The Jungle Book (2016) Movie Review

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The new movie, The Jungle Book features a star-studded cast and amazing special effects to give us a new version of the story based off of the popular children’s book. Director, Jon Favreau was able to capture and create the main piece of this story, which is the extravagant jungle environment. He was able to bring the audience into the jungle world with rich colors and realness of the growth and animals found there. Even though almost the entire movie is made using computers, children and adults alike are able to enjoy this familiar story.

This story takes after the Disney animated version, as we follow along with Mowlgi (Neel Sethi) to his journey of finding his village. As a human Mowgli is seen as an outsider to most of the animals but is raised among a pack of wolves by Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) and Raksha (Lupita Nyong’o). Mowgli grows up in the jungle and then decides that he wants to find the village of humans to see where he came from. The black panther Bagheera (Sir Ben Kingsly), helps Mowgli along in his journey and they encounter many adventures. They meet the hypnotic snake, Kaa (Scarlett Johansson), the laid-back bear, Baloo (Bill Murray), and the giant monkey, King Louie (Christopher Walken). Throughout their adventures, Mowgli is hunted down by the angry tiger Shere Kahn (Idris Elba), who wants to kill Mowgli because he doesn’t like humans.

All of the CGI animals seem extremely real, even on the big screen. The special effects used in this movie could revolutionize the way they are used in live action films. Some of the animals look better than the others, but overall they are still amazingly similar to what you would find in the real jungle.

This is the third live-action movie that Disney has released, following Maleficent and Cinderella. However, so far this is the only one to actually feature songs that were used in the animated version. The animated Jungle Book featured many songs that contributed to the main story while this live-action movie only features “Bare Necessities” and King Louie’s “I Wanna Be Like You”. The songs don’t seem to come up naturally and almost seem a bit awkward, unlike the animated version. Of course, “Bare Necessities” is an absolute must for this movie, but since the movie doesn’t have the feel of a musical, it comes off as random. This 2016 movie could have included all the songs from the original movie and made it into more a musical and it probably still would have been just as good.

Fans of the original movie are sure to love this rendition as it includes a few more side plots, as well as a more in depth look at Mowgli. Even though it is a remake of a much loved animated movie, it still brings a fresh, new look to the story. Overall, The Jungle Book is a highly recommended film that shouldn’t be missed. The amazing CGI and classic characters will make everyone fall in love with story all over again. Disney plans on remaking more of their animated films as live-action movies, but until then we can continue to enjoy this version of The Jungle Book.

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