Being the huge Disney fanatic that I am, I could not wait to see The Jungle Book (2016) ever since it was released on our screens in a trailer last year. The original adaptation is one of my all-time favourite childhood and Disney films. Luckily, it was released in UK cinemas on 15th April 2016. The popularity of the film was significant as the cinema was full this Sunday afternoon with children, teens and adults.
My grandad used to always put it on via the VCR and the ‘Bare Necessities’ song would light up my face as soon as it came on, just as it does now. The Jungle Book originally appeared into our world through moving image in 1967. It is about time they released a live action adaptation.
The fantasy-drama brings us a live action version of the story where Mowgli played by Neel Sethi is raised by wolves. As happy as a family as they are, not everyone is best pleased about the ‘man cub’ being in the jungle. I am sure we can take a guess as to who this character is?
Yes of course, it is Shere Khan. As you would expect, Khan wants to capture Mowgli and he does not believe in a man cub inhabiting in the jungle. You would think that once Mowgli decides to leave, this would be enough for Khan, but no, he does not stop there. Comparatively, the animals of the jungle view the elephants as their god as they bow down to respect them. You can imagine how much this frustrates the almighty Khan, right?
Mowgli loves to explore the jungle and experience the ‘bare necessities’ of life. His relationship with Bagheera is as wonderful as it appears in the first 1967 film. The protection and safety of Mowgli is his main purpose in the jungle. Although, along with the other animals, he believes that they should adhere to Khan’s rules as they fear from his intimidating personality and danger to their own lives and to the lives of their family.
My favourite part of the original film is when Mowgli meets Baloo, which is also illustrated in this most recent adaptation. They way in which they click and show each other new things is something special in their relationship. Just like the scene when Mowgli glides through the river on Baloo’s belly. They learn how to have fun and to understand the importance of friendship. Even though he attempts to deny this when Bagheera needs Baloo to influence Mowgli to go back to man’s world.
Aside the many traditional aspects of the film, there were also new methods which bring an element of surprise to the audience. Bill Murray’s Baloo does mutter the lyrics of the Bare Necessities song a little; however, it is Christopher Walken’s portrayal of King Loui which mixes the beat and atmosphere up.
His followers, those cheeky little monkeys want to bring Mowgli to King Loui. Let’s just say, King Loui reveals a fun side, even if he sings the lyrics in a darker tone as he is benefiting his pleasure through Mowgli’s possible power from the man’s world.
One character which I was hoping to have seen more of was Kaa played by Scarlett Johansson. She delivers Kaa’s lines brilliantly however, it would have been worthwhile to have heard more from her.
Though, I should mention that the way in which the director, Jon Favreau, has balanced the traditional and new aspects of the film together is applause worthy. It takes a lot of thought and time to make a live action version of any cartoon and I was not disappointed with his result whatsoever. The voices were perfectly suited to each character.
Overall, the film is shot so beautifully and impressively. I would definitely recommend that you go to watch this film, whatever age you are. Even if you have not seen the original, you might fall in love with The Jungle Book after watching this adaptation. The comedic value, heart-felt moments and joy of the film is one for all to enjoy.