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Disney's New Rendition of "The Jungle Book" (2016) Is Stunningly Beautiful

Robert J. Sodaro is an American born writer, editor, and digital graphic artist, who loves writing about comics, movies, and literature.

Rudyard Kipling's tale comes to life.

Rudyard Kipling's tale comes to life.

Kipling's "The Jungle Book" Modernized

As a youth, we remember The Jungle Book as not only a book containing a collection of short stories by Rudyard Kipling, but also an animated film by Disney. The most famous of the tales from The Jungle Book involved Mowgli, as well as a young mongoose named Rikki-tikki-tavi. Now, to be sure, we don’t actually remember reading The Jungle Book as much as we remember watching the film, and perhaps reading illustrated children’s book versions of Mowgli. Well, now Disney has chosen to give us a new, photo-realistic, computer-animated, 3D version of the story, and well, it is magnificent!

Film Credits

The Jungle Book: Rated PG“ (106 minutes)

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

Directed by: Jon Favreau

A Man-Cub in the Wild

The story (which is essentially the same as we remember it) involves the man-cub Mowgli (Sethi) who flees the jungle after he receives a threat from the tiger Shere Khan (Elba). Mowgli is guided and protected by Bagheera the panther (Kingsley) and the bear Baloo (Murray), as he embarks on a journey of self-discovery while he attempts to determine his own place in the world — is he a man-cup who lives with the animals of the forest, or a human who should live among men. Throughout his journey, Mowgli also meets his fair share of animals who don’t have his best interests at heart.

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The Story of Mowgli

As for himself, (and as we know) Mowgli was raised by a family of wolves since birth, but now must leave the only home he’s ever known when the fearsome tiger Shere Khan determines that he is a threat to the rest of the jungle. Guided by the no-nonsense Bagheera and the free-spirited Baloo, Mowgli meets up with an array of jungle animals, including the slithery python Kaa (Scarlett Johansson) and the smooth-talking ape King Louie (Christopher Walken). Along the way, Mowgli learns valuable life lessons as his epic journey of self-discovery leads to danger, adventure, and yes, even some fun.

Mowgli and His Friends

This is an amazingly beautiful film.

This is an amazingly beautiful film.

A Most Excellent Film

So, as an adult, sitting in this theater (watching this film in 3D) was truly a wonderful experience, and while some may feel that the photo-realistic nature of the film might be a tad traumatic for younger viewers, our own nieces took their young children to see the film and all four of the young’uns came away entertained by the film, and with their fragile psyches intact. Yes, there are some (technically) “frightening” sequences in the film but really nothing that youngsters shouldn’t be able to process, especially since everything does really turn out in the end, still parents should keep this in mind before bringing their own kids to the film. The film is faithful to the story from the book, and the lessons learned by Mowgli can be translated into real-world applications for older kids, while younger kids get to see a fun, entertaining film, as do the adults who take them. Go and enjoy yourselves.

And in this Corner, Shere Khan

The villainous Shere Khan stalks Mowgli.

The villainous Shere Khan stalks Mowgli.

Post Script

Oh, and be sure to stick around through the credits so you get to hear Christopher Walken sing I Wan'na Be Like You, and Bill Murray sing Bare Necessities. You’ll be glad you did.

King Louie

Christopher as King Louie in Disney's The Jungle Book.

Christopher as King Louie in Disney's The Jungle Book.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2016 Robert J Sodaro

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