[Movie Review] Disney’s The Jungle Book

Heading into the jungle with Disney’s The Jungle Book is a long-awaited adventure with mesmerising imagery and a strong story of humanity that flows along with it. 

Recreating the 1967 animation version of The Jungle Book, a much loved Disney classic, is no easy feat. To create the film with at least 90% done solely on CGI, that’s a laborious task for director Jon Favreau and his team to complete. And it is to his and the team’s credit in creating an incredible, realistic-looking trip down memory lane…

Disney’s The Jungle Book – (PG – Some Intense Sequences)

Language: English with Chinese Subtitles
Director: Jon Favreau
Cast: Neel Sethi, Idris Elba, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o
Duration: 106 mins

Rating: 3.5/5

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Newcomer Neel Sethi plays the ‘man-cub’ Mowgli who was found by Bagheera the panther (voiced by Sir Ben Kingsley) and grew up with the pack of wolves. Like predators hunting for its prey, the jungle’s hunter, tiger Shere Khan (voiced by Idris Elba) is out to kill Mowgli. The little boy reluctantly leaves his adoptive mother Raksha (voiced by Lupita Nyong’o) and is advised by Bagheera to return and find his own kind. “Follow the red fire”, he told Mowgli. On his way to find other human beings, he meets the funny Baloo (Bill Murray), came across hypnotic Kaa (Scarlett Johansson) stumbles upon King Louie (Christopher Walken), and fights back to save the jungle.

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There’s a certain kind of ‘magic’ in the animations from Disney’s pipeline, and for The Jungle Book, it is the lovable characters and the classic ‘The Bare Necessities’ that is still enjoyed by adults and children today. A very worthy mention are the cast of A-listers who breathes life into the CGI animals, giving them the depts of emotions and recapturing the ‘magic’ in the film.

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Sethi brings just the right amount of joy and energy to his man-cub character, despite filming mainly with green screens and studio set-ups. He interacts seamlessly with his environment and even managed to capture the bonds between the various characters, especially Baloo. Mowgli is funny, witty and a leader to his tribe.

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Disney’s The Jungle Book is an enjoyable all-singing, all-dancing movie for the family. While the lighter moments between Baloo and Mowgli are perhaps the scenes that the little children will adore, the appearances of ferocious Shere Khan can be a tad frightening. We will admit that a few of us got pretty spooked by the authenticity of this tiger pouncing on human preys. Having said that, it’s a worthy trip down memory lane for those who can’t get the song out of their heads.

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