Disney's New Rendition of 'The Jungle Book' Is Stunningly Beautiful
The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book: Rated “PG“ (106 minutes)
Starring: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o
Directed by: Jon Favreau
Kipling's The Jungle Book
As a youth, we remember The Jungle Book as not only a book containing a collection of short stories by Rudyard Kipling. But 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!
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.
The Jungle Book Official Trailer (2016)
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, just Chillin' with His Friends
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.