Movie Review: The Jungle Book
Updated: May 29, 2019
Disney continues their quest of turning all of their animated classics into live-action blockbusters. Last year, they had Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Cinderella, and now we have The Jungle Book, which is considered one of the most beloved stories of all time.It tells the story of a young boy named Mowgli, (Neel Sethi) who was orphaned in the jungle and raised by wolves as one of their own, a “man cub”.
Things take a dangerous when the ferocious tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) declares that man is forbidden in the jungle and that Mowgli must die. To help save Mowgli, his protector and mentor, a panther named Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) sets out with Mowgli and a bear named Baloo (Bill Murray) on a quest with the boy to take him back to live with his own kind.
The most remarkable thing about this version of the Jungle Book is that all of the jungle environments and animals in the film were created by CGI. Everything that you see on screen was done in a studio using green screen.
The only thing that was real was Neel Sethi as Mowgli. That is a fantastic accomplishment in special effects. The only thing lacking was the story.
That’s not to say that the story was bad. If you’re a fan of the 1967 animated Disney version, (as I am) than you will be happy.
Jon Favreau’s adaptation is extremely faithful to that beloved classic. The only thing is, there’s nothing new here. It’s pretty much a standard, beat by beat adaptation of the cartoon, which left me a little underwhelmed. With all of the glowing reviews the film has received so far, I was expecting something a little more surprising, a little more groundbreaking.
Than I realized that the reason the movie is considered groundbreaking is because the animated version has been recaptured so faithfully. I guess that’s a good thing in itself. Yet to me, there’s no subsitute to the animated version. Is that childhood nostalgia talking? Probably.Still, as a technical achievement in special effects, this new Jungle Book is worth the price of admission.