The Jungle Book (2016)

By Livia Peterson

Jon Favreau previously helmed the excellent “Chef” (2014); however, “The Jungle Book” is a minor letdown, considering my extremely high film standards. Yet “The Jungle Book” is an exemplary film for the current generation.
 
Based on the novel of the same name by Rudyard Kipling, the man cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi) is nurtured by the wolves Raksha (voiced by Lupita Nyong’o) and Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) and escapes the jungle due to tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) threatens the family. Mowgli, the panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley), and the bear Baloo (Bill Murray) embark on an epic journey, which provides many life lessons.
 
The sole performance and diverse voices are perfection from start to finish. Sethi is the heart and soul of the story. The voices are delightfully immersive.
 
Although you’ve seen the story several times, Favreau succeeds revitalizing it. “The Jungle Book” certainly follows the predictable origin story. It provides essential messages – family and friends are mostly supportive, the compassion is reciprocated, and understand the family heritage.
 
The production design and visual effects are impressive. For your consideration, the Academy – Best Production Design and Best Visual Effects. Wink nudge (ignore the fact it is computer generated).

Disney is obsessed with modifying the animated films into live action films as of late. The company is victorious thus far. “Alice in Wonderland” (2010) and “Cinderella” (2015) are marvelous, but “Maleficent” (2014) is mostly mediocre. “The Jungle Book” is in the middle – it is neither the former nor the latter.
 
Despite it is a fine live action CG hybrid film, “The Jungle Book” will remind you why you love Disney films. The cinema magic allows transportation to another world for two hours and it utilizes the motion picture medium to the full potential.
 
Indeed, “The Jungle Book” simultaneously delivers the bare necessities for the young munchkins and visual splendor for the adults. Do not overlook the beautiful jungle. B

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