitely un-Disney, in a good way. Now it’s rated PG, but I’m glad I didn’t bring my daughter. While her cousin (same age, 6) would probably be ok with it, there were some scenes that I know will be too intense for her. The animals were incredibly lifelike, and this is the jungle after all. If you’ve ever watched a documentary about Africa, you know that the gazelle doesn’t always outrun the cheetah. The Jungle Book is the same way. The movie shows how Mowgli gets to the jungle to begin with, if you catch my drift, and the aftermath of Shere Khan’s return. So if your little ones are sensitive to those themes, I would avoid bringing them. You know your children. But for older children, and even adults, you will love the movie. For one thing, it’s amazing how well the voices are matched to the animals.
Seriously, check out the clip below from THE JUNGLE BOOK, this amazing video highlighting the voices in the film including Bill Murray (“Baloo”), Sir Ben Kingsley (“Bagheera”), Lupita Nyong’o (“Raksha”), Scarlett Johansson (“Kaa”), Idris Elba (“Shere Khan”), Christopher Walken (“King Louie”), Giancarlo Esposito (“Akela”) and Neel Sethi who plays Mowgli, the only live action character in the film!
There is enough comedy to keep things light-hearted through most of the movie, the action is plentiful, and there is enough drama to keep everyone satisfied (yes, I shed a tear or two). Even the new actor that plays Mowgli was a little charmer. The Jungle Book is a definite must see for any family (with above mentioned caveats for sensitive littles) that I am sure you will love.
So, if you are still looking to make plans for the weekend … I hear there is a lot going on in the jungle!
THE JUNGLE BOOKS IS NOW PLAYING IN THEATERS EVERYWHERE!
U.S. Release Date: April 15, 2016
Cast: Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito, Neel Sethi and Christopher Walken,
Director: Jon Favreau
Producers: Jon Favreau, Brigham Taylor
Screenplay by: Justin Marks
Directed by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”), based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, “The Jungle Book” is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire. The all-star cast also includes Lupita Nyong’o as the voice of the fiercely protective mother wolf Raksha, and Giancarlo Esposito as the voice of wolf pack’s alpha male Akela. “The Jungle Book” seamlessly blends live-action with photorealistic CGI animals and environments, using up-to-the-minute technology and storytelling techniques to immerse audiences in an enchanting and lush world. The wild adventure swings into theaters in 3D on April 15, 2016.
Like THE JUNGLE BOOK on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyJungleBook
Follow THE JUNGLE BOOK on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheJungleBook
Follow THE JUNGLE BOOK on Instagram: https://instagram.com/disneythejunglebook
Follow THE JUNGLE BOOK on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/disneystudios/the-jungle-book/
Follow THE JUNGLE BOOK on Google+: https://plus.google.com/112416455929607370682/posts
Visit Walt Disney Pictures on Tumblr: http://disneystudios.tumblr.com/
Follow Walt Disney Pictures on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/DisneyMovieTrailers
Visit the official THE JUNGLE BOOK website here: http://movies.disney.com/the-jungle-book-2016
THE JUNGLE BOOK is now playing in theatres everywhere in 3D, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D!
“The Jungle Book” is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub raised in the jungle by a family of wolves, who embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery when he’s forced to abandon the only home he’s ever known.
Disclaimer: I received complimentary entry to a pre-screening of THE JUNGLE BOOK to facilitate this review. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still my own. Photos and video courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.