The Movie: 8/10
I am guessing that is not enough of a review. I will try to contain my enthusiasm, but truly I enjoyed this movie A LOT. Let’s begin with the cast. The boy who plays Mowgli, Neel Sethi, is absolutely the heart of this movie, of course. He is exactly the Mowgli I would imagine in a fictional place where a boy can be raised as a wolf, a talking wolf, and still maintain his humanity. He’s funny and sweet and charming, and then he gets serious when the stuff hits the fan, just as he should. He had a lot resting on his little shoulders and truly, he puts a lot of the Hollywood crowd to shame with just how much he embraced his character. I get it, he’s a boy and Mowgli is a boy in the jungle and that’s not much of a stretch for a kid. However, remember that Neel is acting against puppets and nothing in the real world of movie making. There are no real talking bears or wolves so he’s in a studio with scaffolding and grown ups running around with cameras and boom mics and tablets scrutinizing his every move. With all that going on, for him to maintain that kid like manner and not become a robotic character is a credit to his imagination and newly found acting skills. Everyone else is good too as they voice the animals that inhabit Mowgli’s world.
The look of the movie is fantastic. There were a few seconds of questionable CGI animal movements, but really, not enough to bother me. The whole jungle is constructed in the digital world, with a few in camera tricks to keep it from being a real boy in a CGI world. It’s a spectacle, especially scenes like when we meet the Gigantopithecus, or whatever Christopher Walken is playing. You know, “I wanna be like you u u.”. That whole thing is so engrossing and action packed it sticks in my memory and tugs at me to go watch the movie again.
The music is not overwhelming in this version of The Jungle Book. I like the original animation and it’s fun light-hearted sing-song vibe, but I’m not a musical type so the less big song and dance scenes the better. We get the biggies, Baloo and Louie do their songs, but it works just fine for me. I’m still fixated on what I am seeing and less into the music, so that’s fine with me.
Everything about this adventure has the makings for a good flick. I laughed, cried, got annoyed with the bad guy, was afraid for our hero, and overall went along for the ride and that’s pretty good for a 49 year old chick who was not looking forward to another version of The Jungle Book.
I loved it.
- The Jungle Book Reimagined (35 Minutes) – John Favreau loves the process of making film’s it’s quite obvious from this extra. Here he sits down with Producer Brigham Taylor & VFX Guru Robert Legato and takes us through the different stages of making this film.
- I Am Mowgli (8 Minutes) – A close look at Neel Sethi’s casting and how fun he is on set.
- King Louie’s Temple Layer By Layer (3 Minutes) – A quick look at the CGI and pre production elements that go to make up this spectacular scene.
- Audio Commentary – Director John Favreau delivers a superb commentary track that is a must listen. If you love the technical aspect of making a movie such as this you owe it to yourself to listen to this.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
I really do like the cover. It says a lot about the story and our hero, even though most of us already know how things go down, it still invites some curiosity. It’s not just a slapdash collage of the voice actors, so that pleases me. I would have this as a poster, not just because I loved the movie, but I like the image too.
Audio & Video: 10/10
The Jungle Book is another awe-inspiring 1080P transfer from Disney. Filmed digitally everything here looks seriously sharp and detailed. Colors are fantastic as are black levels. No noise or banding were evident this is a top-notch presentation from Disney.
The DTS-HD Master Audio track here is 7.1 and lossless. Like the picture quality this is reference material with surround effects that move around and above you at times. LFE levels are deep and dialog is always central to the listener. If I had one complaint the two songs in the movie seem to be mixed slightly lower than the rest of the sound effects but that is just nit-picking.
Overall Score 8.5/10