On watching Disney's The Jungle Book, two things come to mind. The first is how good the movie is, like how it takes everything I remember from the animated Disney classic and revamps it in an Iron Man-style superhero origin package. Obviously that's down to Marvel/Disney stalwart Jon Favreau and the terrific cast.
But the second thing that comes to mind has no such explainable origin. It happens roughly half way through the movie, once *SPOILERS!* Mowgli has hooked up with Bill Murray's Baloo and begun his career as the jungle's Jesse Pinkman to Baloo's Walter White.
As Baloo tries to justify his seemingly unquenchable thirst for honey and jungle junk food, he looks deep into the viewers' eyes and explains that his need for sustenance comes not from a place of greed, but from the fact that "winter is coming."
This hit me like a ton of bricks, but in a good way. In a movie largely devoid of knowing, winky, pop culture references like the Shrek movies of old, The Jungle Book largely exists on its own merits and uses its own situations to derive humor. Where and why this line exists is something that's been on my mind since checking out the movie earlier this week.
I mean, it's not strictly an Easter Egg; there's no crossover with Westeros in sight for Disney's new/old jungle-based franchise, and the movie contains exactly zero references to any other TV shows, HBO based or otherwise. So, where does it come from?
My guess is that either director Jon Favreau or screenwriter Justin Marks are huge fans of the show, or Bill Murray had just finished marathoning the Season 6 box set when he wandered into the recording studio whatever time he wanted (I'm not calling beloved actor Bill Murray lazy, I'm just saying he does what he wants when he wants. It is known.) and thought throwing it in might be a bold move.
Or maybe I'm reading too much into things. I don't think so, though; the way Murray gravely intones this prophetic remark, with the same level of gravitas as a frosty Stark, tells me that it was an intended, knowing wink to the audience. I'm still not sure why, though.