July 17, 2016

Movie: The Jungle Book (2016)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies — Tags: , , , , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 1:54 pm

imageAs we said when we reviewed the Rudayard Kipling’s book The Jungle Book, the book reads nothing like the original cartoon version of the movie Jungle Book made by Disney in 1967.  The book is, frankly, a lot more boring than the movie, which was a surprise to me.


So when I heard of that Disney was making a 3D animated version of the Jungle Book, I wondered if they decided to do it any closer to the book. After seeing the movie, I am happy to say that they have stayed mostly true to their own cartoon version.

Two other general points follow, and then we will focus on how this movie is.

First, Disney has always made movies based on folklore and children’s stories but they have seldom stayed true to the original. This is even before we take into account the twists introduced in the remade versions like Maleficent.

We all know that the real ending of the Little Mermaid is not as is shown in the movie. As for Hercules, the Disney story is so far from the myth that it does not even seem to refer to the same Hercules of mythology.

Once they decided to make a revisit of all their cartoons into animated movies (A whole series like Jungle Book, Maleficent, Tarzan and now Pete’s Dragon and God only knows what else) they seem to be oscillating  between retelling the story as in the cartoons (This movie is an example) and introducing a twist (a la Maleficent).

So this story follows the cartoon faithfully. True, there are minor deviations (for instance how Sher Khan is disposed of, finally, what happens to Mowgli at the end, the reduced role for Kaa and the sequence where Baloo gets Mowgli to get honey for him)  but generally, you can recognize the 67 version strongly in the story.

They have done a phenomenal job of telling the story in the new visual format. It is well made, the cast does its job beautifully, the characters (especially King Louis) are very impressive, and the animation of every character is so good that I wondered if the boy was real or animated! (According to websites, Neel Sethi has himself performed in the movie and not just voiced over an animated Mowgli).

Neel, amidst giants who have given voice to other characters (Bill Murray as Baloo, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera  and Scarlett Johansson as Kaa) has done a creditable job of being Mowgli.

The story is good, funny, and even if, in my opinion, not as crazily zany as the earlier cartoon version, it really good and keeps your interest. Chalk another good win for Disney in their quest to migrate cartoons to 3D animated versions and make money multiple ways from the same original idea.

Good movie to watch, good casting, updated ending to suit the times. A definite fun time to be had by all, I think.


– – Krishna


1 Comment »

  1. Personally, I wouldn’t consider “more faithful to the cartoon” to be a virtue, but I thank you for providing that information. (I’m a fan of the 1942 live-action adaptation.)

    Comment by Invisible Mikey — July 17, 2016 @ 2:58 pm

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