Andrea Mendoza, Reporter
Rudyard Kipling’s beloved story returns to the big screen in this Walt Disney Pictures production directed by Jon Favreau, who also directed Avengers: Age of Ultron and Iron Man 3. This action- filled spin on The Jungle Book wasn’t only filled with big beasts, realistic CGI effects and an amazing cast, it’s also filled with humor for every age, thrilling action and occasional sing-alongs.
The movie starts off with Mowgli (Neel Sethi) growing up with his wolf-pack family and mom Raksha (Lupita Nyong’o). This is a predictable storyline—boy meets world and becomes a man. Under the guidance of black panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley), Mowgli is taught to act and think like the animals in the jungle, but he’s still referred to as a “man cub” by them. As the driest year shadows the jungle, Shere Khan (Idris Elba) the most feared tiger, threatens to kill the wolf pack to get rid of Mowgli because humans aren’t allowed in the jungle.
Mowgli decides to leave with Bagheera before there’s any harm done. But Shere Khan’s hatred for Mowgli becomes an obsession to kill. Throughout the movie, Mowgli and Bagheera encounter the hypnotizing python Kaa (Scarlett Johansson) and famous singing bear Baloo (Bill Murray), which Mowgli befriends. Mowgli, Baloo and Bagheera continue taking the man cub home, but not before some terrible news is bestowed upon them that make the trio go back home and facing off with Shere Khan. As the movie and Shere Khan’s hunt for Mowgli continues, Mowgli learns that the jungle is and will always be his home no matter if he’s a man.
Disney’s original The Jungle Book was filled with music, but this version only included four songs with two being the most well-known from the original.
The lack of music was disappointing as it was a main highlight in the 1967 version, and makes the audience sing along. The visionary spectacle in this version somewhat compensated for the musical part of the movie.
The CGI effects were fantastic as it made the movie stand out, especially in 3D. Although the movie was filmed in a warehouse, the walk through the jungle seemed too real to be fake.
The characters popped out at the audience a couple of times, giving the audience a good scare and on occasion making the kids scream.
Well-known characters like Baloo, Shere Khan and Bagheera were too absent from the main screen. The movie seemed to be more about the development of Mowgli’s character instead of them.
There’s never a scene without Mowgli being the star and this gets overwhelming. The movie lacked background to the rest of the characters and a more in-depth look into their personality, making the movie miss information.
Although The Jungle Book isn’t a must-see, it’s an enjoyable movie.
I give it HHHII
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