Hi guys. My mother and I were getting FastPasses for Animal Kingdom as part of our trip to Disney World this June. In the process, we discovered the light show for The Jungle Book, which made her want to go see it. And since I read the Rudyard Kipling Book and if course love the cartoon version, I naturally went along. Plus, one of my friends happily reccomended it to me. I wasn't too sure at first but I'll explain more in the review.
The Jungle Book 2016
Ok to be honest, I wasn't too sure of this movie at first. Not because it was live action, but because it looked too intense, at least from the first trailer. But after the second trailer and listening to some reccomendations and actually seeing it, it wasn't as intense as I thought, er aside from a few moments. So how does this film hold up? As a live action remake...um, it's okay. But as a stand alone film, it's pretty well done with a fair balance of drama and CGI. Even the music had remixes and homages to the original, like the overture music at the beginning. But I have to admit, the Man-Village conflict wasn't as strong as the animated version. I mean, Mowgli did have some sad moments about it, but I didn't see as much emotion, particularly the scene where Baloo has to send Mowgli away. The animated Baloo told Mowgli he could stay with him forever, but the 2016 version Baloo let Mowgli stay with him for one night after the spat with Bagheera. I didn't understand that scene very well. Next comes the changes of Mowgli's two other enemies: Kaa and King Louie. Kaa was turned into a female in this version. I wasn't too strong on that greatly. It wasn't the best choice ever, but to be fair Scarlett Johanssen does a pretty good job making Kaa subtly scary. Although I do wish Mowgli's backstory was shown in the beginning ging instead. It would have made more sense. Now how about King Louie? Well, his gigantithpous or whatever his form makes him more intimidating, but the idea of its fossil remains being more found in India was confusing. Oh well, can't explain it well. Interms of his actions, nothing too much has changed. He wants Mowgli to teach him the secret of fire just like the animated version. Unfortunately, I can't defend the animated version that much since there is little to no evidence to back him up. This version isn't as scary as I thought but he did creep me out a bit when roaring and popping on Mowgli's left and saying "Gotcha!" Yeah, I didn't like King Louie in this one that much either. Anyway, most of Mowgli's adventures in the jungle are pretty well done. His interactions with Baloo's neighbors are funny as well as Mowgli's attempts to get honey for Baloo, and Baloo himself. Bill Murray's performance as Baloo captures the comedy, despite the fact that this movie is more of a drama. Also, I love the fight scene of the animated version, but the climax is well done in its own way. (SPOILER ALERT!) Despite the fact that Mowgli has man's red fire-the jungle's worst fear, every animal recites the law of the jungle and stands up to Shere Khan like how groups should stand up against bullies. In addition, Akela and Bagheera kept scolding Mowgli for using his tricks instead of acting like a wolf in the jungle throughout the movie. THIS time, Bagheera told Mowgli to fight like what he is instead, which represents a " be yourself" message--that, and like the animated version a "brains beats brawns" message as well. And I will say, one thing this one definitely has over the animated version is the use of the elephants. When I first saw the picture of them with Mowgli, I thought they were looking to shoo Mowgli away like Colonel Hathi did. Turned out-no! After Mowgli saved the young elephant from the ditch, they saw him as a hero, looked past his species, and even helped put out the fire that Mowgli accidently started! I really liked that! So I have to admit, this is a pretty good movie. Though if you're not really a fan of the animated version or even of Rudyard Kipling's book, this film probably may not change your mind. But if it sound interesting enough to you, go ahead and check it out if you haven't already.