When I was a kid, there were two Disney cartoons (excluding Toy Story) which I became incredibly attached to: The Jungle Book (1967) and Tarzan (1999), which featured some awesome original music from Phil Collins. So, once I heard both of these much-loved films were being re-made, I, like many others, was not okay with it at all. Despite this initial reaction, it is with great joy that I can say that Jon Favreau’s live-action take on The Jungle Book is seriously good, and one of the best films of 2016 so far.
First off, it is important to note that The Jungle Book is a live-action/CGI hybrid, rather than a straight out animation. In fact, some are predicting that it could be the first live-action film to win a Best Animated Film Oscar. However, as impressive as the visuals are, the film works wonderfully on other levels as well. Clocking in at around 106 minutes, the film is paced perfectly and manages to create a ferocious intensity to the story, whilst also giving characters real depth. The voice casting for the film is also pitch perfect, with Bill Murray (Baloo), Christopher Walken (King Louis) and Idris Elba (Shere-Khan) all being standouts. However, the film belongs to Neel Sethi, who manages to pull off an incredible performance as Mowgli, despite being the only live-actor in the entire film.
In regards to Tarzan, we will have to wait until July 7th to see whether David Yates’ The Legend of Tarzan stands up to the 1999 Disney animated classic. But for now, enjoy the beautiful film that is The Jungle Book and also check out our review of Captain America: Civil War and our thoughts on the latest X-Men trailer.