Jungle Book Review

Small boy is followed by a black panther amidst scenic, waterfall landscape

The Jungle Book is a live action adaptation of Disney’s 1967 animated film of the same name and it is an incredible achievement in film-making. It is easily one of the most gorgeous movies I have ever seen.
Credit should be given to director, Jon Favreau, for capturing the soul of the original film and novel while also making it its own new thing entirely. For many kids going to see this movie, I’m sure they will come out of it loving the film. This will be their definitive version of The Jungle Book like the 1967 version was for many generations before. Personally I see this as the definitive version as it takes all of the best portions of the original and adds onto them in the best ways possible.
The thing that makes the film stand out are the special effects as everything is absolutely breathtaking. Nearly everything from the environments to the animals are CGI with the exception of Mowgli.  Even though the film is almost entirely CGI, it is incredible how everything is so extremely lifelike; moreover, this CGI is the best that I’ve seen since the latest Planet of the Apes film. 
Of course while the film is spectacular to look at, it also needs to have the characterization to pull it off and make it look more convincing.  Every single voice actor in this film was perfectly cast. Bill Murray is absolutely fantastic as Baloo and brings his own flavor to the character that stands out in all the right ways and really nails the “Bare Necessities”.  Ben Kingsley is also great as Bagheera. Christopher Walken voices the orangutan King Loui and does a great job blending comedy with a great song number.
However, the true standout in my eyes is Idris Elba as Shere Khan. Every time that this tiger is on screen he completely owns the movie. He stole the show in every scene he was in; however, I will say that at points he can be extremely dark and menacing which may scare younger children.
As for negatives on the film, I really only have one thing that bothered me which was some bad acting from Mowgli. He can get very doe-eyed and not seem like he knows where to look when he is acting. In addition, he can fall into the problem that beginning actors struggle with which is talking too fast and not pausing in order to allow the scene to flow properly. But this could be due to the fact that he isn’t working with any real actors and is just working with dots on a soundstage.
Final Thoughts: Overall I found this to be a fantastic film that completely enthralled me as a viewer from start to finish. Disney has captured movie magic yet again with The Jungle Book. This is a film that is perfect for the family to go see and have a great time at the movies.
My score for The Jungle Book – 9.2/10

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