When I was a young girl, I watched Disney’s animated The Jungle Book over and over – I have seen it at least 50 times in my life. It was one of my favorites growing up and it is amazing to have been able to share that love with my young daughters. So naturally, when I found out that Disney was creating a live-action version of The Jungle Book, I was thrilled. Then as they started announcing the names in the cast (Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong’o, Sir Ben Kingsley, etc…) I just knew it was going to be incredible. When I attended the D23 Expo last summer, I was able to see some sneak peek footage and that put the nail in the coffin for me. I knew I had to see it as soon as it came out in theaters (April 15, 2016).
As most of you know, I was invited to the #CaptainAmericaEvent where I got to experience so many amazing things – one of which, was a bonus screening of The Jungle Book in 3D. With a director like Jon Favreau, you cannot go wrong. He is an incredibly talented man. I knew going in to it that this film was mostly CGI, but I must say, I was quite impressed watching it. All of the animals were so well done that I really could not tell and even forgot as the story progressed. Not to mention it was shot in LA, you would never know, it is like it was actually shot in a jungle!
This movie brings a whole new light to the story of The Jungle Book. It is not an exact remake of the animated version by any means – and honestly, I am hoping for a sequel! It is intentionally darker, but it isn’t “too” dark, in my opinion. King Louie is more power hungry and greedy than he is funny and Kaa is downright creepy (but in a good way). It is action packed, thrilling, and will have your heart pumping the entire time – you may even shed some tears. Everyone is perfectly cast – Bill Murray as Baloo will have you laughing, Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha will tug at your heart strings, and Scarlett Johannsson as Kaa will make you nervous and on edge. Then we get to newcomer Neel Seethi, the boy who plays Mowgli, and he is beyond words. That young boy had to film nearly the entire movie by himself since he is mainly featured with CGI animals. That must have been difficult for him, but he masters it. He truly embodies Mowgli and I think he is going places – keep an eye on him!
Overall, The Jungle Book is a MUST SEE this weekend – and if you can see it in 3D, do it. I felt like I was in the jungle for the entire (nearly) 2 hours. I have had a lot of people ask if it could be scary for little children. There were plenty of young kids in the theater when I saw it and they might have jumped here and there (I did too!), but they were fine (and loved the movie!). As a mother, I have no problem taking my children and have actually planned a mommy/daughter date for myself and my 4 (almost 5) year old today. I cannot wait to take her. I am hoping she will love it just as much as the animated version, if not more. She has been begging me to take her to see it since the first time she saw the trailer. Take your family too, you will not be disappointed!
About The Jungle Book
Directed by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”), based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, “The Jungle Book” is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire. The all-star cast also includes Lupita Nyong’o as the voice of the fiercely protective mother wolf Raksha, and Giancarlo Esposito as the voice of wolf pack’s alpha male Akela. “The Jungle Book” seamlessly blends live-action with photorealistic CGI animals and environments, using up-to-the-minute technology and storytelling techniques to immerse audiences in an enchanting and lush world.
THE JUNGLE BOOK opens in theatres everywhere in 3D, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D TODAY April 15th!
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The opinions expressed here are that of Mama Smith’s only. While the products in this post were given complimentary (unless otherwise stated) for me to review, that does not alter my opinion of the product(s) mentioned. This post may contain sponsored links and affiliate links (which will be stated at the beginning of the post).