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Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Jungle Book (2016) Review

          The Jungle Book (as many of you might know) follows a little boy named Mowgli who was raised by wolfs and is hunted by the vicious tiger Shere Kahn. Mowgli is constantly trying to make sure Shere Kahn doesn't get to him while at the same time trying to get back to his people. 
          When Jon Favreau (the director) introduced this movie at D23 (the all Disney convention), he said this was going to be one of the most technologically advanced movies of all time. And it sure was. This whole movie was shot in LA on sound stages/sets. Nothing was shot in an actual jungle. Not one animal in this movie is a real animal. They were are all done with computers. That is crazy to think about. This whole movie was shot indoors. The movie was breathtaking and beautiful. I often found myself having to bring me back into reality because I believed what I was watching was real. 
          The only practical thing in this movie was the boy Mowgli played by first time actor Neel Sethi. He had to act with nothing. He acted by himself this whole movie. For being a young kid, he did an exceptional job. I've seen adult actors completely fail at acting with nothing. Sethi did awesome. 
          Besides the visual effects the main reason I wanted to see this movie was the cast they got to do the voice acting. Everyone, and I mean everyone did a perfect job voicing their characters, so I'm only going to talk about my favorites. Idris Elba as Shere Kahn was very menacing. He gave layers, and depths to his character that wasn't there in the original. The character as a whole had better motives than the one in the cartoon. Elba's voice is so smooth, and dark that makes it a perfect choice for a villain. Christopher Walken voiced King Louie. And this, this was inspired casting. Walken has one of the most iconic voices in Hollywood, and casting him as one of the most iconic Disney characters was the best thing they could've done. But the best voice in this movie was Bill Murray as Baloo. Murray has been on a cold streak lately, not putting his full effort into his performances. But you could tell that he put effort into this character. Murray is one of the greatest comedic actors of all time and it definitely showed in this movie.  
          The Jungle Book is a movie that you will not get bored watching. If you are not liking the story/writing, the visual effects will keep you invested. It's hard to say that a remake of a movie is better than it's predecessor, but the 2016 Disney Jungle Book is better than the 1963 Disney Jungle Book. This modern retelling added story points that enhanced the story. It actually improved on the original. This will now be known as the definitive Jungle Book movie. At least for this generation. 
          But do beware, if you have little kids that are under the age of 6, you probably shouldn't take them to see this. It has some dark and scary moments. But I guess it just depends on your kid. If they were fine watching the Lion King, they would be fine watching this. I'm going to give The Jungle Book a 4.5/5. There were some slow story points, so I can't quite get it to perfect. 

          If you were worried that there wouldn't be any classic Disney songs in hear, don't worry. There are 2 and they are absolutely my favorite parts in the movie. If you want to here more classic Disney songs, stick around for the credits.  

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