Jungle Book, The (2016)

I was a little nervous going into The Jungle Book. Growing up on the 1967 Disney cartoon, The Jungle Book (1967), I was leery of a reboot.  The constant stream of reboots just don’t seem to slow down… I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they stayed true to the original cartoon and even paid homage to the classic songs.  Favreau did an excellent job capturing the essence of the story. Reminding us that it is a scary world out there full of danger, but always remember to take time for yourself and enjoy life.

There was really a lot to like about how it turned out. With stunning visuals and an all-star cast it seems that it would have been difficult to go wrong.   There were also not many changes between this and the original version. Mowgli’s path is the focal point of the storyline and that path saw the most changes.  The path is similar in that Mowgli’s journey is to find his inner voice and find his place in the world. Instead of the story ending with him entering the man village, he instead finds comfort in himself. Thus making the changes only to the benefit of the core story from my childhood.

The new take on the story goes even further into Mowgli and his backstory. More time is taken to emphasis his differences from the animals. His knack for ingenuity and the animals resistance to it highlights this. He is also more driven and self-determined, than the animated version. Overall, there is a general increase in the character development around Mowgli.  Changes like that are necessary though when you take the animation out and transition it from an 80 minute feature to a modern day full length feature. The Jungle Book, is a fun, entertaining, and visually striking film that is fun for all ages and provides a strong and important message.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Directed by: Jon Favreau

Cinematography: Bill Pope

Screenplay by: Justin Marks

Music by: John Debney

Starring: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o

Runtime: 1h 46m

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family

Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures


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