By Jodi Bogert
Disney’s latest film from their live-action reboot craze is one that takes a goofy 1960s cartoon and turns it into a tale about coming of age and the beauty of the jungle. Not that the original 1967 production was bad, but it came out during a time when Disney was not in its glory days, due to Walt Disney’s death and the family-friendly image losing touch with counterculture youth.
It is one of those Disney films where people only remember one song, here being ‘Bare Necessities,’ and nothing else.
This reboot transformed the premise into a gorgeous movie, complete with visuals and lessons about life.
Deep in the jungles of India a pack of wolves, led by alpha male Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) carry on peacefully with the rest of the wild, despite the orphan man cub, Mowgli (Neel Sethi) not fitting in. Nevertheless, his wolf mother, Raksha (Lupita Nyong’o) loves him dearly and treats him no different than her other cubs.
One day, a vicious tiger named Shere Khan (Idris Elba) storms through the territory and wants Mowgli out of the jungle, believing that all men are evil hunters. If his wolf pack does not get rid of him, he will hunt Mowgli down like prey.
Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) takes Mowgli away from the pack and travels with him to the man village. Mowgli does not want to leave the only home he has known for a strange, new world.
He soon meets a lazy, cuddly bear Baloo (Bill Murray) and together, they learn about living with lots of honey and the ‘bear necessities’.
The Jungle Book is spectacular in its visual effects. The audience will feel immersed in the wide open air of the jungle, filled with flowers, hanging vines and the sun’s rays. There are so many lights and colors in this adaption that the original animation does not do it justice.
India is one of those places on Earth that is filled with breathtaking visuals that cannot be understated.
Mowgil’s development in this adaption is less of a bratty man cub and more of a child going through metamorphosis.
Mowgli actually chose to leave the pack in search of a new home. He never really fit in with the wolves because he makes amazing contraptions. Anything that needs to be made with opposable thumbs is disdained in the wolf pack.
His reasons for not wanting to leave the jungle are understandable in my eyes.
Feral children, who lived their whole lives without human interaction, prove to be hard to adjust to society. Mowgli’s true home is the jungle. Hopefully, he learns to grow into a man and still be able to live among his fellow creatures.
The jungle is a place where the animals serve a purpose and manage to cooperate with other species.
The elephants paved the earth and created the rivers, the wolves keep the judicial system, bees make honey and man creates fire, what the animals call “The Red Flower,” a great danger and a sign of being human.
To humans, the jungle is seen as animals running amok among the fauna, but this is not the case. Animals are smart, resourceful and know the difference between order and senseless violence. Sometimes, the wild and society are not so different.
Yet sometimes, animals teach us things that we humans forgot during evolution.