Review: THE JUNGLE BOOK Is a Majestic and Adventurous Masterpiece
From the moment I saw the first footage of The Jungle Book at D23 last year, I knew that Disney and director Jon Favreau had something special on their hands. That first footage gave me goosebumps and brought tears of joy and excitement not just to me, but to everyone in attendance. I am happy to say that while I watched the full incredible adventure of Mowgli and his animal friends unfold on the big screen, I was flooded with those same exact feelings.
Like many of you, I grew up on the old Disney animated films, and I absolutely loved The Jungle Book. One of the things I was most looking forward to seeing is how well this live-action/CGI film carried the spirit of the original. The trailers for the film made us believe it was there, but until we see the film in its entirety, we never really know what to expect. Well, the movie 100% delivered on what we were all hoping for. The spirit of The Jungle Book was in every frame of the movie and in every word of dialogue spoken. I couldn’t ask for a better adaptation as it wonderfully retold the story that we all know and love.
The visuals created to tell this story were absolutely stunning. This movie is a beautiful work of art. It’s a freakin’ masterpiece! Every frame looked like it was meticulously crafted to wow the audience, and that’s exactly what it does. The mix of live-action and CGI was flawless, and these characters were brought to life in a way that blew my mind. You really only get a taste of it in the trailers that have been released, but watching all these elements play out on the big screen in the context of the story takes it to a whole new level. One of the most impressive things about the film is the musical score. It helps the story naturally flow in and out of the two classical musical numbers in the movie, which consists of "Bare Necessities" and "I want to Be Like You". It's this musical score that really ties the film together.
It’s not only the incredible visuals that make this movie so great, though. It’s the story and the characters that really drive this film home and into the heart. Favreau has always had a talent for developing characters in the stories he tells, and he made sure that the characters in The Jungle Book were properly developed in a way that the audience cares for them, and it also wonderfully pays respect the original movie. I was completely invested in all the main characters in the story, and they were perfectly brought to life by the actors who voiced them.
The voice acting in this film was completely phenomenal by everyone that was involved. They all amazingly fit the roles that they played. The movie starred Ben Kingsley as the Black Panther Bagheera, who wonderfully pulls the audience into the story; Scarlett Johansson as the python Kaa, who was hypnotically entrancing; Lupita Nyong’o as the mother wolf Raksha, who brought a ton of emotional weight to the role; Bill Murray as the free-spirited bear Baloo, who was extremely entertaining and perfect as perfect can be for this lovable character; Christopher Walken as King Louie, who sings the song “I Wanna Be Like You” like a champion; and then Idris Elba as the fierce tiger Shere Khan, who was absolutely terrifying.
Don't worry, I haven’t forgotten Neel Sethi as Mowgli! This kid was the only live-action human character in the film, and he was so freakin’ charming! I don’t see how anyone can watch him in this film and not love this kid. He brought a classical purity to the role which is what this character needed, and he steals the show.
The Jungle Book is a thrilling cinematic adventure full of action, drama, and comedy. There are also some incredibly intense moments that will have you on the edge of your seat. I absolutely loved this movie. Like I said in the title of the review, it’s a majestic masterpiece, and it’s a film you won’t want to miss watching on the big screen. It's a jaw-dropping moviegoing experience.