The older some of us get the more opportunities there are to see stories from our childhood adapted to live action adventures. The “Jungle Book” (originally an animated Disney film made in 1967) has endured decades to maintain a special place in the hearts of all of us who remember our first time experiencing this fun adventure. The idea of taking animals who talk and creating a believable world where man can coexist in live action is quite the challenge so let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts on “The Jungle Book” by Jon Favreau…
I will be honest as I always am when reviewing these films. I was excited to see this film. It was in my Top 10 most anticipated films of the year. However, I am a professional so I’m able to take a step back to examine the aspects of film making from a non biased view point, even though I was already inclined to believe it would be excellent. This film didn’t disappoint me at all. The story, classic. The adaption, superb. The voice actors, spot on. The computer generated imaging, beyond excellent. There is so much to enjoy in this film.
First, since this is a live action film I appreciated the time and attention to detail that went into making the visual world this film inhabits. You might believe that the time they spent working on this film was probably beautiful and torturous because of the wild jungle setting we see on screen. Well, the CGI (computer generated images) used in this film was revolutionary. We see a jungle but they made this film on a stage in California. This is the most ground breaking technology used for film to date. So when you see this, remember, this jungle was created, probably, on an Apple Computer. Amazing.
Next, how do we bring these animated animals to life? You hire some of the most talented actors alive to come and do voice work for you. This is exactly what Disney did. The characters personalities jump to life because the skill of the actors voicing these characters is unbelievable. Jon Favreau must be one of the most agreeable directors in hollywood to have a career of working with so many talented people. This film is stacked with talent and I recommend you clink the link to view the IMDB page on all the talent in this film. There’s way too many to mention, so I recommend you do visit their page.
However, the story will hinge on who you cast to be the “man cub” raised by wolves with the power to create “mans red fire” and Neel Sethi knocked it out of the park. Enter an actor who’s first major film role is this film. This kid was acting on green screens and when you consider how lovable his character is while knowing he’s got no real previous acting experience… WOW! I was not expecting his performance to impact me as much as it did. This kid did exactly what was needed for the film and that won me over.
“The Jungle Book” is in theaters now! I give this film all the bananas and fire that King Louie will want. And if you’re a fan of the original and some of those songs, you won’t be disappointed. This is a must see big screen film! If you can still see it on IMAX, do it. If not, still go see it. It’s a great movie for a date, or just a casual matinee viewing. GO SEE THIS FILM!