The Jungle Book (2016) Review

Another year, another Disney ‘reimaging’. Going through the past few years, Disney have decided to remake a handful of their films. Including ‘Cinderella’ and ‘The Jungle Book’ as the first few to be remade, they haven’t blown people away just yet, until now. Remaking a classic Disney film is a very difficult task. Keeping the nostalgia of the classics and inputting them into their new films is vital, but not too much of the originals as you wouldn’t have a reimagined product. ‘The Jungle Book’ for me, is the ground-breaking start by Disney to reimagine their classics. Using new found technology, we get to explore the jungle once again, but in a completely new light.

As you all know, we follow young Mowgli, the man cub through his journey of self-discovery as he embarks on a mission to find a new home in the jungle after a threat to his life by the tiger Shere Khan. Even though we know the story of the film and the events that will unfold, I still felt compelled to take a ride with the film and enjoy the events that unfolded. This has been possible by the incredible direction by Jon Favreau; the technology that is used in the film is superb. Everything you see looks 100% real and it was amazing to see this whole world come to life in front of you. I’m not a fan of 3D usually, but the 3D comes into effect massively and helps immerse you more into the surroundings.

Not only do we have a fantastic director at the helm of this remake, but we have a great balanced voice cast, too. Idris Elba, Bill Murray and Ben Kingsley are the stand out actors that fit their roles perfectly. Even though it was for one scene, Scarlett Johansson’s voice puts you into a trance as Kaa the snake. Her elegant and persuasive voice was again a stand out scene in the film. Bill Murray fits Baloo the bear perfectly; his sense of humour and kindness resonates through Baloo. You couldn’t ask for a better actor to portray this loveable character. The great thing about this new rendition of a classic story is that it doesn’t rely heavily on previous incarnations of ‘The Jungle Book’. The one bad thing I will point out on is the use of the classic songs from the animated movie back in 1967. In the new version, they tone down the songs and near enough blends them into conversation. I honestly think they could have left them out completely; this is a new version of ‘The Jungle Book’. We don’t need the song and dance of the animated movie. With the inclusion of this in the new film, I feel like it pulled itself away from what it was aiming for.

Disney have done a brilliant job to remake a much loved classic. The one thing about this story is that its timeless; it never gets old and there’s always something that could be improved. Jon Favreau has hit the heights of CGI mastery and has produced a stunning looking film that will forever look impressive. A brilliant voice cast to add too; ‘The Jungle Book’ entertains and will surely be a huge hit all round. 4 out of 5 stars.

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