IMDB Synopsis: The man-cub Mowgli flees the jungle after a threat from the tiger Shere Khan. Guided by Bagheera the panther and the bear Baloo, Mowgli embarks on a journey of self-discovery, though he also meets creatures who don’t have his best interests at heart.
Disney is at it again. “The Jungle Book” is the latest live action remake of one of their classic animated films following “Alice In Wonderland”, “Maleficent” and “Cinderella”. “The Jungle Book” is the best so far, by a long shot. It is a ground breaking film when it comes to the storytelling and visual effects. With this film and last month’s “Zootopia”, Disney is having on of their best years ever. Director Jon Favreau is also on fire lately with this and his last film “Chef”.
“The Jungle Book” is a seamless combination of live action locations and CGI characters. I have complained a lot in recent years that movies were relying too much on computer animation to create action and visuals. The CG in this house film is some of the most realistic I have ever seen. The animal characters jump right off the screen.
The voice actors are all perfectly chosen and give these computer generated characters their heart and soul. Bill Murray in particular is pitch perfect as Baloo the bear. I love how he sets Mowgli the man cub up for disaster when he sends him to retrieve bee hives full of honey.
Idris Elba is fearsome as Shere Khan. I love he isn’t just outwardly evil. He has genuine reasons for wanting to kill Mowgli. His mind is clouded by hatred for humans after a particularly nasty encounter with them. Ben Kingsley is wise and calming as Bagheera the panther. Scarlett Johansson voices Kaa the snake and Christopher Walken shows up as King Louie.
The story hits all the familiar beats and stays true to the classic story. Favreau isn’t just content to keep things basic though. He lets the darkness of this scenario creep in. This is one of the few family films that does not pull it’s punches when it comes to some of the scarier moments.
“The Jungle Book” is one of 2016’s best films. Hopefully it is remembered come years end. I know I won’t forget it.