The Jungle Book

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Director:
Jon Favreau

Cast:
Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Idris Elba

Another Disney animated property that’s been turned into a live action movie, following Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, and Cinderella. This seems to be the new agenda for the company as they milk their well known stories for all they’re worth (I am curious how they’re handling the upcoming Beauty and the Beast adaptation).

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Jon Favreau takes the helm of this adventurous road trip where we meet a young boy named Mowgli who is raised by wolves in the jungle, and is forced to leave his home when a tiger decides the boy doesn’t belong there.

Along the way, the boy encounters new creatures including a seductive, hypnotizing snake, a giant Orangutan, and a easy going brown bear named Baloo. They each present a different challenge for Mowgli as he tries to find his way to his new home.

The voice acting here is top notch, especially Idris Elba as the villainous tiger Shere Khan. He’s completely menacing and terrifying. Bill Murray as Baloo is also very effective.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t a big fan of the original Disney animated feature of “The Jungle Book”, in fact it’s been decades since I’ve seen it from beginning to end. I feel that this movie is very much trying to rely on our memories of the original to keep us entertained, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This live action version might not be quite as fun or exciting if it wasn’t for our memories of the original cartoon from the 60’s.

That being said, this movie makes for an exciting adventure that the whole family can enjoy with some great characters, some beautiful images (especially in 3D), fantastic special effects, and even a few musical numbers to bring in the nostalgia. A good Disney family popcorn flick.

The Jungle Book 3.5/5

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