Look for the Bare Necessities, the simple bare necessities, forget about your worries and your and your strife ... ever since I went to watch the new Disney’s The Jungle Book that released this past weekend, I can't seem to get that lovable song out my head. This movie has hit a sweet spot for all families, 94% on Rotten Tomatoes and grossing in $103 million dollars at the box office in it's opening weekend. For parents who were swept up in the tale of a young boy or man-cub raised in the jungle when they were kids to every present day child that imagines talking animals exist, this new live action adaptation is sure to be a delight for everyone. It's definitely a stunning take on a classic tale.
Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, The Jungle Book is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves in the jungles of India. Threaten with death by the tiger Shere Khan, Mowgli accompanied by his panther Bagheera, heads for a man village and finds many adventures and friends along the way. Here are my top 5 reasons why this is definitely a must-see movie this year:
1. THE WHOLE FILM IS SHOT IN CGI
Though this film is set in the jungles of India, the cast and movie crew never left the LA warehouse where the movie was filmed at. Almost the entire movie was created by a computer. The young actor Neeli Sethi who plays Mowgli, the only lone human face in the entire movie had to used his imagination as he walked and talked with practically nothing live around him. This alone is not an easy job for an actor, but probably even harder for a child actor. They had to film the movie and than added in the voices months later. The graphics are amazing and dimensional and makes you feel like your part of the jungle. From the moment Mowgli strokes his mother (Wolf), the animals talking, the distinctive details on the animals, realistic lighting, and the music – this movie only sets the tone of what technological revolution is on the way.
2. THE CAST
The film features an all star cast, including Idris Elba as the voice of fearsome tiger Shere Khan, Ben Kingsley as the voice of panther Bagheera, Bill Murray as the voice of free spirited bear Baloo, Scarlett Johansson as the voice of python Kaa, Christopher Walken as the voice of King Louie and Lupita Nyong’o, who voices the super protective mother wolf, Raksha. Need I say more.
He has to be my favorite character of the movie! This movie takes on a point of view of Bagheera as he narrates the audience through storyline from how he found and adopted the man-cub to the adventures and journey of them both throughout the jungle. He is Mowgli's loyal protector and guardian angel. Just the graphics alone of his sleek, shiny, black fur is amazing. My favorite parts are when he fights Shere Khan to protect Mowgli, it's such intense scenes that it almost seems like it mimicking a real fight between a panther and a tiger is happening. I can not express how much more can they make this panther look more realistic.
3. THE FRIENDSHIP OF BALOO & MOWGLI
How cute are these two together. Baloo's laid-back charm and playful characteristics can be more embrace due to the greatness of CGI. From his manipulation at first when he saves Mowgli from the awful and deceiving snake (warning that scene is gross) into a growing, fun and full of tricks friendship – you really get a feel for the development of their relationship. You might even shed a tear or two of how much love Baloo has for Mowgli. Don't say i didn't warn you.
4. THE EVIL SHERE KHAN
Ok, I know this is rated PG, but again kudos to the amazing CGI work in this film, I think it should of been rated PG 13 for the younger kids. This film really made you feel the hatred he had towards Mowgli and will stop at nothing until he kills Mowgli. He makes a great and believable villain. Again as mention above, the CGI work towards the matching of muscle movements on the animals are stunning that you really felt he was real. Might be a little scary for the younger kiddos.
5. 3D RECOMMENDED
I usually don't care for 3D anymore at movie theatres, but this one you might want to wear those nifty glasses for. The photo-realistic jungle environments look breathtakingly convincing, especially in 3D. It makes it much more immersive and a great experience. The marriage of natural and digital landscapes, combined with jaw-dropping realistic-looking animals is an incredible visual feat – and the 3D helps provide some fantastic depth of field. Every frame has vibrant color, motion and life that it's hard to distinguish the real from the fake.
In conclusion, I highly recommend watching this movie. From the stunning CGI work, to the brilliance of bringing this 1967 story to life through incredible vocal talented actors, I give it an A-. Let me know if you seen the movie and share some of your thoughts and comments below. Thank for reading my review! - xo Mel