Disney’s newest adaptation of the Jungle Book is an absolute feast for the eyes. If you haven’t seen it, you must. If you’re a visual person that loves getting lost in the scenery, this movie will not disappoint you. I will be spoiling.
Leaving the theater, I heard the people around me asking, “Were the animals real or computer generated?”. Indeed, the animals in this movie looked unbelievingly real. There was a scene in the beginning of the movie where Mowgli and his wolf pack are sitting in the rain and you could see each individual drop of rain being absorbed into the animals fur.
I remember being amazed at the dinosaurs in Jurassic World but these jungle animals will be hard to top.
It followed the classic animated version pretty closely and paid homage to Rudyard Kiplings book. Director Jon Favreau, Ironman, Monica’s rich boyfriend from Friends, took certain artistic liberties with the film for example, King Louie.
There was no Louie in Kiplings novel, and Disney gave the orangutan life even though the ape was not in its natural habitat. Favreau made his Louie a surviving Gigantopithecus which was once native to parts of India, and it was awesome.
Gigantopithecus was a 10 foot ape that died out around 100,000 years ago. Many anthropologists believe the huge primate was a plant eater. Studying the teeth and bones that have been discovered, scientists believe Gigantopithecus was the largest ape to have ever walked the earth.
Many Bigfoot enthusiasts believe that Bigfoot may be a relic Gigantopithecus that has somehow managed to survive alongside man undetected.
Christopher Walken lent his voice talents to the beastly ape. I felt like a kid again as he started belting out the lyrics to the classic Disney song Be Like You. As brilliant as Walken’s performance was, Bill Murray’s soul possessing Baloo the Bear brought tears to my eyes.
I was glad to be hidden behind my IMAX 3D glasses as Baloo started to sing the Bear Necessities. As you’re engaged in the movie, you aren’t expecting any musical numbers and once Kaa the giant python begins to entrance Mowgli, and doesn’t hiss her way through Trust in Me, you accept that this isn’t a musical but when it happens it’s totally unexpected and the film owned the songs.
Idris Elba as Shere Khan was terrifying to the children around me and I agreed with them. This ferocious tiger was as menacing as Darth Vader, as lethal as Jason Voorhees and he was as heartless as Hitler. Once ranked a number 12 of the top 30 Disney villains, this movie will raise Shere Khan closer to the top. I wouldn’t be surprised to find him in the top 5 after his re-imagining.
I loved the original Disney Jungle Book, nostalgia is great but this new film is the superior in every way. Some might even argue that it makes every other adaptation insignificant heading forward.
Did you catch the Christopher Walken Easter egg if you’ve seen the movie?
Let us know what you thought in the comments below.
The Jungle Book is in theaters now and is rated PG.