Fairview Entertainment, Moving Picture Company (MPC), Walt Disney Pictures,

Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Walken, Neel Sethi

Disney brings us the live action Jungle Book based on their animated film based on Rudyard Kipling’s books. Mowgli (Neel Sethi) is raised by a pack of wolves until he gains the unwanted attention of Shere Kahn, the fiercest Lion in the Jungle. The panther Bagheera who found him, tries to take him back to the man village, but the journey is plagued with danger and the eventual meeting with Shere Kahn.

This live action version of the classic Disney film is by far the most successful of the animated to live films that Disney has been trying lately. Mostly I suspect this is due to the quality of the writing and the original stories. There are many surprises in this film and many things that have led to it’s huge success. First is Jon Favreau who is an excellent director who has outdone himself here. Second is the intense world developed by the animators of this stunning look at the jungle created on Disney’s lot in Burbank. The lighting, shadow, and details down to every hair is absolutely breathtaking. Then there’s the tribute to the original, while still making this a grown up totally different experience for those like me who have seen the original over and over again. The characters are mostly the same, and the major story points are pretty similar, but it juts off at a couple places that really makes this experience new. Then there’s the music. How can we beat Louis Prima’s “I Wanna Be Like You” or Phil Harris’ “Bear Necessities”. Well they did use much of the same music, though not all, but in a completely new and modern style that will let you remember the tune and the gist of the story, but with many new words and different sounds that make it feel like a new song in many ways. Unlike the cartoon, the music isn’t the main feature, but a background reminder of what you’re watching in a whole new light. Then there is the really exciting and fun voices. Bill Murray as Baloo and Christopher Walken as King Louie is fabulous. But all the voice talent is top notch, that’s for sure. Finally, the performance of Neel Sethi as Mowgli. There are whole clips on YouTube about how he was selected, and this kid is as unexpected as the stars of Slumdog Millionaire when it arrived on the scene. All the buzz is about this fellow, and he was unbelievably good. This is a must see film, so don’t miss out. Catch this one right away while it’s still in the theater on the BIG screen….the BIGGER the BETTER!!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Author: EdG

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