Disney’s The Jungle Book: A Resurfaced Classic

Disney has captivated the imagination of children for generations. From classics like Bambi and The Lion King to newer films like Frozen and Zootopia, Disney continues to make fresh stories for developing minds. Disney’s 1967 animated adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book also became a classic, following the adventures of orphan Mowgli as he learns to live among the animals in the jungles of India. Upon learning that man doesn’t belong in the jungle, he goes on a winding journey of self discovery. While many adults have warm memories of this film, newer generations are growing more and more distant. However, Rudyard Kipling’s masterpiece will live on in a live-action remake of The Jungle Book.

The Jungle Book is directed by Jon Favreau, the man who brought Iron Man to the big screen. It also features a star studded cast, with Idris Elba as tiger Shere Khan, Ben Kingsley as black panther Bagheera, Scarlett Johansson as the elusive Kaa, and Bill Murray as the lovable bear Baloo. Mowgli is portrayed by newbie Neel Sethi. Trailers have been full of eye-popping colors and features photo-realistic animals. Viewers got beautiful views of exotic scenery, from monkeys swinging from the branches to Baloo floating down a river. To have captured all the action in the sprawl of a jungle seems a daunting task.

(Walt Disney Pictures)
(Walt Disney Pictures)

How did the filmmakers do it? Surprisingly, The Jungle Book wasn’t shot in any exotic forest, but in a warehouse in L.A.! The animals and the jungle itself were exquisitely computer generated. While this film certainly pays homage to its predecessor, Jon Favreau’s adaptation is able to explore more plot threads than its 1967 counterpart. Clear examples is the increased presence of the wolf pack during Mowgli’s adventures and being a bit more true to Kipling’s masterpiece. and for those looking for catchy songs similar to the 1967 original, there’s bound to be a few in there!

The evolution of technology has enabled us to do wonders, even freshen a classic story to set before a new generation of audiences. See for yourself in the extended trailer below. Early reviews for the film praise it’s use of CGI, with reviewer Scott Mendelson crediting the filmmakers with “using the kind of technical wizardry that helped create the likes of Avatar” (Mendelson, Forbes.com). Whether hoping to re-experience some old memories or create some new ones, make sure to check out The Jungle Book when it swings into theaters on Friday, April 15th!