The Jungle Book review

Movie:– The Jungle Book

Release date :- April 15th 2016

Rating:- 4 Stars

As a proclaimed Disney fanatic, I was rather sceptical about the remake of a Disney classical. I thought what on earth is the point of remaking Walt Disney’s great and possibly greatest masterpiece, the glorious animated musical from 1967, based on Kipling’s tales, all about the “man cub” Mowgli, brought up by wolves in the Indian jungle – famously the last film to get Disney’s personal touch? A remake which furthermore leaves old-fashioned animation behind.

Well, no point really, other than simply to create a terrifically enjoyable piece of old-fashioned storytelling and a beautiful-looking film: spectacular, exciting, funny and fun. It handsomely revives the spirit of Disney’s original film, while also having something of old-school family movies about animals like The Incredible Journey (1963).

Perhaps most strikingly of all, it re-imports into the story elements of the Disney classic The Lion King (1994) which The Jungle Book influenced in the first place: there’s a special rock for the animals to gather round, a stampede scene and an evil feline with a facial disfigurement.

http://movies.disney.co.uk/the-jungle-book-1967 –  Click here to find out more about the original movie

Newcomer Neel Sethi plays Mowgli himself; Ben Kingsley voices Bagheera the panther; Idris Elba is the evil tiger Shere Khan; Scarlett Johansson is the hissing snake mesmerist Kaa; Christopher Walken is the voice of King Louie the fire-hungry ape and inevitably – but pleasingly, and very amusingly – Bill Murray is an outstanding vocal turn as the notorious ursine slacker and pleasure-seeker Baloo the bear who teaches Mowgli the importance of kicking back and enjoying the bare necessities of life.

I’ve never seen digital rendering of talking animals look so persuasive and this film also creates witty and ingenious twists on the story we all know, including a new plot development concerning wolf-leader Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) and Shere Khan – and even creates a backstory for Mowgli which explains how he got that modesty-preserving loincloth of his. It’s not a musical and yet the deployment of two famous songs – The Bare Necessities and I Wanna Be Like You – feels easy and natural. 

Interestingly, behind the scene shots show how this movie was made, most of it being shot with a green screen, making young actor Neel Sethi’s role all the more spectacular! It’s still stunning to imagine that computers can turn hand puppets into talking bears and giant orangutans.

But what a tremendous success this is. The Jungle Book 2.0 is the unexpected treat of the week.

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