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Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle Basks In The Dark Side Of The Tale



Since its release in 1967, The Jungle Book has brought joy to the hearts of children around the world. Despite some of the film’s more problematic elements it has carried on through generations thanks to its charismatic spirit and pure heart meant to instill warmth in the viewer.

The 2016 re-imagining amped up the excitement and fun as it brought the story into the modern age. Now with Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, Netflix is looking to get in on the party, but while the film came dressed to impress it’s quickly apparent that it doesn’t know how to have fun.

Photo Courtesy of Netflix: Rohan Chand as Mowgli

Like its predecessors, Mowgli tells the story of the titular human child (Rohan Chand) who is raised by a pack of wolves after his family is slaughtered by the tiger Shere Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch). Under the guidance of the bear Baloo (Andy Serkis) and a black panther named Bagheera (Christian Bale), he attempts to adapt to the ways of the jungle. But when he is forced to confront his origins, Mowgli must decide on his place in the world.

Mowgli makes a promising first impression with its visual effects. Director Andy Serkis made his name off of his memorable motion capture performances as Gollum and Caesar in The Lord of the Rings and Planet of the Apes franchises respectively, and he utilizes his experience in the technology to produce enthralling recreations of beloved characters. Each animal conveys who they are and their motives through simple facial details and movements. Kahn commands power and distrust as he slinks through the trees, and speckles of gray highlighting Bagheera’s chin support his mentor status to Mowgli.

Photo Courtesy of Netflix: Andy Serkis as Baloo

Serkis and his team remove many of the barriers that often inhibit viewers from connecting with CGI characters. Serkis’ guidance of Chand is evident. The young actor’s interactions with his digital co-stars rarely feel like a facade. Whether looking into the eyes of a snake or being lifted by an elephant, Chand’s minute movements help the CGI feel tangible. It’s not something that you’ll actively notice on first viewing, but that’s the whole objective – it should fade into the background.

The visuals do have a dark side, however, one that the film is often too quick to indulge in. Mowgli separates itself from previous renditions of The Jungle Book with a PG-13 rating. This allows the movie to amp up the tension, and the persistent threats on Mowgli’s life are given more weight than one would expect from The Jungle Book.

Photo Courtesy of Netflix: Cate Blanchette as Kaa

It quickly begins to feel overbearing and depressing; the film is missing the heart one has come to expect from this tale.  An infant Mowgli covered in the blood of his parents is a different visual than we would expect, but is it better or even necessary? It’s a question that comes up too many times while sitting through Mowgli.

The film doesn’t deserve to get lambasted just because it took the chance on a darker aesthetic. The new directions can usually justify retellings of familiar stories, but Callie Kloves’ screenplay wasn’t updated to match the film’s visual style. The plot is told with the familiar and simplistic trappings of a common children’s film. Mowgli shares the theme of self-discovery with the previous films, and it explores it as deeply as one would expect a ten-year-old.

Bagheera and Rohan Chand as “Mowgli” in the Netflix film “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle” Photo Courtesy of Netflix

These two clashing approaches leave one wondering who the film’s audience was meant to be. The PG-13 rating is intended to scare off younger ones from stumbling across a movie that features the taxidermy of a cute, childlike character, but the script doesn’t feature enough nuance to keep the more mature audience engaged. While Mowgli contains a little something for everyone, it ultimately feels like a film meant for no one.

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The HISTORY Channel’s “The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch” To Make Panel Debut at San Diego Comic-Con



“The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch,” a hit nonfiction series on the HISTORY Channel, is making its debut at San Diego Comic-Con with an exclusive panel. The panel will feature aerospace engineer, astrophysicist, and lead scientist Dr. Travis Taylor; Defense Intelligence Senior Executive (Retired) Jay Stratton; and others. The series follows current ranch owner Brandon Fugal and an accredited team of scientists, researchers, and experts as they conduct carefully curated scientific experiments, daring drilling and drone exercises, and more to uncover what’s taking place on the anomalous 512-acre hotspot of high strangeness and UAP-related activity. New episodes currently air on Tuesdays at 9/8c, with the two-hour season five finale airing on Tuesday, July 23 at 9/8c.

HISTORY’s “THE SECRET OF SKINWALKER RANCH” PANEL – Thursday, July 25 from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Hilton San Diego Bayfront (Indigo Ballroom)

Can You Keep A Secret? Unveiling the Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch – Ever seen a UAP? Or witnessed something strange and unusual that you couldn’t explain? Join the experts from The HISTORY® Channel’s hit series The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch, including astrophysicist and lead scientist Dr. Travis Taylor and others, for a dynamic panel discussing the motivations, inclinations and secret findings currently taking place at one of the most infamous UAP and paranormal hotspots to ever exist. The moderator will be Matt Zoller Seitz (New York Magazine/Vulture). Cast subject to change.

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Adult Swim, the global leader in adult animation, unveiled plans today for San Diego Comic-Con which includes an ongoing Pirate-themed fan “parrrty” featuring a series of special evening events, exclusive panels diving into key Adult Swim programs, and the kick-off of a cross-country mobile tour to celebrate “Rick and Morty: The Anime.”

