The new reboot of the movie The Jungle Book can be summed up as an absolutely masterpiece.
I will be honest, I was a bit hesitant about this reboot when it was first announced. I mean, it is hard to beat the ICONIC original Disney animated movie. BUT, I am happy to say that I was so pleasantly surprised by this reboot. It truly lives up to the original and goes beyond. It honors the original Disney movie AND the original book it is based on. It breathes new life into the classic tale while bringing it into the modern world and audiences.
One of the things that started to win me over was the AMAZING voice cast. Along side the debut of charismatic newcomer Neel Sethi of Mowgli, we have Bill Murray voicing Baloo, Sir Ben Kingsley as Bagheera and Lupita Nyong’o as the voice of mother wolf Raksha, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, Giancarlo Esposito as alpha-male wolf Akela, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, and Christopher Walken talk-sings as King Louie. I can’t get over how wonderful this voice cast is. They worked flawlessly together. But best off, despite being huge fans of all these people as actors, I found myself getting lost in their voices as their characters and not picturing their faces anymore. The chemistry was undeniable between the actors and Sethi as Mowgli.
The special effects were magnificent as well. I wish I had gotten to see it in 3D because the entire movie was insanely beautiful. The environments were beautiful and all encompassing. I spent a lot of the movie awestruck by the setting of each scene.
The Jungle Book stands out from the original Disney Animated Film in that this one is for EVERYONE. Children and adults will love it. Literally everyone of all ages will enjoy and adore this movie. It retains the talking animal tale that entices kids – it even keeps “The Bear Necessities” this time sung by Bill Murray! – but its designed like an adult movie with big effects, rich atmospheres, and deeper themes that adults will comprehend.
There are few movies as beautiful as this one and it is definitely one that you will want to watch over and over again. I can’t forget to mention how awesome the home DVD and Blu-Ray release of this is. If you purchase the home copy, you get SO many fun special features that I found are definitely worth the time and money. They include:
“The Jungle Book” Reimagined – Favreau sits down with producer Brigham Taylor and visual effects supervisor Robert Legato to discuss “The Jungle Book” and reflect on the years they devoted to the reimagining of this timeless tale. Discover how Rudyard Kipling’s original stories and the classic animated film influenced their unique approach, witness the technical wizardry that enabled the team to create a believable and thrilling movie-going experience, and learn how they borrowed a page from Walt Disney’s innovation playbook to make it all happen. Lastly, meet the all-star voice cast who help bring the film’s colorful characters to life, as well as the musicians who accent the adventure with a majestic music score.
King Louie’s Temple: Layer by Layer – So, exactly how do you create a musical number featuring one man-cub, a massive, legendary ape and an army of wild and wily monkeys in the Seeonee jungle? Viewers are granted rare and unique access to the development of the “I Wan’na Be Like You” sequence in which King Louie attempts to coerce Mowgli into giving up Man’s deadly “red flower” (fire). A fast-moving musical progression reel showcases storyboards, animatics, Christopher Walken’s recording session and visual effects layers, which ultimately merge to form one of the film’s most memorable scenes.
The Jungle Book is one of my favorite movies of the year and the home DVD/Blu-ray is exciting and fun for the whole family or whoeever wants to revisit the adventure over and over.