Following a series of less than stellar adaptations of Disney animated classics, the studio has put forward their most successful attempt yet with The Jungle Book, an amazing encapsulation of the classic animation with some of the best visual effects ever committed to screen. Director Jon Faverau crafts a remarkable and modern adventure epic with a vibrant cast of characters, played by a talented ensemble of acting veterans. Faverau’s film is 100% committed to the capturing of this world, and the film’s dedication to the animal culture is truly remarkable.
The film follows the story of a young boy named Mowghli (Neel Sethi), raised by wolves and hunted by th vicious tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba), until he’s befriended by a free spirited bear named Baloo (Bill Murray) and a strong willed Panther (Ben Kingsley). As a newcomer, Neeli Sethi does an excellent job at acting alongside the artificial environments and interacting with these characters. The entire voice cast is strong, with the standouts being Christopher Walkens’s hilarious rendition of King Louie, Bill Murray’s heartfelt and very funny Baloo, and the terrifying villainy of Idris Elba’s Shere Khan.
The Jungle Book is not just a visual spectacle, but a testament to the technology that allows a film like this to exist. Faverau truly deserves a Best Director nomination for the effort he put into the visuals, and for all its visceral imagery the story is quite accessible. It’s a fun, funny, and utterly enthralling journey that succeeds wholeheartedly. Grade: -A