I am sure like me you will approach this movie with some trepidation. The previous Disney incarnation from 1967 has become iconic and the same can be said for it’s soundtrack. But I am here to tell you not to dismiss this adaptation out of hand.
Disney know that they have a great back catalogue that they can draw from and it was only a matter of time before they might revisit this great book by Rudyard Kipling. This adaptation tends to stick more to the narrative of that particular book than to the previous animated offering but they have included two modern slants on the most iconic songs from the animated version.
Now I could give you chapter and verse on the storyline of this movie and book, but I am not going to. Just to say that through the story Mowgli has to discover who are his protectors and who want to do him harm or want to discover the secret of the tricks he can do.
The CGI visual effects are stunning and you soon forget that is what you are watching is computer generated and that is as it should be, done well. There is some inspired casting of the voices attached to the main characters. Bill Murray as Baloo, Christopher Walken as King Louis and Ben Kingsley as Bagherra being just three examples. A nod should also be made to the young actor Neel Sethi, who inhabits the part of Mowgli and would have in reality have to act to green screen for most of the movie. Not that you would suspect given his performance.
Jon Favreau does an admirable job of directing this movie and the story never lags throughout. A great movie whether it is just you or you decide to bring your little ones along. It’s what good cinema should be, totally absorbing.
Though I have not reviewed it here, if you are a fan of animals. Don’t forget to check out Zootropolis which is also currently running in your local cinema, a great animated treat.