THE JUNGLE BOOK (Theater Release USA 2016)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.4|5.0 Starsììì

The Jungle Book—a disappointing Jungle Book remake—takes the story into live action as well as Computer-generated Imagery. While the film is an outstanding box office success, the challenges in this film are glaringly unresolved. Dialogue seems to revolve around scripting rewritten from an earlier cartoon perspective that does not match the tone of this film. There is a slowness about the film that hampers the original liveliness found in the fully animated 1967 version of Jungle Book that may be tied to musical scoring. The film does not ‘move along well’. The cinematography is quite good, but the film fails to provide that ‘wonderfulness’ that makes a Disney film great. It will be interesting to compare the 2018 Warner Brothers release of Jungle Book under the direction of Andy Serkis to this film.

Storyline

The tiger, Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), kills a young boy’s father. The boy is found by Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), a Black Panther, given the name Mowgli (Neel Sethi), and trained on how to live in the jungle. A wolf pack headed by Akela (voice of Giancarlo Esposito) and Raksha (voice of Lupita Nyong’o) raise Mowgli. When Mowgli is about 10-years old, the tiger Shere Khan decides to rid the jungle of ‘man cubs’. The animals cooperatively work together to save Mowgli’s life.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director and Producer Jon Favreau for his directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producers Molly Allen, Peter M. Tobayansen, and Karen Gilchrist for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), Ikki (voice of Garry Shandling), Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson), Gray (voice of Brighton Rose), Young Wolf (Emjay Anthony), Baloo (voice of Bill Murray), and young Wolf (Max Favreau).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. It’s always been an interesting children’s story, but the 1967 animated version is livelier and provides more heartfelt entertainment value than this version.

Ben Meyers

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