FILM REVIEW: The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book

Nerve’s Shemonti Shams reviews Disney’s latest release, The Jungle Book.

Disney has gone back to its roots by re-telling the classic tale of The Jungle Book. Backed by a talented new actor along with a star-studded cast, The Jungle Book is probably one of the best movie releases this year.

If you’re a Disney fan, you are sure to have already seen The Jungle Book, but if not (how?!), the story follows a little boy called Mowgli (Neel Seethi) who was left in the Jungle and raised by a pack of wolves, including a she-wolf (Lupita N’yongo) and her little cubs. Mowgli is now being hunted the big bad tiger, Sher Khan (voiced by the brilliant – and extremely handsome – Idris Elba). Mowgli is helped along in his journey to survive by Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) and Baloo (Bill Murrey). Along his adventure Mowgli runs into many wild animals, namely King Louis (Christopher Walken) and Ka (Scarlett Johansson).

The plot of the film are pretty much the same as in the original Disney movie, however, there is a total lack of songs in the movie. However, they kept the two best ones, ‘Bear Necessities’and ‘I Wanna Be Like You’, which was enough to satisfy fans of the original film. One major difference was the ending, and although I won’t spoil it, I will say this movie took a different path, and in my opinion I preferred this ending better. I believe this ending is far more loyal to the original The Jungle Book novel by Rudyard Kipling.

The Jungle Book

Still from original Disney adaptation of ‘The Jungle Book’

The starring role of Mowgli was perfectly played by newcomer, Neel Seethi, who acted extremely well considering the fact that, while filming, all he had was sock puppets and a green screen to work with. His perfect likeness to the animated Mowgli in the original film made him a favourite from the start. The best voice actors throughout this film (even though everyone was perfect) has to go to Idris Elba – he made the character of Sher Khan equally charming and terrifying. Of course the snake Ka, voice by Scarlett Johansson whose sensual voice took over the whole scene.

As always, Disney animation did not fail. The fact that it was all animation, apart from Mowgli, did not hinder the story-telling. In fact, when watching in 3D, all the aspects of the jungle, such as the plants, water and fire, all looked crisp and enhanced.

All in all, it was a great movie. People of all ages will enjoy this classic, not because it’s Disney, but also because there are new surprises throughout the whole movie. This is a perfect addition to the list of live-action fairy tales that Disney has in store for us.