Disney has been up to a lot of magical transformations lately, bringing old classics back to life in live action films. I was able to screen their latest masterpiece, The Jungle Book, while on a press junket last weekend. This post will include my review and The Jungle Book characters I liked the most, but all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. I will also do my best to keep this spoiler-free.
The Jungle Book – In Theaters April 15, 2016
First, here is my overall impression about the film: it was excellent. This is the movie I’d love to bring my eight-year-old nephew and my tween and teen kids to see. They rarely all love the same kind of movie, but this is one they’d deem go-to-the-theater worthy. If you’re planning to take the family, find fun activity sheets here.
I was a huge fan of the 1994 live action version but that surprisingly didn’t get as popular as I thought it should. As a ten year old girl, I loved seeing the real animals in the movie. I still don’t really know why it wasn’t more of a success. Well, obviously, Disney thought the same because here they are giving it another attempt.
If you thought they had it before, this time they nailed it. The CGI blends perfectly into the film so you’re never taken away from the fantastical world of the jungle. The storyline is classic yet different enough to keep you guessing as to what is going to happen next. The cast is superb. They couldn’t have found better talent to represent these famed characters. Plus, seeing it in 3D is a real game changer. I was leaping out of my seat, laughing hysterically, and even brought to tears.
The Jungle Book Characters – My Favorites
Mowgli and Gray Brother. Mowgli was cast absolutely perfectly–Neel Sethi was meant to play this role. He was a natural fit for the character we’ve known our whole lives. He is endearingly human and animal and steals your emotions right through the screen.
FUN FACT: Mowgli had 16 or 17 specialized loin cloths for this film. Each served a specific purpose for safety or performance.
Little Gray Brother plays the runt of the wolves and while he is a fairly minor character in the story, I fell completely in love with him. Voiced by Brighton Rose, his tiny voice left a big impact in the feels category.
Bagheera. Bagheera is the stereotypical, tough-love-delivering, father figure we all grow to love. Expertly voiced by Sir Ben Kingsley, (I mean, seriously, who else could be a better voice for him…) he is scary when he needs to be and then hilariously house-cat-funny.
King Louie. King Louie is startlingly enormous. Yet, he is able to break out in song and dare you to befriend him. Voiced by none other than Christopher Walken, he might be the perfect example of stranger danger.
FUN FACT: King Louie is based off of a legendary character, Gigantopithecus. Artists exaggerated his size and made the King 12 feet tall.
Baloo. How could I possibly make a list of favorites without Baloo! Again, Bill Murray gives this best friend bear, all the comedic brilliance he deserves.
FUN FACT: At full stretch he can reach nearly 15 feet high. He was so heavy and furry, he took nearly 5 hours per frame to render!
Kaa. This snake was always one of my favorites in the animated version because he just cracked me up. This gigantic female version voiced by Scarlett Johansson, is exquisitely mesmerizing and will have you wanting the soundtrack to the film immediately.
PS. The amount of talent overflowing from Scarlett is just unfair. Gorgeous, intelligent, phenomenal actress, AND she can sing?! C’mon! 😉
See The Jungle Book in theaters everywhere TODAY, April 15, 2016.
Which of The Jungle Book characters are your favorites?