The Jungle Book (2016)
Director: Jon Favreau
Writers: Justin Marks (screenplay) Rudyard Kipling (book)
The Jungle Book is a live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated film and based on the book written by Rudyard Kipling in 1894. The story is based around Mowgli, a child who was found alone in the forest by the panther Bagheera and brought to a pack of wolves to be raised as one of their own. The fearsome tiger Shere Khan voices his opposition to Mowgli staying in the jungle so it is up to Bagheera to get Mowgli back to the man-village to be with his own kind. As you will know from the story or the animated film, Mowgli finds many obstacles and meets many new friends along the way.
It goes without saying that The Jungle Book is a visionary masterpiece. The CGI is like nothing I’ve ever seen before and every last bit of the film, except for Mowgli, is in CGI. The animals are very well thought out, from little things like the movement of fur and the twitching of ears to the way they move, fight and run. Now try to take into account that this very young actor (Neel Sethi) is performing in his very first film and he’s just in a warehouse. He has to perform his scenes without the scenery or the animals around him to help him get in to character and that must be hard enough for an established actor never mind a young boy but he is flawless. Not only is his performance exceptional but he’s just adorable. This kid is going places. As well as Neel, the entire cast is spot on. Idris Elba playing Shere Khan is dark, intimidating and genuinely unnerving. Ben Kingsley and Bill Murray as Bagheera and Baloo are the ultimate dream team, they compliment one another and the original cast. Bagheera was in fact my favourite character. Lupita Nyong’o was simply darling giving us a heavily emotional character, Christopher Walken was a scary surprise and Scarlett made my skin crawl. I couldn’t have been happier with any character and their voice actor, kudos to every last person involved.
I almost forgot to mention! To my utmost delight, they have kept the original musical score!! From the background music to the sing-song numbers, there’s a little bit of everything.
For the parents, my daughter did find this film quite scary, she enjoyed it but it may have been a bit too much at times. For any parents planning on taking children to see The Jungle Book please keep in mind that this may be a little too much depending on the age and the kid themselves. There are lots of seemingly threatening scenes and jump scares (she was particularly frightened of King Louie and I can’t say I blamed her).
This is a must see. The biggest CGI visual feast since Avatar. My only regret is that I didn’t get to see it in 3D.
For fans of: The Jungle Book