The Jungle Book: Movie Review

Updated on April 22, 2016
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book | Source

A year after striking gold with Kenneth Branagh’s live-action Cinderella, Disney’s back at it-- giving one of its animated classics a real-people reboot. And as good as the glass slipper tale was, The Jungle Book is even better-- a stunning film that amazes on a number of levels.

The 1967 original was a fun, lighthearted cartoon with a jolly bear, sing-along songs, and a memorable tale based on Rudyard Kipling’s world-renowned books. Though this version is a bit darker and more intense, it’s still eminently watchable-- a fun, entertaining film for almost any age.

The story of Mowgli, a young “man-cub” adopted by animals in the Indian wild, The Jungle Book takes as much liberty with Kipling’s source material as the animated version did (which is a considerable amount). Mowgli is forced to leave his wolf pack after the tiger Shere Khan discovers him and wants him dead. During his escape, Mowgli befriends Baloo the bear and also has run-ins with the hypnotic snake Kaa and the monkey king Louie.

Director Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Iron Man 2), working from a script by Justin Marks (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li), has outdone himself. On the surface, The Jungle Book is a visual masterpiece, full of eye-popping scenery and the best CGI animal work since, well, ever. But then when you realize the entire movie was shot on a soundstage in Los Angeles, and that every mountain, tree, blade of grass, frog, elephant, river, and rock is computer-generated, it’s even more impressive. In fact, The Jungle Book stands as one of the more captivating visual films in recent years, reminiscent of 2012’s Life of Pi (and its Oscar-winning visual effects). Even better, it has a screenplay and performances to match.

We even get a few snippets of songs made famous in the animated original, including “The Bear Necessities” and “I Wanna Be Like You” (featuring new lyrics by the now 87-year-old original lyricist Richard Sherman).

The only human in the film is Mowgli (12-year-old Neel Sethi, making an excellent debut). As for the voice cast, it’s a barrage of top-notch talent, including Ben Kingsley as panther Bagheera, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, and Christopher Walken as Louie. And heck, even Scarlett Johansson’s bit part as Kaa is noteworthy. It’s Bill Murray who steals the show, however, as the hilarious Baloo.

Conclusion

From its off-like-a-rocket start, straight through to its climactic finish, The Jungle Book is the closest thing to a guaranteed crowd-pleaser to hit theaters so far in 2016. It’s a true treat all around and well worth it. Trust in me.

Rating

4.5/5 stars

Worth the 3D glasses?

Absolutely. No question. Without a doubt. Yes.

'The Jungle Book' trailer

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Pat Mills 2 years ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      I'm glad you enjoyed the 3D experience, but any exceptional movie will be fine without it. I might see this, but I won't spend extra for the 3D.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)