As you know, I’m a bit of a Disney fanatic so for me this was a film I was very excited to see.
I have seen many negative views towards the fact Disney are recreating these animated classics into live action features, however as i’ve similarly said before, I think it’s exciting. I think it’s bringing the films from our childhood into films that appeal to us as adults, increasing the drama of the stories which allows us to see it in a slightly different way, as well as bringing it to new audiences.
I had noticed it was showing in 3D IMAX, in which I had never been to an IMAX screening before so I took the plunge with my friend and decided to go all out with the experience. This definitely made it a little more fun and exciting, though I was mildly disappointed as it didn’t seem much different to normal 3D, so I would say that standard 3D or 2D is just fine (and cheaper!).
But back to the film itself, I was not left disappointed there.
The cast were of course incredible, Neel Sethi (Mowgli) is definitely one to watch. He was full of energy, bravery, sass and high spirit. Idris Elba (Shere Khan), Christopher Walken (King Louie) and Scarlett Johansson (Kaa) all giving chilling performances as their respective villainous characters. While Bill Murray (Baloo), Ben Kingsley (Bagheera) and Lupita Nyong’o (Raksha) equally gave exciting portrayals of our protagonists.
The story remained relatively true to the original animation, but with expansion on some of the missed points from the original (such as an expansion on why Mowgli was in the jungle and the wolves raising him) and minor elements were cut (like the focus on his friendship with the young elephant in the original).
I also enjoyed the twists in the tale, like Kaa having a female voice and King Louie being more of a villainous character than in the original. Though elements reminded me of The Lion King.
Plus, they kept the two most popular songs (Wanna Be Like You and Bare Necessities), while Trust In Me (sung by Scarlett Johansson) was used for the credits, which was great to have in there still.
Equally, the look itself was amazing. I was personally pleased I saw it in 3D, as it made the action all-the-more intense and the set/characters seem even more realistic. But either way, the attention to detail was there with 100%, even down to desert flies subtle hovering (which was possibly aided by the 3D). But as earlier mentioned, the animation was so realistic and life-like, it was easy to forget there was only one main human actor amongst all the action.
I personally think director Jon Favreau did a great job at adapting this Disney classic, as it stayed relatively true to all that we want from this brilliant story of the boy that was raised in the jungle. It was comical and packed with action and drama, that could appeal to all.