The Jungle Book (2016)
The Jungle Books is the story of the young man-cub named Mowgli (Neel Sethi) who is raised by a pack of wolves in the jungle. The Jaguar, Bagheera (Ben Kingsley), acts as his mentor and teaches him the ways of the pack so he can fit in as best he can with the other animals. When the powerful and feared Tiger, Shere Khan (Idris Elba), learns that a man is in the jungle, he not only wants him gone, but he wants him killed. In order to keep him safe, Bagheera takes Mowgli to the outskirts of the jungle where he meets a carefree bear named Baloo (Bill Murray) who becomes his best pal, but when Mowgli learns of the influence Shere Khan has over the wolves, Mowgli vowes to return and fight the Tiger himself.
I never was a huge fan of the Disney animated version of the Jungle Book but we all saw it several times as a kid so its something we are all familiar with. Because of this fact, I feel like this movie didn’t need to be made, but Jon Favreau did a good job with what he created. The movie starts off with Mowgli being quite annoying as the story and characters are set up, but once Shere Khan shows up, the feel changes completely. Shere Khan is a top notch villain and not someone to mess with because he will mess you up! Sadly, once Mowgli runs off, Shere Khan disappears for the 2nd half of the movie (until the end) and I would have loved to see more of that Tiger! Mowgli’s time with Baloo seems to be a giant distraction as the 2 of them goof around for the most part enjoying life. This part leads to Mowgli running off and finding King Louie (Christopher Walken) which really seemed like a waste of time and filler for the story. I haven’t gone back and rewatched the Disney version, but I’m curious as to how much of this is on track with that adaptation.
As a whole, The Jungle Book is a well made movie with realistic animation and clever characters. I still believe that the movie didn’t need to be made, but I’m glad families are able to enjoy this tale once again. I’m not praising this movie like many others because I never really liked the story to begin with, but I still see the quality here. I’m glad some of the songs were included too! All in all, The Jungle Book will please both young and old! Co-starring Brighton Rose, Garry Shandling, Giancarlo Esposito, Lupita Nyong’o, and Scarlett Johansson.
7/10 Stars – Not a story I love, but the characters and animation make this one for both young and old!