Saturday 28 May 2016

Review: The Jungle Book (2016)

My upcoming trip to Disneyland has got me on such a Disney movie hype right now! I wasn’t too bothered about seeing this version of The Jungle Book, the fact that 2 live action remakes got announced at the same time confused me too much, but I’m never one to turn down a trip to the cinema, especially as I’ve gone so few times this year so far.  I have been actively avoiding this, I really wanted to see it initially but then I panicked that it would ruin the original Disney version for me! However, my dad really wanted to see it and how can I say no to an old man ;-)


This 2016 version is, simple, a live action remake of the original Disney movie of the same name, only this version stays a little truer to the novel by Rudyard Kipling. Maybe it’s the realness of it all, but this version definitely feels darker. I’d think twice before letting very little young ones see this.  I jumped out of my skin numerous times and hid behind my coat a few more.  Some of the fight scenes were terrifying, I know for a fact that my three year old niece wouldn't be scared of this (she puts donkeys and swans in headlocks for fun!) but I would not like to be the one with her when she does.  I thought she was going to cry in The Good Dinosaur but alas she didn't....I did!

What’s the criteria for a Disney Short? I was expecting one for this, and then it went from the certificate rating to bam! Right in the action. I would have guessed only the animated ones get shorts, but Cinderella got Frozen Fever...or was that just a one off? Either way, I wasn’t prepared!

I had to keep reminding myself that Mowgli, played by Neel Sethi, is the only real part of this movie. Literally everything else is CGI, which is normally a recipe for disaster, but it’s done so well in The Jungle Book! The scenery is gorgeous, and the facial expressions of the animals and the way they move their mouths is so accurate it’s quite scary. Which is weird, because animals don’t talk. So accurate is the wrong word...but I know what I mean!  This made me properly belly laugh!

The CGI work was truly amazing, normally in movies with CGI you can see where the real boy running becomes a computer generated version but there was nothing, it was perfect. In hindsight, I should have not gone to see this film, with my irrational fear of animals and all, I didn't expect them to be so real I was freakin' terrified!


Speaking of which, can we just stop for a moment to talk about the voice actors? Both this version and Warner Brothers’ upcoming version have really hit the nail on the head here. Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, spot on. Idris Elba as Shere Khan, terrifying. Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, beautiful. Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, mystifying. I’m starting to run out of adjectives here. Bill Murray as Baloo was simply an amazing choice, and I don’t know whether it’s a good or bad thing that he absolutely stole the show. Move along Mowgli, we want more Baloo! Not much I can add to this other than BILL MURRAY is just the ultimate legend, the man can do no wrong EVER!

My only gripe is the character I was most looking forward to, King Louie voiced by Christopher Walken. Don’t we all just love trying to put on a Christopher Walken impression? I know I do! He just didn’t feel right though. In fact, the whole character felt off. This isn’t the King Louie I remember. He’s...scary, and when he sings ‘I wanna walk like you’ it doesn’t fit, seeings as this King Louie walks to little his fur has literally moulded to the floor he sits on. Ew. Even before the moulded soggy butt hair, I found Louie really nasty and horrid to look at but I have to admit for me the voice was perfect.  They made him seem like a bit of a mobster which is pretty appropriate considering his constantly pushing to get to the top.

This really did blow me away, the voices were so perfect for the characters, the CGI was stunning and I loved the story anyway but this took it to another level.  It was just so entertaining, there was no boring middle bits to get through.


That said though, this was much more fun to watch than I originally anticipated, and it’s definitely up there with Cinderella (2015) as one of the better remakes. I’m interested to see how Warner Brothers’ Jungle Book (currently slated for 2018) will compare! For me this blew Cinderella out of the water, by far the best remake of a Disney film yet!

Brilliant, can't wait to see it again when I can spend more time checking out the CGI scenery.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm... I wasn't going to see this, but your comment: "Literally everything else is CGI, which is normally a recipe for disaster, but it’s done so well" has interested me. Plus you said it is darker, and I like dark, so i reckon I might give this a shot. Plus I have no original or book to compare it to.