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Make 'The Jungle Book' a bare necessity of life

/movies/395874/the-jungle-book
Review of The Jungle Book
by David Gilleand
Posted on September 5th, 2016
Positive 7
Overall Rating
 
+
1 of 1 people found the following review useful
Plot Summary:
After a threat from the tiger Shere Khan forces him to flee the jungle, a man-cub named Mowgli embarks on a journey of self discovery with the help of panther, Bagheera, and free spirited bear, Baloo.

Personally, I like the fact that Disney is re-making all of its movies from the glory days in live-action. I think it's smarter than what most people realize. With the help of modern-day technology, a live-action film actually can explain the things that happen in a more realistic tone. Some people think they should leave what's good alone, but I'd like to argue the point that...what you consider good isn't going anywhere...they are just re-visiting it. Furthermore, I am excited the hear that now they've decided to keep the musical renditions included in the film - and The Jungle Book is the first film that I know of to do it. So how is the film?

Story: 5

Coming of age, and accepting self worth.

Confession time, I don't really care all that much about The Jungle Book. Out of all the different films they could have made, I was probably the most disappointed about it being this. It's not a terrible story choice by any means, it was just never one of my favorites for whatever reason. I was hoping this film would get me more involved in the story, but I don't think it really did. I sat and watched it, compared it slightly to The Lion King, and enjoyed what I enjoyed...at the end of the day, I still can't call this a favorite.

I think the reason behind my distaste for this film comes from a coming-of-age vantage point. Yes, there are man vs nature and man vs. beast conflicts as the boy is on a journey to find the land of men - but it really truly is about a boy becoming a man...something that almost always bores me a little. The fact that the boy can't act also contributes to me not caring all that much for it - more about the characters and acting below. 

Character: 8

The fake characters can act more than the real ones.

For a film that's designed to be live-action, there's more animation than not - and its those animated characters in this film that shine above and beyond anything the boy does. Even though I really only recognized maybe four of the voices, the entire cast is pretty massive and they all do a phenomenal job at presenting their characters and making those characters believably animalistic. Idris Elba as the villainous tiger, Shere Khan, was brilliant - a villain to be remembered long after you forget the rest of the characters.

Mowgli...okay, so this is a kid who hasn't done anything at this scale in his life before. He has only acted in a short video before being casted as Mowgli...and kid, you got spark but you can't act. In my opinion, it showed beyond anything else that this was the first time that the kid was not only acting in a feature film, but also the first time he had to do something in front of a green screen. Think about it, the kid was basically walking around a green screen in a studio - practically talking to himself. However, I believe he had fun while on set, and who can blame him? He's a star!

Enjoyment: 7

Better as a live-action film, but the same basic thing.

As I have said before, the story of The Jungle Book isn't really one I've ever really cared about, but they did put their best foot forward and attempted once more to create magic in the name of Disney. For what it's worth, I believe the attempt was found on good footing. The visuals look pretty good, though I can mostly tell the difference between reality and manufactured, but they did do a good job at creating lifelike animals. The songs sang didn't perfectly match the originals, but they fit with the movie. The actors were great 99% of the time save for one relatively pertinent character (see above)...everything was in place, the story was solid albeit a bit overdone...everything worked perfectly. 

If you're a fan of the original, this variation is worth a shot - give it a go! Otherwise, you won't die if you miss it. 

David Gilleand
Avid TV Show and Movie watcher/critic, known in the blogging world as Dave from Dave Examines Movies and Dave Examines TV. Look him up!
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