Ever since I got this, I’ve been excited. The Jungle Book (1977) was the first Disney animated film I watched and it has been remembered fondly every since. I watched it again with the children and it went down a treat with them too.
As much as I was excited, I was apprehensive. Would it live up to the original?
I needn’t have worried.
Only Disney can do this – take an old favourite and turn it around, leaving the original intact and making sure the new one leaves it’s own footprint.
The film has spectacular settings and and stunning imagery. While the storyline remains essentially the same there are a few terrifying twists. Shere Khan is fierce and will do anything to instill fear. He silences the wolf pack quite effectively as he knows that this will bring Mowgli back.
I loved the scene at the watering hole where all the animals exist in harmony together.
Neel Sethi, plays Mowgli to the hilt – seemingly frightened in some parts and fiercely brave where required. Ben Kingsley plays the voice of Bagheera, Idris Elba is Shere Khan and Scarlett Johansson is a very convincing Kaa. Baloo played by Bill Murray is a funny and shows Mowgli the good life. Thankfully the original ‘Bare Necessities’ figures as part of the soundtrack which otherwise is quite different to the original film in its absence of songs. The only other song is sung by the huge ape – King Louie and is a fun, foot-tapping number.
You don’t however miss the songs – you will be totally mesmerised by film itself.
Mowgli has to destroy Shere Khan and does it with the ‘Red Flower’ and the battle is spectaular with Mowgli using his wit and tricks to do so.
Some parts may be a bit overwhelming for young ones as the animals are quite fierce. The film had me jumping up a few times but it all makes for such an phenomenal tale.
I particularly liked the Wolf pack motto –
“For the strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack” – Taken from Rudyard Kipling’s story of The Jungle Book on which the films are based.
The end is slightly different too. We don’t catch a glimpse of that little girl batting her eyes and asking Mowgli to follow her. Perhaps I missed this as I still remember the scene.
This one leaves us wondering when Mowgli will tire of the Jungle and go back to his man village. Can man and beast survive in harmony?
Part 2? We can’t wait!
I leave you with images of our attendance at the viewing at the IMAX at Leicester Square. It was AMAZING.
And the official trailer –