The Jungle Book - Review

The Jungle Book is a child’s imagination come to life, from the lovable characters to the gorgeous environments. 

Plot

The Jungle Book follows the same basic plot as its 1967 counterpart, The Jungle Book. The misadventures of Mowgli and company still make for an entertaining adventure, as well as teaching a valuable lesson. The huge cast of characters work excellently together, creating an enjoyable ride for big and little kids alike. Don’t expect The Jungle Book to be a musical, as it features only two songs off the original soundtrack, performed by Bill Murray (Bare Necessities) and Christopher Walken (I Wanna Be Like You). While the new Jungle Book may not be a musical, it makes up for that in its epic storytelling. 

Performances

The Jungle Book features a plethora of great performances, most notably Bill Murray (Baloo), Christopher Walken (King Louie) and Ben Kingsley (Bagheera). Bill Murray brings a great charm to Baloo, and is an example of pitch perfect casting. Christopher Walken’s King Louie is both terrifying and awesome, offering a huge spectacle and a much appreciated villainous humor to the film. Kingsley’s Bagheera is fairly reserved, but still serves as a wise advisor to the young Mowgli. Mowgli, played by the young Neel Sethi, is a great child actor, and plays the role with just the right amount of childlike curiosity, paired with fierce instincts. 

Style

It’s funny that for a movie that distinguishes itself in being the live action version of an animated classic, the focus is hardly on the practical objects and characters. While Mowgli and the bits of forest that aren’t animated are great, its the digitally animated characters that really run the show. The special effects are top notch, never once causing me to guess if something were real or not. If The Jungle Book has one problem, it’s that it takes a little too long to get to the good stuff. At almost 2 hours long, the movie spends the first half hour on Mowgli’s normal life, which felt like it could have been shortened. 

Summary

The Jungle Book is a faithful adaptation of the 1967 animated classic, but sets itself apart with it’s amazing visual effects and epic storytelling. Definitely a movie for the whole family. 

Pros- Storytelling, songs, animated animals, voices

Cons- Slow early on