The Jungle Book is the retelling of Walt Disney’s 1967 animated film of the same name that stars Neel Sethi as Mowgli and the voice talents of Bill Murray, Idris Elba, and Ben Kingsley.
Right up front I need to put this out there that The Jungle Book was made on a sound stage in Los Angeles, which translates into literally everything that the viewer sees in this film is CGI, with the exception of Mowgli. The fact that this film is ninety five percent CGI and how real it looks is an outstanding achievement on its own and how it is pushing the technology of the film business into new places for the viewer.
One of the largest things that The Jungle Book has going for it is the actor who plays Mowgli, this is a child actor who is acting against a green screen in a way that some professional actors can’t even pull off effectively. However, the supporting voice cast in this film helps the viewer slip into the world of The Jungle Book more easily then I was expecting. The performances of the goofy, yet lovable Bill Murray as Baloo, the wise and fatherly Sir Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, and the terrifying Idris Elba as Shere Khan.
The story of The Jungle Book is simple and effective of how a young boy is trying to find his true calling between two worlds he is a part of. The pacing of the story is one of the best I have seen this year, there was never a dull moment in this film, balancing the family friendly fun and the moral struggles that Mowgli faces perfectly.
The one complaint I have with The Jungle Book is some of the side animal characters have a video game feel that comes from rushed CGI. The main characters and the environment all look spectacular and beautiful, but those side characters seem like they were rushed in post production.
The Jungle Book is a beautiful film that pushes the envelope of technology for a film that all ages can appreciate and experience together as a family.