By TRENTON JUDD & NATALIE SACKET
Natalie: 4 out of 5
Take an exciting journey with your favorite jungle boy, Mowgli, in “The Jungle Book.”
Disney can applaud itself on yet another successful live-action remake of its films. “The Jungle Book,” a remake of the 1967 animated film based on Rudyard Kipling’s book by the same name, is sure to awaken a sense of nostalgia in you. The film closely follows the original plot of one of your favorite childhood animated films, elevating it to a whole new level and genre.
The star-studded cast includes big names like Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken and Lupita Nyong’o, though they made appearances only in voice acting. The true star of this film was the young Neel Sethi, playing the lovable Mowgli. Not only is this kid a talented actor, but he did a phenomenal job acting in what was primarily a CGI film.
Speaking of which, the animation of this film was gorgeous. I kept forgetting that these weren’t real animals onscreen. I’m honestly amazed by all that can be done with a mix of cinema and technology. This film can truly be considered a masterpiece. It’s depictions of the jungle will leave you breathless. You’re imagination will be ignited with this phenomenal, visually dazzling adaptation.
It’s an adventure film unlike any you’ve seen of late. One moment, you’ll be tense with anticipation; the next, you’ll be touched by a heartfelt moment. It’s an emotionally-charged tale, one that will leave you with plenty of moral lessons.
Its PG rating makes this a great family friendly outing, but it’s a film enticing for any age of viewer. Movie lovers young or old, this is the film for your next evening off.
Bottom Line: Pack your survival kit. It’s an adventure out there with “The Jungle Book.”
Trenton: 4 out of 5
It looks like Disney is looking to create a cinematic universe based on live action reboots of their old animated films. How does a live action version of “The Jungle Book” hold up with today’s standards?
This version of “The Jungle Book” tells how a lost child named Mowgli, played by Neel Sethi, is left alone in the woods until a panther named Bagheera, voiced by Ben Kingsley, takes Mowgli to a pack of wolves where he is raised by a wolf named Raksha, voiced by Lupita Nyong’o. The wolves are accepting of him, but a tiger named Shere Khan, voiced by Idris Elba, has a particular hatred toward humans and threatens to disrupt the bond of the only family Mowgli has known.
I’ll start off by saying that Neel Sethi is an amazing actor due to the fact that he is the only real thing in this movie. Sethi has to act on his own against purely CGI characters, and he does this perfectly.
This leads me to say the CGI in this movie is very well done and the characters seem so human, but this is probably due to the advanced motion capture technology that is used on top of the voice talent behind many of these animals.
Each character Mowgli comes across is memorable, but there are some characters I felt should have had more screen time due to how much potential they had.
Some of the pacing in this movie is a little off, and I feel that it tries to rely too much on the old movie to be entertaining. What I mean by this is there are two songs from the original movie, and one of them works to where it feels organic in the situation, but the other song does not fit the look or the situation of the character that is singing it. What I would have preferred is if they had switched this particular song and another character’s song that played during the end credits. Even though this certain song felt off, it did not distract from the overall movie.
The writing was done well, and you can tell where the writers decided to use more of the book in this version, which does makes this different from the 1967 cartoon.
As you can tell from the trailers the tone of this movie is also very different from the cartoon because of the darker colors, and it does have some intense scenes that reflects our modern society’s needs for things to be realistic, but this movie still remains kid friendly.
Bottom Line: “The Jungle Book” was a great movie that is faithful to the book and faithful to Disney’s brand. I would definitely recommend watching it and I look forward to the other live action reboots that Disney has in store for us.