"Mowgli. They've given it a name. When was it we came to adopt man into the jungle?" Shere Khan, The Jungle Book
While in Los Angeles for Captain America: Civil War, I was also invited to screen Disney's The Jungle Book. The original animated version of The Jungle Book is one of my family's favorite movies of all time. In fact, this is the first time I think my husband was really jealous about a press trip. We probably watch the animated version at least a few times a year, singing along with our favorite songs. What's your favorite?
5 Reasons You Must See The Jungle Book
- The Visual Effects If I were to use one word, it would be STUNNING. The visual affects in this film are truly Oscar-worthy. You are with Mowgli as he runs through the jungle. Your heart races when he picks up the largest snake skin you could ever imagine, because you know that slithering reptile that shed it must be near. The animals are so incredibly life-like. The CG animation that created Shere Kahn's facial expressions is like nothing I have ever seen. When that tiger growls, it's hard to believe he isn't real. Take a look.
- The Music Again, in my opinion, I think there is a second Oscar nomination in The Jungle Book's future for the score. John Debney, who composed the music, collaborates quite a bit with Director Jon Favreau. Bare Necessities is so perfect, I can't wait for you to see this part of the film! If you saw it on Kimmel, you've already had a teaser! Warning, you won't be able to stop singing it once you've heard it!
- Baloo My husband's favorite character in the animated version is Baloo, and it will undoubtedly be his favorite in the live action version. Bill Murray does such an incredible job of portraying Baloo that you fall head over heals with that lovable bear all over again. But, when Baloo's friend Mogley is threatened, we see a new side of Baloo that will surprise you, but make you love him even more.
- King Louie Christopher Walken has way of creating his own version of any character, so King Louie is a little different in this live-action version of The Jungle Book. Though never meant to be a warm and fuzzy kind of Orangutan, he is larger than life in this version, and makes the film a little scarier than the animated version. I spoke to a little boy who was 5 ½ in the Disney store right after seeing the film and he loved it, but your younger movie-goers may be a bit frightened.
- The story The story stays pretty true to the original book written by Rudyard Kipling in 1894, but the voice actors bring it to life like never before. Director Jon Favreau has taken the 1967 film version of The Jungle Book and retold it in a way that is the same, but new. The characters take on stronger personalities because of the voices portraying them. I mentioned two of the voice actors, but so many others are just spectacular in this film:
- Moms everywhere will identify with Lupita Nyong'o as mama wolf Raksha.
- The smooth talking Scarlett Johansson as Kaa could lure anyone into her coil.
- Shere Kahn, voiced by Idris Elba, will put you on the edge of your seat each time he appears.
- I can't think of a better protector than Bagheera played so elegantly by Sir Ben Kingsley.
See this clip of Baloo and Bagheera.
Check out this pairing of the voice actors with their characters. It's absolutely amazing.
The Jungle Book swings into theaters TODAY, April 15th, in 3D, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D! I can't wait to see what you think, so come back and share in the comments! Who's your favorite character?