RELEASE DATE:April 15, 2016
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
MPAA Rating:PG (for some sequences of scary action and peril)
Starring:Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito, Neel Sethi, Christopher Walken
Genre:Action, Adventure, Family
My childhood was filled with Disney classics. Snow White, Sword in the Stone, Aladdin were just a few. All those catchy tunes and exciting stories told held my imagination as a youth and I remember them fondly even today. Bear Necessities is one of my favorite songs in the Disney archive and I am glad that it lives on in this live action remake (I don’t count the terrible 1994 version) of The Jungle Book.
I’ll get my gripes out of the way first. I use the words live action loosely as there is little “live action” and more animation than anything. The movie slathered with talking animals much like the 1967 film so it’s understandable that things would have to be more on the CGI side. It just ruined the live action labeling for me. Not big enough of a deal to ruin the movie but just a minor bit of nitpicking. The songs kind of take you out of the otherwise serious tone of the film since it’s more rooted in reality than traditional animated film.
Biggest plus of the whole movie is the cast. It’s huge and full of Hollywood heavyweights. Bill Murray, Idris Elba, and Christopher Walken are just a few. The cast will not let you down. If you’ve ever read any of my reviews you’d know that I’m not the biggest fan of the 3-D craze in movies these days. I will say that The Jungle Book uses it well. The 3-D gives the vistas and valleys scale and adds granduer to shots. I believe this enhances everything from simple scenes of Mowgli walking through the jungle or action scenes as Mowgli is flying through the trees with his co-stars. The action sequences are also done very well.
I liked The Jungle Book. Didn’t love it but, I liked it. Because of the photo realistic animals in the movie some scenes may scare the little ones but not too much. If you’re an adult who remembers The Jungle Book from childhood and want to share it with your kids this is a good film to do so. Just don’t neglect to show them the original.