Movie Review: The Jungle Book

On Wednesday I took my son off for a special mid-week “mommy date”… The preview of Disney’s new live action adaptation of the classic animation, The Jungle Book.

Certainly my most beloved childhood movie, in our household we have watched our favourite animated DVD again, and again, and again, and sung along to all the songs as often as possible. But this was on a whole different level!

The sweet story about a kid that grows up in in the Indian jungle is all grown up and is now a big budget visual spectacular, directed by Jon Favereau, and starring all our favourite characters in “real-life”, well, sort of…

Mowgli, played by newcomer Neel Sethi, is the only human character in the story, the rest of the animal cast are created in the most high quality CGI imagery I have ever seen rendering them as life-like as possible.

There are the wolves Raksha (Lupita Nyongo) and Akela (Giancarlo Esposito), Mowgli’s black panther mentor Bagheera (Ben Kingsley), the mightily frightening Shere Khan (Idris Elba), the hypnotic Kaa (Scarlett Johansson), the lovable Baloo (Bill Murray) and the larger than life King Louie (Christopher Walken).

The story is kept intact with some lovely moments that refer to the original animated classic but with an added depth of intelligent story-telling and mind-blowing visuals that keep your attention to the very end.

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This epic adventure follows the story of Mowgli, a young boy who’s been raised by a family of wolves. When Mowgli learns that he is no longer welcome in the jungle, after fearsome tiger Shere Khan promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat, Mowgli leaves the only home he’s ever known to embark on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther Bagheera and the free-spirited bear Baloo.

My son (9) and I loved this movie. It was heart-warming and spine-tingling… even genuinely frightening at times… (let’s just say I was glad I left my 6 year old at home!) The movie is rated PG but I would advise against taking kids younger than 8 unless they are really brave movie watchers. Shere Khan’s powerful brutality even made me nervous! That being said it’s no horror movie and there are some lovely moments and plenty of fun too. Baloo is his usual fun-loving self and one of my favourite aspects of the movie is how they still managed to bring in some of the original songs including everyone’s favourite sing-a-long’s “The Bear Necessities“.

As I’ve mentioned the visuals are insane…. although I almost feel I would have enjoyed watching the movie in 2D more as opposed to my 3D experience which sometimes didn’t work quite as well – possibly due to my glasses or my stigmatism!

The Jungle Book is a triumph and a movie I would be happy to watch again, and again, and again, for years to come!

Watch the trailer here:

The Jungle Book will be released on April 15, 2016 and is based on Rudyard Kipling’s stories and inspired by the 1967 Disney animated classic.

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Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for almost 7 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

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