The Jungle Book Review

Most people are familiar with the old animated film called The Jungle Book. I would definitely call it a classic, and it was a part of my own childhood. Nowadays the animation is pretty outdated along with the plot, so now we have an all new Jungle Book movie for a new generation. How is it? Well, it is good but flawed.
Forget About Your Worries And Your Strife
One aspect of the film that truly impressed me has to be the CGI. It may not always be perfect (more on that later), but it is still quite extraordinary. You have to keep in mind that almost everything on screen is not real, which is such an amazing accomplishment. The environments often times looked amazing, most of the animals looked great, but most importantly I believed that Neel Sethi (Mowgli) was actually in the jungle. Since most of the film consists of animations, the shots never ceased to impress. There is one shot in the trailers where Mowgli and Bagheera are crossing a river while there is a waterfall in the background which shows just how beautiful the film and its environments are. I barely touched on Neel Sethi, but it has to be noted that he gives a very good performance. Sometimes his delivery can be a bit wooden, but often times I believed this kid was talking to these animals. It must have been tremendously difficult to act against nothing, but Sethi pulled it off. As far as the voice cast that brought the animals to life, most of them did really well with a few standouts. I absolutely loved Lupita Nyong’o, Ben Kingsley, and of course Idris Elba. Again, the rest of the voice cast did a really good job, but these are the three that truly amazed me. Nyong’o brought a lot of warmth to her character. Kingsley made his character very proper and likable (even when he was unlikable). Elba though, he brought such ferocity to Shere Khan. Every time he uttered a word, I felt his anger and his rage. This brings me to my next point which is about the plot and its characters. In the original animated film, Shere Khan is a villain, but the film never really explains why. This film takes some time to give him some backstory, and even gives him a more diabolical role than before. This is true for the wolf pack as well. Their role is expanded in this film, which serves for some truly intense sequences. There are some great decisions that the filmmakers make which enhance the story from the original animated film, but not every decision was a good one.
Did You Think I Would Let You Grow Old
One of the biggest problems I have with this film is the plot itself. It never felt quite as cohesive as it could have been. Similar to the original animated film, it feels like a bunch of scenes strung together by a loose plot. It definitely feels more intact than the original film, but I still think the plot could have been a bit tighter. Some of the characters were sidelined such as Kaa. In fact, her whole sequence was a complete waste. It did not add to the plot at all, but it felt like the film wanted to include every character form the original in some capacity. I have mentioned how I like how the film tackled Shere Khan, but I do not like the backstory they gave him. Without spoiling anything, the film gives him a very cliché backstory. I liked the relationship between Baloo and Mowgli, but I wish it was a bit more developed. It feels like they became friends far too quickly. Finally, while the CGI is amazing, there were a handful of shots where I could clearly tell that Neel Sethi was standing in front of a green screen. The compositing was not great in those shots, which was surprising seeing as though most of the other shots looked so good.
Closing Remarks
I thoroughly enjoyed watching The Jungle Book. Not everything in the film is perfect, but there is still a lot to behold. Oddly enough this film may be a bit too scary for some children. I know one or two scenes scared me just a bit, so keep that in mind if you want a man/woman cub joining you to see this film.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s