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Coming to theaters on April 15, 2016 is Disney's live-action adaptation of their beloved animated classic The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man 1-2, Cowboys & Aliens). The film stars newcomer Neel Sethi as the jungle orphan Mowgli and features the following voices:

  • Bill Murray (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Tripper in Meatballs) as Baloo
  • Ben Kingsley (Trevor/Mandarin in Iron Man 3, The Hood in Thunderbirds) as Bagheera
  • Idris Elba (Stacker Pentecost in Pacific Rim, Heimdall in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) as Shere Khan
  • Scarlett Johansson (Silken Floss in The Spirit, Jordan Two Delta in The Island) as Kaa
  • Lupita Nyong'o (Patsey in 12 Years a Slave, Maz in Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as Raksha
  • Christopher Walken (Max Shreck in Batman Returns, Feng in Balls of Fury) as King Louie



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What age limit do you think for this movie?

It really just depends on the child. Some little kids are so desensitized at such an early age, it's scary. While others are super sensitive. My daughter is 8 and is kind of a scaredy cat, but she ended up liking the movie a lot. I think it was just her first real exposure to photo realistic villains, rather than it looking "animated" in some way, so it made it more real for her. Personally I'd say the 7-8yr old range should be fine, nothing is gory, it's just, Kahn is VERY intimidating and SOOOO real looking. There are also some "jump" type scares with him.

Chris

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It really just depends on the child. Some little kids are so desensitized at such an early age, it's scary. While others are super sensitive. My daughter is 8 and is kind of a scaredy cat, but she ended up liking the movie a lot. I think it was just her first real exposure to photo realistic villains, rather than it looking "animated" in some way, so it made it more real for her. Personally I'd say the 7-8yr old range should be fine, nothing is gory, it's just, Kahn is VERY intimidating and SOOOO real looking. There are also some "jump" type scares with him.

Chris

This.

My Mom allowed me to watch straight up horror movies, like the original Halloween and Halloween 2 (part 2 in theaters mind you) and I was no worse for the wear (although, others that have known me for awhile may argue differently :lol:).

My 29 year old girlfriend however refuses to see this adaptation of The Jungle Book because she's afraid, which is sad because I really want to see it in theaters vs. Blu Ray.

So long story short, agreed, it all depends on the child.

-b.

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I'm more terrified by how much singing there could be in it... :unsure:

There is only 2 songs in it and the first one is really just Baloo and Mogli more or less singing Bear necessities as they do things. The other is King Louie's song, which was more of an actual song number. That's it. ;)

Chris

Edited by Dobber
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I'll have to say that Disney really is on a roll this year. The Jungle Book is not only better than the animated classic, but is currently the best film shot entirely in a digital sound stage. At a budget of US$175 million, Disney could have easily shot this film in India or just any jungle, but this was all about pushing the limits of digital cinematography, which remains the bane of those who prefer practical effects. Previous efforts to shoot entirely in a digital sound stage had mixed results. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow wowed most viewers back in 2004, but on Blu-ray, it looks like an old PS2 game. 300 and Avatar work mainly because the former uses a comic book style while the latter takes place on a fictional planet. In The Jungle Book, animators spent countless hours replicating the jungles of India and rendering each and every animal that you couldn't tell that it was a completely artificial environment. The experience is further enhanced on IMAX, from every tree vine to the beehives on the cliff.

Story-wise, this film trounces the original by a mile. There's a lot of depth in the central characters, especially the wolves and Shere Khan. Speaking of which, we get to know exactly why Shere Khan despises humans. Unlike the musical-oriented original, this new version is a full-blown adventure film with some musical parts that pay homage to its predecessor.

As for the acting, it's surprisingly awesome. Neel Sethi is easily the best child actor of today's generation, as his interaction with completely CG animals is genuine, considering that he's the only human actor in this film. Bill Murray and Ben Kingsley knock it out of the park as Baloo and Bagheera, respectively, but the real show-stealers are Idris Elba and Christopher Walken. Elba's cold and calculating portrayal of Shere Khan makes for the best Disney villain since Scar in The Lion King, as well as the best animal villain since Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Walken's mobster approach to King Louie just stops everyone watching this film, especially with his take on the song "I Wan'na Be Like You". And despite her role as Kaa being minimal at best, you'll want Scarlett Johansson to read you a bedtime story.

In short, Life of Pi has nothing on this film. The Jungle Book is easily one of the best films to pick up on Blu-ray and a sure-fire contender for next year's Oscars.

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There is only 2 songs in it and the first one is really just Baloo and Mogli more or less singing Bear necessities as they do things. The other is King Louie's song, which was more of an actual song number. That's it. ;)

Chris

Okay, that's good to know. Thanks Dobber! :)

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IIn The Jungle Book, animators spent countless hours replicating the jungles of India and rendering each and every animal that you couldn't tell that it was a completely artificial environment. The experience is further enhanced on IMAX, from every tree vine to the beehives on the cliff.

I concur, with just one exception. Bagheera seemed to have the same exaggerated "jungle cat" walk that many CG animals suffer from, where the back and shoulders bounce up and down too much with each step. Coincidentally, Shere Khan moved very naturally, so it's odd that they would miss on just one of the cats. Fast motion looked natural though, and animals fighting was very convincing (albeit Disney-fied, which is not unexpected for the target audience).

Story-wise, this film trounces the original by a mile. There's a lot of depth in the central characters, especially the wolves and Shere Khan. Speaking of which, we get to know exactly why Shere Khan despises humans. Unlike the musical-oriented original, this new version is a full-blown adventure film with some musical parts that pay homage to its predecessor.

As for the acting, it's surprisingly awesome. Neel Sethi is easily the best child actor of today's generation, as his interaction with completely CG animals is genuine, considering that he's the only human actor in this film. Bill Murray and Ben Kingsley knock it out of the park as Baloo and Bagheera, respectively, but the real show-stealers are Idris Elba and Christopher Walken. Elba's cold and calculating portrayal of Shere Khan makes for the best Disney villain since Scar in The Lion King, as well as the best animal villain since Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Walken's mobster approach to King Louie just stops everyone watching this film, especially with his take on the song "I Wan'na Be Like You". And despite her role as Kaa being minimal at best, you'll want Scarlett Johansson to read you a bedtime story.

In short, Life of Pi has nothing on this film. The Jungle Book is easily one of the best films to pick up on Blu-ray and a sure-fire contender for next year's Oscars.

Shere Khan definitely had a more personal hatred of Mowgli in this version, and I agree with him being one of the best villains in recent history. In literally every scene he appears in, he is an absolute beast seething with hatred. Hearing Idris Elba voice him in the preview was what sold me on seeing this film, and he did not disappoint.

Ben Kingsley was also incredible as Bagheera, he dominated every scene he was in and delivered every line with exactly the right amount of feeling. I think I could just sit and listen to a conversation between those two.

Neel Sethi did an awesome job, which at first seems on par with other young actors until you consider just how much CG he was acting against. His interactions with his animal companions were more convincing than the live actors in the Star Wars prequels, and he moved very naturally when climbing and traversing all kinds of obstacles. He nailed all the intangible and subtle things that older, experienced actors even overlook from time to time.

I was not sold on Scarlett Johansson's performance, it seemed like a bad fit for the character Kaa. The snake was supposed to be hypnotic, but came off as a little too articulate and seductive, while also being used as an exposition aid that seemed to be shoehorned in without a good segue. Great actress, but misplaced in this film.

Overall, I liked it both as a standalone movie and for the homages to the original, but would have done a couple things differently. Disney has already greenlit a sequel, so we can look forward to more in the future.

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