The fifth movie version of THE JUNGLE BOOK is a big hit at the box office, taking in almost 300 million dollars world wide during its opening weekend.
I don’t go to many family films, but this one caught my attention with its photo realistic animal animation and the terrific actors who voice the jungle animals.
Panther: If you can’t learn to run with the pack, one of these days you’ll be someone’s dinner.
That’s Ben Kingsley as the panther who helps look after a young man cub who’s been raised by kindly wolves.
Although he’s never been in a feature film before, Neel Sethi does fine as Mowgli, the happy ten year old.
Idris Elba provides the voice of the menacing tiger, who years before was badly burned by humans.
Wolf: He’s just a cub.
Tiger: Does my face not remind you what a grown man can do? Let me remind you, a man cub becomes man and man is forbidden.
The entire movie revolves around Mowgli’s attempt to avoid being killed by the tiger as he makes his way to a village where actual people live. It’s not a journey he wants to make.
Mowgli: But this my home.
Panther: Only man can protect you now.
After a painful farewell the boy starts off but soon meets a dangerously seductive snake voiced by Scarlett Johansson.
Snake: I’ll keep you safe: just you and me, sweet thing.
He’s saved from the snake by a bear with ulterior motives.
Bear: Lucky for you, your new favorite hero, old Baloo here, just happened to be passing by. No big deal. Just tell me this. Can you… climb?
Bear: Then, let’s quit wasting time and get on with it.
Mowgli: Get on with what?
Bear: Payback, kid.
That’s Bill Murray conning the boy into climbing for honeycombs high on a cliff. For me, Murray’s performance was the most enjoyable part of this movie.
Panther: C’mon Mowgli, we must be on our way.
Mowgli: But I’m helping Baloo get ready for hibernation.
Panther: Bears don’t hibernate in a jungle.
Bear: Not full hibernation, but I nap a lot.
What makes this version of THE JUNGLE BOOK unique is that the boy is the only live actor in this film. All the animals are computer animations and even most of the scenery was computer generated. The entire project was shot in a warehouse. Amazing.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now. firstname.lastname@example.org