Welcome to the Jungle


Devon Regal, Staff Writer

The Jungle Book is a bare necessity for any Disney fan. A perfect mix of nostalgia and modern twists allow this movie to rival the 1967 animated classic on which it was based. Directed by Jon Favreau, The Jungle Book should set the standard for all future Disney remakes.

Disney is in a movie recycling phase. With Cinderella and Maleficent in the past and Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, Tink, and many more coming in the future, there are bound to be both hits and misses. The Jungle Book is an undeniable hit.

Mowgli (Neel Sethi) has been raised by wolves but is forced to leave his home when Shere Khan (Idris Elba) makes a dangerous threat. With the help of strict, authoritative Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) and fun-loving, eccentric Baloo (Bill Murray), Mowgli embarks on a journey of adventure and self-discovery. Along the way, Mowgli encounters deceitful Kaa (Scarlett Johansson) and manipulative King Louie (Christopher Walken). The film often strays from the original, but it is still delightfully charming and new.

Twelve-year-old boy Neel Sethi makes his debut in The Jungle Book as Mowgli and steals the show. His acting is even more impressive when one takes into account that all of his costars are computer-generated. On top of that, Sethi did his own stunts. Sethi is a talented young actor that will hopefully star in future Hollywood films.

The overwhelming beauty of this film is what sets it apart from all others. It is almost unimaginable that every ripple in the water, every leaf on a tree, and every hair on an animal’s back is computer-generated. One of the most visually stunning scenes in the movie stars Raksha (Lupita Nyong’o) and Mowgli sharing a tender moment as rain falls behind them.

The idea of animals with moving mouths causes many to cringe, but The Jungle Book achieves this difficult feat with ease. Audiences leave the theaters forgetting that animals cannot actually speak English.

Voice acting is one of the main highlights of The Jungle Book. Bill Murray was perfect to bring Baloo to life. Idris Elba and Ben Kingsley also flawlessly represented the personalities of Shere Khan and Bagheera, respectively. Christopher Walken as King Louie was a refreshingly new take on an age-old character.

The only negative characteristic of this movie is the voice acting of Scarlett Johansson. Johansson’s voice does not match Kaa at all and differs greatly from the voice of Kaa in the original The Jungle Book.

The Jungle Book provides an experience that is both new and old, perfect for both fans of the original and families looking for a new story to enjoy. This trip into the jungle is one that should never be forgotten.