The Jungle BookCultureCinemaMovie reviews
After the success of previous live-action features of iconic animated movies such as Cinderella or Alice in Wonderland, Disney has now tackled a remake of their 1967 classic The Jungle Book. Interspersed with stunning CGI of life in the jungle, this new version keeps the spirit of the animated comedy alive while at the same time bringing it into the 21st century.
While the general plot line has been kept in tact, the new film is not a carbon copy of the old one. Several scenes have been left out and replaced with others, new, quirky characters have been added and even the ending has undergone a slight rewrite. Visually it’s absolutely spectacular: clearly the team behind it have worked tirelessly in rendering the characters and scenery and making it appear as realistic as possible.
Neel Sethi, who plays the young orphan boy Mowgli, delights in his marvellous performance and though he is only 12 years of age, already exhibits signs of great talent. Whilst Scarlett Johansson’s voicing of the snake Kaa feels a bit misplaced, Bill Murray and Ben Kingsley were able to bring Baloo and Bagheera to life amiably. The the most charming new addition to the existing list of characters was a small group of animals including a pygmy hog, a minor role voiced by director Jon Favreau.
While the voice actors complimented the impressively animated scenes perfectly, in the two main songs, The Bare Necessities and I Wanna Be Like You, they unfortunately failed to live up to the high stakes the 1967 version set. Yet overall, Disney has managed to revive one of its most successful hand-drawn films beautifully and even gave it a philosophical touch in bringing up subtle hints about extinction and the service the animals perform for the environment and the humans.
The Jungle Book is released nationwide on 15th April 2016.
Watch the trailer for The Jungle Book here: