The Jungle Book Review – Visually Stunning with Positive Messages

Posted by at 3:31 pm on April 15, 2016

The Jungle Book”

Disney’s reboot of “The Jungle Book” (Studios are in the recycling business, after-all these days) is called a “live-action” movie. Sans Neel Sethi playing Mowgli — the human orphan turned wolf child – most everything else in the film comes from a pixel on a computer. This is true for the animals, the flora, the clouds, etc. So it is hard for us here at ToT to call it a “live-action” reboot.  Well now on to the plot.

neel-sethi-mowgli

Written by Justin Marks, it opens with Mowgli (Neel Sethi) as a prepubescent, racing alongside his protector, the panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley), who years earlier placed the young human “cub” in the care of a mother wolf, Raksha (Lupita Nyong’o).

Mowgli is raised as a member of the den – and the wolves, along with other animals in the jungle, grow to love and accept the boy as one of their own. With his biological family long gone, Mowgli has little interest in leaving the jungle to join a human village and, instead, has come to live by the etiquette and codes of his animal friends – even hiding a talent for crafting inventions and tools in order to fit in.

Fearful that one day, this human cub will become a ruthless and powerful man, Shere Khan (Idris Elba), a savage Bengal tiger, commits himself to hunting Mowgli down at any cost. In order to protect his wolf family from Shere Khan’s wrath, Mowgli flees and on the way, befriends a sloth bear, Baloo (Bill Murray), who convinces the human cub to stay in the jungle – rather than return to the world of man. Thanks to Baloo’s and Kaa the snake’s (Scarlett Johansson) laid-back lifestyles, Mowgli learns to forget about his worries – until Shere Khan begins terrorizing Mowgli’s adopted family, forcing the human cub to return and save his friends.

The look for the movie lives between photorealism and impressionism.  Far removed from the iconic 1967 film’s hand-drawn animation and color palette. Directed by Jon Favreau, the redo continues Hollywood’s love affair with British actors. Much like the 1967 movie, this one has a loose relationship with the Kipling book, originally published in 1894.

In the Kipling books, every creature abides by the Law of the Jungle, a decree that’s been read as a proxy for British imperialist rule by many over the years, but Disney recycles their traditional theme, that humans can exist with nature, as long as nature becomes more tame.

 

Rating- Four Out of Five Stars

four out five stars

The Jungle Book is great movie for families.  It keeps the tone of 1967 animated classic while adding action, modern effects, and the right amount of drama for the kids.  The movie brings along a message of the importance of condemning prejudice and being an individual. Sadly the look of man’s place and use of  nature could have been stronger.

The Jungle Book is playing in 3D and IMAX 3D formats. Where premium tickets are available, in case of this movie they are worth the extra cost.

The Jungle Book Cast and Crew Info

  • Director: Jon Favreau
  • Writers: Justin Marks, Rudyard Kipling (Book)
  • Stars: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o
  • Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 1h 45m

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