Review: The Jungle Book, 2016
By Sarah Beck
A live version of Disney’s classic animation film, “The Jungle Book,” came to theatres on April 15. With semi-overused CGI effects, a fluid plot line, and an overall similarity to the original animated movie, the film quickly became a huge hit. Although there were some technicalities that were not very well favored, it still ranked well on the box office charts.
The film had a star-studded cast including the talents of Christopher Walken, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, and Scarlett Johansson.
Some actors created astounding renditions of their characters, but others were criticized for being a bit lacking.
“What was cool was that the child who played Mowgli was basically acting by himself throughout the whole movie because of the CGI effects,” says junior Erin Rivenburg.
Alternatively, Idris Elba, the voice of Shere Khan, seemed “too scary for children,” said Rivenburg. “I don’t think it should have been rated PG-13, but I’m glad that it was rated PG.”
Elba seemed general with his acting, like he was doing a line reading of the character than really connecting with it. Elba is known for his works in “Thor,” “Obsessed, and the suspenseful hit, “No Good Deed.” Although his tall and masculine structure makes him a bit scary in these live-action films, this was not get portrayed as easily in “The Jungle Book,” because he was masked by a CGI tiger.
Another popular critique was the comparison between the remake and the original 1967 animated film. Many claim that the acting and CGI is not up to par with the original film.
“I really liked that they included the music from the original. It brought back a lot of memories,” Rivenburg said, however. “It seemed a little forced with the monkey scene, but the scene with Bill Murray flowed more with the movie.”
Many are upset, though, that songs like “Colonel Hathi’s March” and “That’s What Friends Are For,” did not make it into the final remake.
“Also,” Rivenberg criticized, “the evil characters were abnormally bigger than the other ones.” This caused confusion. For example, King Louie is an orangutan in the original version but in this live action one, he’s transformed to a Gigantopithecus. These little adjustments caused some debate.
Finally, although the CGI may have been fantastic, talking animals aren’t as fascinating nowadays as they used to be.
For those who are not huge fans of “The Jungle Book,” have never seen the original Disney animated film or read Rudyard Kipling’s novel, this new rendition might be a great fit. But for those that grew up with this film or the collection of readings, you might want to pass: the new film simply does not make the cut against these classic works.
Feature photo courtesy of Indian Express