Hello, fellow moviegoers!
When growing up, everybody watches at least one classic Disney animated film, whether that be Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi, Lady and the Tramp, or, in this case, The Jungle Book. All of these films have gone down in history as must-sees for any child. But what happens when you try to remake one in live-action for today’s audiences?
The Jungle Book is directed by Jon Favreau, and it stars newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli. When the fearsome tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) sets his sights on Mowgli, the man-cub must leave his home and mother wolf Raksha (Lupita Nyong'o) and travel with Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) through the jungle in an attempt to find the nearest village that would be safe for him. Along the way they meet many different animals including the bear Baloo (Bill Murray), the python Kaa (Scarlett Johansson), and the orangutan King Louie (Christopher Walken). So does this film live up to all of the hype surrounding it? Here’s what I thought.
This new take on The Jungle Book is a fantastic new take on a classic story! Jon Favreau’s take on this classic tale so seamlessly intertwines the fun of the original animated film, while also adding a deeper more serious tone. It features a diverse set of characters that will keep you entertained, intrigued, and enthralled throughout the entirety of the film. There was such an atmosphere that was built throughout this film, especially in the scenes with Shere Khan. As an audience, everyone was legitimately afraid of what he would do next.
At last year’s D23 Expo, Director Jon Favreau said that this new Jungle Book was “taking the edge of technology and applying it to the old stories”. Perhaps the most impressive part of the film is the visual effects. This film was shot wholly in downtown Los Angeles. When you’re watching the film, you can’t tell at all. It feels as if they actually traveled to India to shoot this film. The backdrops, the animals, and almost everything else in this film is generated on a computer. There are a few little shots here and there where it feels a bit off, and sometimes the voices don’t quite match the movement of the animals’ mouths; but considering on paper it’s basically an animated film, that can be forgiven.
This is child-actor Neel Sethi’s first feature-length film, and he is great! At first glance, he gives a really good performance, especially for a 12-year-old. When you actually stop to consider that he wasn’t acting opposite anybody, it becomes significantly more impressive. He was on set alone reacting to things that weren’t there and talking to voices off camera. There are some adult actors out there that can’t make that believable.
Speaking of voices, the entire voice cast in this film was brilliant! Each voice fits their individual character perfectly. Most notably, Bill Murray as Baloo, and Idris Elba as Shere Khan. You’d think with such big names voicing these characters, you’d only hear the actors and actresses the entire time. But in reality, you didn’t hear the actors. You heard their characters.
If you’re thinking about taking your child to see this movie, don’t be fooled by its PG Rating. This is a film that should be rated PG-13. There are several sequences in this film that will, without a doubt, frighten younger children. Some kids might be ok with that, others might not. It really depends on what you think your child can handle.
Jon Favreau’s Jungle Book is, in my opinion, the best film of the year so far. The visual effects in the film are breathtaking. Neel Sethi’s performance as Mowgli is extremely notable, and all of the voice actors were perfectly cast. It can be a bit frightening at times, and it should not be rated PG. I would highly recommend The Jungle Book. If you have any free time in the coming weeks, go see this film. You won’t regret it.
So what did you think of The Jungle Book? How do you think it lived up to the animated film? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie news and miscellaneous movie thoughts.
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