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Stunning visuals and nostalgia make new ‘Jungle Book’ a winner

Disney does a 60s classic justice in this reboot

jungle

For some, a childhood classic has been reborn.

A revamped version and real life recreation of the 1967 Disney classic of “The Jungle Book” was released to theaters on Friday. This fast paced film used stunning visuals and effects to grab the viewer’s attention from the beginning.

The film is about Mowgli (Neel Sethi), a “man-cub” being raised by wolves in the jungle who doesn’t fit in with the animal ways. He uses tools to his advantage and can’t keep up with his wolf siblings. Mowgli begrudgingly embarks on an adventure with black panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) to find man.

During his trip, Shere Khan (Idris Elba), a malicious tiger who knows the true power of man, hunts Mowgli. Mowgli runs into obstacles and meets new characters along his journey, including a sloth bear named Baloo (Bill Murray).

The film makes an impressive use of visuals while also having a great character-to-viewer relationship.

Each character has nobility to them. The way the animals were visually produced, along with the voice accompaniment, created a majestic feel to each scene.

The original 1967 “Jungle Book” was able to rely on the visual expression of characters to build that relationship, with Baloo’s eccentric dancing and Kaa, a visually hypnotic snake, establishing certain character development. In the 2016 recreation, it was a little more difficult.

But because of the way the film was casted, it was able to create that relationship.

It seemed as though the cast fit each animal perfectly; Kaa (Scarlett Johansen) and King Louie (Christopher Walken) embodied their original characters through voice alone.

There are slight glimpses to the songs from the 1967 original such as “The Bare Necessities” and “I Wanna Be Like You” – because it wouldn’t be “The Jungle Book” without them.

The film also used the story to touch upon real world issues such as the affect that humans have on the environment and the animals that live in it.

Throughout the film, the characters refer to fire as “red flower” and indicate only man possesses the power to create it. The animals fear fire because of its destructive ability; this is true to the real world.

With a run time of only one hour and 51 minutes, the film felt a little rushed. There was so much going on and so many characters being introduced that the character development didn’t go very far.

The voice actors did a good job of establishing the character, but based on the amount of information in the film, they did not seem to grow from there.

This recreation of the 1967 Disney classic offers a new look at “The Jungle Book.” It was a visually stunning real world interpretation of a childhood favorite.

Evan Grisley is an arts staff writer and can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com


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