Now on Blu-ray: The Technical Marvel of ‘The Jungle Book’

GameStop, Inc.

Jungle Book Blu-ray

One of the more fascinating trends in recent cinema has been Disney’s recent live-action remakes of their animated classics. From a business angle it makes sense – studios are reluctant to make movies that don’t have a form of existing brand recognition, and the expansive Disney catalogue is full of recognizable and beloved properties. From a cinematic standpoint, it’s not quite so cut and dry. After all, we’re inundated with remakes of inferior quality, and there’s a certain level of cynicism that each successive remake brings – “Oh, they’re remaking that.” With the notable exceptions of Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass, most of the revived animated classics have turned out to be quite excellent movies. Jon Favreau’s remake of The Jungle Book turned out to be one of this year’s biggest surprises – visually stunning, thematically resounding, and an improvement on the original. And audiences reacted to the film’s quality. Amazingly, The Jungle Book outgrossed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at the international and domestic box office. If you said you saw that coming, you’re just a liar.

Those familiar with either the original animated film or the story by Rudyard Kipling know the story of Mowgli (Neel Sethi), the young boy found in the jungle and raised by wolves. Mowgli’s wolf parents Raksha (Lupita Nyong’o) and Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) raise him as one of their own, abiding by the rules that govern the jungle with the help of the wise, caring panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley). The threats of the nefarious tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) force Mowgli from the only life he’s ever known, where he eventually makes friends with the lazy bear Baloo (Bill Murray). Mowgli must survive in the jungle without the support system he’s had since his youth, and always fearing the scarred face of Shere Khan who is never far from striking.

The script by Justin Marks retains the story’s thematic elements of man’s destructive nature towards the environment, which takes on an added relevance with the growing concerns of climate change. The technological advances in computer animation and motion capture make these animals incredibly photo realistic and the impressive voice talent works with the visuals to bring the film’s emotional aspects to the forefront and with more power than ever before.

Of the vocal cast, the real standouts are the tender vocal work of Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, the booming, intimidating voice of Idris Elba as Shere Khan, and an astoundingly amusing appearance by Christopher Walken as King Louie. Other performances from Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson aid the film greatly, as the movie goes through a range of emotions – humor, terror, suspense, and tragedy.

Among the special features on the Blu-ray of The Jungle Book is audio commentary by director Jon Favreau, where he explains in detail the various challenges faced in bringing this version of the story to the big screen. Favreau is quick to praise his expansive team of animators and screenwriter Justin Marks in helping bring this vision to life. Where most movies so reliant on special effects have lost the “How did they do that?” magic of old cinema, The Jungle Book blends the animation and live-action in such a way that Favreau’s explanations provide a depth that extends beyond a simple answer of “CGI.”

The most fascinating of the special features on the Blu-ray set is The Jungle Book Reimagined, an extensive look at the film from its inception to its completion. It starts out with an amusing anecdote about Jon Favreau meeting Disney chief Alan Horn about The Jungle Book on the same day it was announced that Disney had acquired Star Wars, setting speculation that Favreau would be helming a Star Wars movie into motion. From all the technical aspects that they undertook to the attempts to make something different that still honored the original are all documented in this in-depth documentary. Complimenting the in-depth documentary of The Jungle Book Reimagined is a short featurette on young Neel Sethi and the rigorous shoot that the young actor was subjected to over the course of the film’s production. Every one of the special features does wonders in explaining the movie magic that’s employed, and how the techniques that Favreau used aided the finished film.

The Jungle Book is a technical marvel that continues the Disney tradition of groundbreaking visual work, but it’s also a film with real heart, continuing that Disney tradition as well. Remakes are such tricky business to bring to the screen, and blending the familiar with something new is difficult tightrope to balance on. Jon Favreau and company did that with The Jungle Book. Its successes diminish the cynicism that the endless succession of remakes bring. This is a great piece of storytelling that hits all the notes that it aims for. All the other remakes should be sitting around looking at The Jungle Book and singing “I Wanna Be Like You.”

The Jungle Book
  • Overall Score
4

Summary

A technical marvel with an emotional core, The Jungle Book updates the classic animated tale and injects it with new life in a story that will endure for generations.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

FanboyNation
Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Eric Bana Talks ‘Force of Nature: The Dry 2’ – Interview

Eric Bana Returns for the sequel to ‘The Dry‘ in ‘Force...

Letitia Wright’s Talks about her Latest Film ‘Aisha’ – Interview

Letitia Wright’s latest film, ‘Aisha‘, a story about immigration, resilience, friendship...

Blake Crouch and Matt Tolmach Talk ‘Dark Matter’ Coming to AppleTV+ – Interview

‘Dark Matter‘ a science fiction thriller series based on the novel...

Event News Event Reviews
Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ Takes You to A Whole New World at Segerstrom – Review

Disney’s Aladdin takes the audience on a thrilling chase and a wonderous place...

Dark Harbor Returns to Long Beach on The Queen Mary this Halloween

The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Returns to Long Beach for the...

It’s Showtime! ‘Beetlejuice’ is a Hit at Segerstrom Center of the Arts – Review

It’s Showtime! ‘Beetlejuice‘ is a Hit at Segerstrom Center of the...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Oscar De La Hoya Partners with El Rey for ‘Friday Night Fights’ – Interview

The Golden Boy himself chatted with us about Golden Boy Promotions...

Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Paralympian Swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger On The Road to Paris

Team USA Paralympian Swimmer, Ahalya Lettenberger is On The Road to...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse part something: Hermione and the Mini-gun pt 2

Have a lead salad instead!

Fantoy Comics Presents – Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse part ?: Hermione and the mini-gun pt 1

It can't fire more than 6,000 per minute!

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse: Kurt v Sid – HASTA!

Hasta La Vista Baby!

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus
MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Roye Okupe Brings Authentic African Representation to HBO Max and Cartoon Network

Nigerian-American, Roye Okupe brings authentic African representation to HBO Max and...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...