“For reasons too long to get into, we at Adult Swim have always used a pirate ship (and, owls, but maybe we’ll do that at a later con) as a metaphor for how we operate,” said Michael Ouweleen, president, Adult Swim. “We thought since we like to think of us, fans and network, as all one thing, that we should bring the pirate ship to the harbor of San Diego this year and let everyone join us on the – erm – poop deck.”


Adult Swim will crash onto the shores of San Diego with a shipwreck adventure on the network’s Adult Swim on the Green space outside the San Diego Convention Center (5th Avenue Landing and Convention Way). The “Adult Swim Pirate Parrrty” will include custom games, exclusive first looks, giveaways, and evening entertainment including DJ laser sets – no badge required!

The space will also host a series of special evening events including:

  • AEW x Adult Swim “Battle for the Booty” Wrestling Tournament – Join a collection of AEW wrestlers who will face off in a tag team tournament against famous Adult Swim faces for a no-holds-barred event as each competitor vies for the chance to win the “Battle for the Booty” title. Thursday (7/25) at 7:30pm
  • Adult Swim’s Night of New – Comic-Con attendees will be the first to experience a collection of brand-new Adult Swim series at this special screening event featuring the full-length premiere episodes of “Common Side Effects,” “Rick and Morty: The Anime,” “Invincible Fight Girl,” and “Women Wearing Shoulder Pads” alongside more never-before-seen Adult Swim content.  The screening will also be livestreamed in real-time on Adult Swim’s YouTube Channel. Don’t miss your chance! Friday (7/26) at 7:30pm
  • Fun with Zach and Michael – Fresh off the finale of the hit series’ second season, join “SMILING FRIENDS” co-creators Michael Cusack and Zach Hadel for a special live-draw and fan Q&A event. Saturday (7/27) at 7:30pm

The first 1,000 attendees to join the “Adult Swim Pirate Parrrty” at 1pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will receive an exclusive giveaway! For more details on the “Adult Swim Pirate Parrrty” visit here.


This summer marks the return of the famed Rickmobile and Mortymobile for Adult Swim’s “Anime-rican” tour in support of the new series “Rick and Morty: The Anime,” and San Diego Comic-Con is its first stop! Fans attending the “Adult Swim Pirate Parrrty” will have a chance for a photo-op with the Mortymobile, while the Rickmobile will roam San Diego’s Gaslamp District with special giveaways. After Comic-Con, both the Rickmobile and the Mortymobile will cross the country for a nine-city tour that will conclude in Adult Swim’s hometown of Atlanta.


The fun continues inside with a series of can’t-miss panels featuring advanced looks, breaking news and insightful discussion from series creators and voice talent:

  • Adult Swim’s “Common Side Effects” Series First Look – Come experience the side effects of an incredible panel discussion about Adult Swim’s highly anticipated new series.  “Common Side Effects.”  From executive producers Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, and creators Joe Bennett and Steve Hely, this comedic thriller follows two former high school lab partners who take on big pharma and government agencies as they try to bring a medicine that cures everything to the whole world. Co-creator Steve Hely and writer/director Sean Buckelew will join the series voice cast including Martha KellyEmily PendergastJoseph Lee Anderson and Dave King to discuss the new series. Friday (7/26) at 11am, Indigo Ballroom
  • Adult Swim’s “Rick And Morty: The Anime” Series First Look – Go further into the multiverse of Rick and Morty with the new series “Rick and Morty: The Anime” as it lands at San Diego Comic-Con.  Writer/director Takashi Sano, producers Joseph Chou and Takenari Maeda, and Adult Swim’s head of action and anime Jason DeMarco will share details about the intergalactic adventure and show you the inner workings of the new series on Adult Swim. Friday (7/26) at 12pm, Indigo Ballroom
  • “My Adventures with Superman” Screening Presentation and Panel – Join executive producers Jake WyattJosie CampbellBrendan Clogher, and voice cast members Jack QuaidAlice LeeIshmel Sahid, and Kiana Madeira as they answer your burning questions from season two. Plus get the early scoop on all the action, comedy, and romance that awaits Clark, Lois, and Jimmy in season three. Airing on Adult Swim, “My Adventures with Superman” is produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Saturday (7/27) at 10am, Indigo Ballroom 
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BMI® and White Bear PR are excited to present “The Character of Music: The Art of Scoring for Animation,” at Comic-Con 2024. The panelists include BMI composers Sherri Chung, Deana Kiner, Kevin Kiner, Sean Kiner, Joy Ngiaw, along with composers The Newton Brothers and songwriter Alex Seaver. The panel will be moderated by White Bear PR’s Chandler Poling and introduced by BMI’s Director, Film, TV & Visual Media, Louie Stephens.

Step into the mesmerizing world where sound meets artistry at this year’s “The Character of Music: The Art of Scoring for Animation” panel. Discover how composers work hand in hand with animators and directors to weave a seamless tapestry of sound and imagery. The panelists include Deana, Kevin and Sean Kiner (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Star Wars: Rebels), Sherri Chung (Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, Based On A True Story), Joy Ngiaw (Blush, Barbie Mysteries), The Newton Brothers (X-MEN ’97), and songwriter Alex Seaver aka MAKO (Arcane: League of Legends). 

San Diego Convention Center Room 6BCF
111 W. Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101 

Sunday, July 28, 2024 


2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. PST

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