I know it’s Wednesday (at least where I’m at), which typically equates to a book review. Incredulously, I haven’t finished a book since my last post, which is not good because I have deadlines coming up on May 1st for some ARCs, leaving 9 days to start and finish them.
I did, however, view Disney’s new Jungle Book film last night. I entered the theatre with no expectations beyond it’s a Disney movie, so it’s going to be at least good. And I must say, I was impressed. It was one of those rare remakes that improves upon its predecessors. I scarcely know where to begin.
The pace and tone of the film was fabulous. It had moments of humor and light-heartedness, calling back to the old animated feature. However, the filmmakers also infused darker elements, bringing in more of Kipling’s writing and the original source. In fact, I was quite frightened on occasion. The film is not for small children or the faint hearted, despite its PG rating. It reminded you in no uncertain terms that the jungle is still a perilous place.
We mustn’t forget that the movie is also completely CGI with the exception of Mowgli, no small feat. In fact, there’s rumors that the film could be the first live action to win Best Animated Picture. Most of the CGI was quite spectacular. I was unsure if the scenery was CGI or not– it was. Shere Kahn and Bagheera looked fantastic. All the animals did! With the exception of the wolves. They looked the least realistic to me.
Newcomer Neel Sethi made a stunning debut as Mowgli. He embodied the character perfectly in this coming-of-age story. He was a man cub when we needed to be, and a man when it was called for. He’s a talented boy. It would be incredibly difficult to be the only object not animated in the film and to act it out. I loved how the costuming and make-up department roughed him up. He truly looked like a child who’d been living in the jungle. He was covered in scars, scraps, dirt, and grim. It was fantastic!
Only two parts of film didn’t settle with me. The first was the musical numbers. “Bare Necessities” wasn’t terrible since it was inserted casually. More as a fun jingle that the characters were singing as opposed to a musical number. “I Wanna Be Like You,” however, felt completely out of place. I would’ve been fine if they had been removed altogether.
The second problem I had was Shere Kahn’s lack of action. When he did things, he did them stupendously. However, the script writers chose to have him sit around, waiting for Mowgli to confront him as opposed to actively hunting him. His reasoning for Mowgli eventually seeking him out was sound. But he still could’ve had that and more. He was disappointing to me as a villain.
Fan theory moment! I believe the cave that Baloo lives in is the same location as where Bagheera found Mowgli.
But those are my thoughts. Have you seen it? If so, what did you think? Agree? Disagree? If you haven’t seen it, are you going to see it and are you looking forward to it?
In the meantime, tootle loo, darlings!