The Jungle Book is a film that is well loved and fondly reminisced on by many as one of their favourite (if not the favourite) films of their childhood. Unsurprisingly when you first hear that a remake is on the cards you might be a bit wary, I certainly was, worried that they could potentially ruin one of the Disney greats. However, I am so very pleased to say that the live action film is an incredibly faithful remake to the 1967 original and not only that, a truly fantastic and magical film in it’s own right. While the Jungle Book provides plenty of fan service – the Bear Necessities comes to mind the most – it also provides a truly great viewing experience for anyone without a special attachment to the original.
You can’t mention this film without first thinking of Neel Sethi who is the only actual human in the film, the rest of the stars (and there are many) being voice overs for various furry animals that Mowgli befriends or becomes mortal enemies of while living in the Jungle. His breakthrough performance is impressive, considering his age, and though the animation and CGI is so good you often forget… Sethi must have had to do an awful lot of improvisation and green screen acting for this film, imagining the singing Baloo and hypnotizing Kaa, which makes this young actor’s performance even better. He managed to portray a very faithful Mowgli to the lovable orphan we see in the original film and having him as the only human actor surrounded by a menagerie of different animals just makes the film all the more magical and enthralling.
However the voice acting in the Jungle Book also more than deserves a mention, as it really makes the character’s come to life and the cast do a fantastic job in making sure that you can really draw an attachment to each of the characters involved. Idris Elba as Shere Khan is truly thrilling, with his calm, gravelly voice making this tiger with a serious grudge all the more haunting than the original, and even though you may think of this as a kid’s film no one could blame you for falling for the jump scares in some of the explosive scenes that he is in.
If you’ve been hesitating to see the remake, don’t. It would be hard for anyone to say it ruins the original Jungle Book, and I think most agree than it just enhances it and truly brought an old favourite back to life. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the film and can’t wait to watch it again. If this is anything to go by, it looks like we could be in for a treat with the remake of Beauty and the Beast.
The Jungle Book
The Bear Necessities
Fans of the original are bound to be happy with this live action remake. It stays truthful to the animation, with plenty of fan service (such as the Bear Necessities song) and lots of new touches.