Director: Jon Favreau
Starring: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Walken
Movie Review Score: 9ish
“Look for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities. Forget about your worries and your strife…” Sorry, I’m getting carried away here.
Disney released “The Jungle Book” back in 1967. Of course, we all remember “The Bare Necessities,” Baloo and the fierce tiger Shere Khan. But, we remember it in a whole different way. It was 1967. Technology and animation wasn’t near advanced as it is today in 2016. It would have been wonderful to see “The Jungle Book” reimagined in a form like “Finding Nemo” or “Frozen.” Disney went a different route in live-action and used virtually all CGI except the young boy Mowgli. It’s extremely impressive and packs a heavy punch.
The man-cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi) was raised in the jungle by Raksha (Lupita Nyong’o) and Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) with the help and guidance of Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) after a tragic incident involving his father. After being threatened by the fierce Shere Khan (Idris Elba), Mowgli makes his way to the man village. Along the way, he meets the beloved Baloo (Bill Murray), who helps him out of the hypnosis stage Kaa (Scarlett Johansson) put him in. Mowgli helps Baloo reach his dear honey, both ways, at the top of the cliff. Bagheera tells Baloo that Mowgli needs to reach the man village when they have a tough encounter with King Louie (Christopher Walken) and the monkey kingdom. Mowgli knows he needs to do the right thing for everyone.
It’s almost a completely different experience seeing “The Jungle Book” in live-action form. It’s a little tougher and more intense than the animated form. That seems to make it attract more of an older audience rather than just children, which might be hard to watch for the eyes of smaller children.
The CGI is so impressive. It was shot in a 12-story building, and when one sees the movie - it’s just unbelievable how far technology has come. Sethi is adorable and quite good, seeing that he’s acting with really no one else. The voice over work is lovely, especially Johansson’s, which we definitely didn’t get enough of during the movie. There’s something very comforting of hearing Murray and Walken sing. It gave me little goosebumps.
It’s an absolutely lovable movie, especially seeing it all over again with the same elements the 1967 movie had. There’s something in all of us that just can’t let go of the movies we grew up watching, especially Disney movies. It’s refreshing seeing those movies again and still containing all the heart and life lessons we felt when we were children. “The Jungle Book” needs to be seen by everyone, adults and children alike.