THE JUNGLE BOOK

An utternly magical revisiting of a classic

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Karen Kunawicz

Karen Kunawicz

Some people go to the movies to be shocked, disturbed and held in suspense. These days all you have to do is go on social media to view election related posts. And you won’t need a full two hours to get agitated as well.

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In the case of Disney’s 2016 presentation of The Jungle Book, answering this call of the wild is probably one of the most soothing things you can do these days. Director Jon Favreau (Iron Man) totally delivers nostalgia and exuberance almost effortlessly with the help of a great lead actor, wonderful voice talents and seamless CGI. Justin Marks writes the screenplay based on the collection originally written by Rudyard Kipling.

The Jungle Book and it’s characters is such a well loved property and this version is just so beautiful and simple, it makes you think of life’s simpler and purer moments, and as with any good tale, it uplifts us with the triumph of hero and regales with tales of loyalty and friendship.

If you stick around for the credits, you’ll find the movie was shot entirely in downtown Los Angeles! Fancy that. While the special effects did not have to create astounding, outlandish or extremely extraordinary sequences, the team behind it did the most brilliant job of bringing and entire jungle—foliage, animals, sounds, scenery, colors and all to tangible, inviting life.

Some odd friendships can be such magical things. Neel Sethi is Mowgli and Bill Murray voices Baloo in Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’

Some odd friendships can be such magical things. Neel Sethi is Mowgli and Bill Murray voices Baloo in Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’

Kudos also goes to Neel Seethi who plays Mowgli—who had to do scenes likely looking at markers, character substitutes and a green screen.

Add to this the fabulous voice talents of Idris Elba (Shere Khan), Scarlett Johansson (Kaa), Ben Kingsley (Bagheera), Bill Murray (Baloo), LupitaNyong’o (Raksha), Giancarlo Esposito (Akela) and Christopher Walken (King Louie) and this show truly has so much sweet magic going.

I know this review is a little late as it opened here April 6th but I’m hoping this film gets a little extra love and has a longer run. It clocks in at one hour and 45 minutes and will best be enjoyed at an IMAX cinema.

Apparently this sweet film has done so well, a sequel has been green lit.

Andy Serkis (Snoke, Gollum) is set to come out with his version in 2018 with Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, Christian Bale as Bagheera, Cate Blanchett as Kaa. The director will also be playing Baloo. Warner Brothers will be releasing it.

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