When I was little, I had a Jungle Book CD game, and I remember having lots of fun with it, so though I don't remember the original movie very well, I knew a few fundamentals going into this remake. Neel Sethi plays Mowgli, a boy of unknown age who was brought by a panther named Bagheera to the wolf pack. And he's managing. He has brothers and sisters to play with and parents who protect and appreciate him. Then during a very bad drought, Pride Rock is revealed, which is a special rock that holds a truce in it; it's where the water goes the lowest in the jungle, and the animals, predators and prey, give a temporary truce so they may all drink their water. The animals aren't really fond of Mowgli, though, especially his do-hickies to help him get water and help him climb. Then the truce is disrupted by Shere Khan, a tiger who is against all things man; even man cubs like Mowgli who did nothing wrong. Shere Khan orders Mowgli out of the pack. Or is it more? Either way, Mowgli is now forced to hunt for his own kind, and now we have The Jungle Book!
And wow, this movie really isn't for children Mowgli's age. It's probably easy to tell from the trailers, but if I were eight years old, this movie would have caused nightmares. Good thing I'm not anymore. Director Jon Favreau somehow manages to make a talking animal movie without making the animals lose their ferocity or realisticness, and allows each and every animal some admirable moments.
I also enjoyed the way Mowgli uses his abilities as a human to his complete advantage without showing himself off, which allows a small lesson for kids and adults in accepting difference and creativity. Lessons aren't usually big in movies these days anymore; there are so many lessons we've learned in movies that I don't think there's a single one that hasn't been covered somewhere. Thankfully, The Jungle Book is still able to be memorable in that regard.
I at first didn't think I was going to really enjoy the plot when I found out the X it was trying to get to on its map, but it flung me right back with a twist I never saw coming and was in awe from. I want to spoil it, but I won't. Bill Murray plays Baloo the Bear. Everyone knows who Baloo the Bear is, or at least what he looks like. And, well, I think Bill Murray should just accept that he's good when he plays goofy characters. He likes to be taken seriously, but usually that doesn't work for me. And props to singing "Bear Necessities" and "I Want to Be Like You" after all the serious advertising and yet still making the movie seem serious.
One curiosity I had for this movie were the after-effects of watching Pete's Dragon, a movie that was sweet but real underwhelming. Think of The Jungle Book as a film with the opening running sequence of Pete and Elliot playing and Pete running around the town confused and frightened with the special effects and running amplified and more sequences like that and this is the sort of treat you'll have. Oh, and it's kind of hilarious to see a bear as ferocious yet innocent as Baloo try to climb a mountain, ha ha! (I'm so evil. :) )
To tell you the truth, I guess the one thing I didn't like was a bee scene that just made me cringe as I kind of expected, and I had a few unanswered questions about one of the tribes. And maybe I don't want to see it again instantly. And I think Jon Favreau repeated a scene twice in the opening run. However, everything else; Neel Sethi as Mowgli, the voice actors, the animal CGI, the adventurous plot...The Jungle Book is a safe bet for anyone and everyone old enough to watch a tiger played by Idris Elba.
The Jungle Book is simply a lot of fun, a lot of sprinting, a lot of fun and dangerous jungle sets