Length: 105 Minutes
Main Cast: Neel Sethi
Production Company: Walt Disney Pictures
Directed By: Jon Favreau
Written By Nelson Cumming
At the end of my review of “Allegiant”, I cried “God help me”. God answered in the form of “The Jungle Book”. This movie was great. From the acting that Neel Sethi had to do at such a young age to the use of CGI animation is brilliant. “The Jungle Book” is one of the strongest movies to come out in months. The movie stays to the original Walt Disney animation from a story perspective. It is darker than the original but the visuals alone make “The Jungle Book” something to see. It is a textbook movie from Walt Disney Company who have been really stepping up their game in terms of movie quality.
The story takes place in the heart of the tropical wilderness amongst many different animals and vast amounts of beautiful natural terrain. Mogil (Neel Sethi) is a man-cub raised by wolves ever since his home was destroyed and his people vanquished when he was a baby. A tiger Shere Kahn (Idris Elba) is a firm believer that humans do not belong in the jungle and seeks to erase Mogil. This leads Mogil to leave the wolves that raised him and lead out on an adventure of self-discovery.
“The Jungle Book” is the kind of movie that reminisces a pure form of kid’s action adventure. As I have mentioned before, the animation and imagery is articulated to the point where not only do you get a feel that you are in jungle but it also makes the jungle and the animals awe-inspiring. It is easy to suspend disbelief based on animation alone but what made it even better was I saw acting from a boy that was better than the entire cast of “Alligent” combined.
Based on his performance alone, Neel Sethi deserves to every dollar his gets for this film. To ask a child on set to run and traverse through things while keeping in character and to interact with non-existent animals that would have been rendered in post-production is insane. There is actually a beautiful departing moment with Mogali (Sethi) and the mother wolf he was raised by which would have been cheesy if Sethi and the animation team were not at the top of their game but they both were.
Also, a big congratulations to the voice actors for their performances. They sound great on the microphone while sounding like the characters they represent. The relaxed and playful bear plays well to the natural voice of Bill Murray and Idris Elba really balances the intimidating nature of Share Khan while not overdoing it to really scare any of the kids. Ben Kingley is mesmerizing playing the voice of —— all the voice actors do a fantastic job playing their parts.
For a guy who seamlessly blended all sorts of elements into this movie the final credit has to go to, as always, the director, the general, the man Jon Favreau. I do not know who you are, but I will find you and watch your movies sir. May the red flower burn inside for years to come. A lot more things worked in “The Jungle Book” than not. I still do not think Disney are on the same level as Pixar but they are slowly convincing me otherwise. The last Disney film I reviewed was “Zootopia” and now “The Jungle Book” and both are great. Go for the hat trick, the trifectia, I dare you Disney. I dare you. ****1/4