This morning saw the release of the first trailer for the upcoming live-action adaptation of the Disney classic The Jungle Book, and it looks spine-tingling-ly good!
This visually stunning teaser features the vocal talents of Scarlett Johansson as Kaa the snake as she speaks to the young Mowgli and we see scene after gorgeous scene flash by.
Being a Disney re-make, it's not surprising that the trailer reveals many familiar faces and moments from the original 1967 animated film. It seems that The Jungle Book will be following closely in Cinderella's footsteps with a re-imagining that doesn't stray far from the original.
While there is still plenty of scope for changes to be made, and a much more tense and dark tone overall, it seems that this will be another Disney offering that relies on nostalgia and visual impact rather than a twist on the tale.
Seeing the moments that thrilled us as children being brought to life with a powerful soundtrack and incredible FX is going to be amazing. Live-action will give fans of the original a chance to see a far more intense version of a childhood favorite, and if the rest of the film lives up to this trailer, it's going to be phenomenal.
It seems that there will be plenty of "I remember that scene" going on in the movie theaters, starting with these ten trailer moments that come straight from the Disney vault...
1. Mowgli Riding Baloo
Off into the deep, dark depths of the jungle he goes, on the back of the bear who is his best friend. There was little doubt that this would translate from animation to live-action, and it's beautifully done.
2. The Waterfall
Arguably a minor moment, it seems that the jungle waterfall has been transposed from animation to live action, although it may have a larger part to play in this new version.
3. Those Pesky Monkeys
In the original, Mowgli is stolen from Baloo by a troop of monkeys that take him to King Louie - and it seems that we are going to see a lot of them in the live action. Louie himself has transformed from a gangly, musical Orangutan to an enormous ape-like monster, but his minions look much the same. However, at one point Mowgli appears to be riding one of these smaller simians, suggesting that this kidnapping may not be quite against his will.
4. The Elephant Army
Col. Hathi and his military elephants appear in the trailer, although without the adorable young elephant to befriend Mowgli. Perhaps he is simply out of sight in this scene, where the huge creatures look distinctly menacing, just as they did in the animation.
5. Shere Khan vs. Man's Red Fire
It's no surprise that Disney kept the final battle (presumably the final battle, anyway) over a backdrop of flames - it's incredibly dramatic and a huge part of the original story. It seems that the fire is a lot larger and more dangerous than the small blaze from the child-friendly original, but we still see the tiger terrified by it.
6. Trust In Me
One of the most obvious references to the original is in the narrator of the trailer: Kaa the snake. His repeated efforts to hypnotize and devour Mowgli in the animated film are unsuccessful, but I have a feeling that this new version will have the young man-cub lured into following her for some time.
7. The Bear Necessities
One of the sweetest moments in the trailer comes at the very end. After so much oppressive jungle and intense action, this final shot of Baloo and Mowgli floating down the river is incredibly sweet. Just to top it off, he's humming a well known little ditty...
8 and 9. The Jungle King?
Two final scenes from the trailer are incredibly recognizable, but not from the original Jungle Book!
First, we see Shere Khan appearing over a stony ridge, while antelope look on - a scene that is a lot more familiar if you exchange one big cat for another. It looks almost like Shere Khan is accepting homage from the peak of Pride Rock!
We see another scene that could have been borrowed from The Lion King later, as Mowgli is trapped in a gorge by a herd of horned animals...clearly this is a favorite method of dispatching enemies, if you are big cat! Presumably this is no more successful for Shere Khan than it was for Scar...
I'm sure that we'll see plenty more scenes to remind us of the original animation, as well as lots of new footage to explore this deeper, darker Jungle Book.
The Jungle Book comes to theaters April 15th, 2016.