Directed by Jon Favreau
Starring Neel Sethi, Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson
I can’t even remember the last time I watched the original 1967 animated version of The Jungle Book, so it was great to see that their would be a CGI remake to bring back those childhood memories!
The story follows a similar pattern to the original. in which Mowgli (Sethi) is escorted by his mentor, Bagheera the Panther (Kingsley) to go live with his fellow humans in the village. Baloo (Murray), King Louie (Walken), Shere Khan (Elba) & Kaa (Johansson) once again all feature along with the addition of a few other characters.
In what could have just been a quick cash in for Disney, has turned out to be already one of the films of the year. With director Jon Favreau doing an excellent job in the pacing the story, with some incredible action scenes.
The CGI was always going to make or break the film, especially as 12-year-old Neel Sethi would have to act the entire film on his own, in front of a green screen, as he is the only human character in the entire movie! It cannot have been easy to act on your own for the entire film at such a young age, but the kid did well. The CGI shown here is by far some of the best we have seen, Disney did a fantastic job with all the animals, and never at any point during the film does the quality drop.
The voice casting is near perfect. Bill Murray absolutely nails it with his role as Baloo, and Ben Kingsley provides the calm assurance as Bagheera. Idris Elba does a wonderful job as the villainous Khan. Lupita Nyong’o takes up the role of Mowgli’s adopted Wolf mother Raksha, who does well to voice the pained mother who has to give up her child. One gripe would be the role of Scarlett Johansson as Kaa the Snake, who only features in the film for a brief moment. It would have been nice to the more of the deceptive snake!
The nostalgia factor will play a huge role in the enjoyment of the movie, you cant help but smile when the music for ‘Bare Necessities’ starts to fire up, and the homage to the Lion King with a stampede scene was a lovely touch. Younger members of the audience will find this the definitive version of The Jungle Book, and maybe even for some Adults! It’s no wonder a sequel is already in the works.
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