Classic story “The Jungle Book” brought to life in new remake


Avni Singh

Photo courtesy of Disney. The new “The Jungle Book” movie was released on North America on April 15, 2016 and was generally well received by critics. The movie currently has a rating of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a rating of 77% on Metacritic.

Avni Singh, Staff Writer

The 2016 “The Jungle Book” movie, inspired by the 1967 animated film, is a live-action movie based on the short stories written by Rudyard Kipling. The movie features an impressive voice cast and stunning computer-generated imagery (CGI).

The movie starts off by introducing viewers to the main character, Mowgli, played by 12 year old Neel Sethi. Mowgli is an orphan who was raised by a pack of wolves and a panther named Bagheera, voiced by Ben Kingsley. He has learned the collective language of the animals and the ways of the pack, and things are peaceful in the jungle.

The movie really kicks off when viewers first meet Shere Khan, voiced by Idris Elba. Shere Khan holds a grudge against humans, having been scarred by an encounter with one earlier in his life. The animals of the jungle have established a kind of peace treaty during a time of drought, and Shere Khan gives the wolves until the end of the drought to hand over Mowgli to him. Instead, Mowgli decides to leave the pack and go to a “man village” outside of the jungle. When Shere Khan learns this, he goes after Mowgli but is stopped by Bagheera, who was accompanying him to the village, and the two engage in a fierce battle. When he is unable to kill Mowgli, Shere Khan returns to the wolf pack’s territory in the jungle and kills the leader, Akeelah, knowing Mowgli will return when he hears news of this.

Mowgli is separated from Bagheera and tries to make it to the village on his own. Along the way he meets an array of interesting characters, including a snake named Kaa, voiced by Scarlet Johannsen, the well-known bear Baloo, voiced by Bill Murray, and the giangtopithecus King Louie, voiced by Christopher Walken.

Apart from the known and loved storyline of The Jungle Book, the movie is a visual spectacle, and characters come alive with the use of CGI. During close-up “shots” of the animals, every hair is visibly defined, and interactions between Mowgli and other characters seem completely real. In fact, critics are putting the CGI of The Jungle Book at the same level of that of Avatar and The Life of Pi, both of which are known for their stunning, life-like CGI effects.

Another positive aspect of The Jungle Book is that it is family-friendly and can be enjoyed by viewers of all ages. Though the storyline may seem childish, there is enough action to keep viewers in their teens entertained and at the edge of their seats as they watch Mowgli try to defeat the ferocious Shere Khan. Parents will also be entertained with the witty lines scattered throughout the movie, with one line in particular standing out, which takes place in an exchange between Mowgli and Baloo. When Baloo asks Mowgli to sing a song, Mowgli recites the “law of the forest” as told to him by the wolves, to which Baloo replies, “That’s not politics, that’s propaganda!”

Overall, The Jungle Book is an enjoyable movie for all ages, and a must-watch for fans of the original stories written by Rudyard Kipling.