The Jungle Book (English, Hindi) - Review

wogma rating: Buy the DVD already (?)
quick review:

Become a child. Take your kid(s) along.

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Wogma Review

From the first frame you are taken deep into the jungle where a pack of wolves and a panther are training a man-child to be as much like a wolf as he can be. The pace doesn't drop and neither does the quality of the 3D. What makes it even better is that the story keeps you with it even though you've known the outcome for years.

Very rarely do you see grim color schemes in animation films. Even though the situation is gloomy and characters are in mortal danger, animation films usually have a chirpy set of colors to make the danger seem far away. Jungle Book breaks this norm and you see lots of grays and browns. In fact, the end sequence is set completely in the night. And no this is not because of the usual bad projection usually associated with 3D.

I can't say it makes things look real, but I can say it makes things as real as animation set in fantasy can get! The sprinting deer, the long, dry grass, the fruits hanging off trees transport you to the middle of the action. Of course, there are logical glitches like any fantasy would have, “How would Mowgli know to use his 'tricks'?”. You explain it away, “He is human, he is smart.” “How do the animals know water can put out a fire?” You shrug, “it is fantasy”, you explain away.

A certain emotional connect is lacking too but the nuances in the animation more than make up for it. In fact, it always amazes me about well-done animation – the facial expressions, the body language far surpasses many a live action film. This is also after considering that we do give an unsaid discount to animation.

If you thought Mowgli and you were deep in the woods at the beginning of the film, you will discover the density of the jungle only better as the movie moves along. The dense forest, the scenes with Kaa and King Louie are just plain and simple mind-boggling.

Once the animation is under the movie's belt, the voice enacting and Neel Sethi's (Mowgli) performance are just perfect. You root for Mowgli and not only because we are his people. Bhaloo's good-natured manipulation makes you laugh and King Louie is as adorable as he is meant to be menacing. Sher Khan has a streak of wanting the good under his meanness. Characters made interesting by they own shades of black and white.

The film flows along smoothly from one scene to another. But, in some of the fast-paced chase sequences, a few edits – a fall from one rock to another; a swing from one branch to another - are rather badly done. Yes, yes, they are few and far between; and they pass by too quickly to leave a mark.

The Jungle Book enthralls with its technical expertise and with its story-telling too. One of those films that takes you back to your childhood and becomes a lovely memory for today's children.

ps. I saw it in English.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Jungle violence. Animated animals fighting each other.
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None
  • Concept: A human child is adopted by a pack of wolves and a panther. The tiger wants the child dead.
  • General Look and Feel: Well done 3D which could scare younger children.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 4
  • Story: 3.5
  • Lead Actors: 4
  • Character Artists: 4
  • Dialogues: 4
  • Screenplay: 3.5
  • Music Director: 3.5
  • Lyrics: 3.5

The Jungle Book - Movie Details

The Jungle Book - Trailer

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Comments (8)

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Kenny:

a lot of interesting scene … worth a watch …. you can never be someone or something you are not

Fan:

I don't think that I am going to enjoy this. I have watched the classic animation version so many times that even the animation version becomes a heavy watch nowadays. So strict no-no for me.

KawKaw:

To all the directors out there. Learn from Jon Favreau. If there’s a way to take timeless classics and make stunning movies out of them without being bland and boring then this is it.

Abhishek Sagar:

This movie is perfect for anyone who is getting bored day by day watching stupid movies. Big thumbs up.. :)

Anuj :

Fabulous & sensational CGI coupled with warm moments make Jungle Book a must watch for adults and kids alike. Although I do feel that the climax is a bit crude and heavy for children under 12. Good movie nevertheless!

Shiv:

All fine but missed " Chaddi Pahn ke Phool Khila Hai ..Somg.." should have been there..

Anup:

Japanese series which has been dubbed in Hindi in Doordashan telecast has 52 episods..and i have seen it my whole childhood..
now in 2016 This jungle book with so much better visual effects but just with a running time of 1hr and 46 mins didnt gave me enough to like it..I didnt get any thing of KAA , i didnt get enough of SHER KHAN , and BAGHEERA has never been so boring(bad work BEN).. Mowgli just keep on stumbling from one character to another
.. Baloo is the best character here..Bill MURRAY nailed it..,, Disney is already making a sequel , may be i will like that more , but m more eagerly waiting for JUNGLE BOOK ORIGIN from WARNOR BROS..because Warnor Bros is a production house who take risk..Disney plays too safe..Just keep on recycling his old stories with just innovation in technology , no innovation in storyline..

Fan:

When a film performs superbly across the globe, you know that it has to have something special. It makes you stand up, take note, and leave aside your initial reticence. Thus leaving aside all apprehensions about re-watching for the umpteenth time the story that entwines Mowgli, Bagheera, Bhaloo (I prefer to refer to him by the correct name rather than the Anglicised name of Baloo), Sher Khan, … I set off to the nearest theatre playing this film successfully.

And I was entertained. The film is slickly made. I am told that apart from Mowgli, all the other jungle creatures are animations and not real animals. If that is true then hats off to the team for pulling off such convincing real-life type animations. For once you do not feel that all the animals surrounding Mowgli are unreal.

The film remains more or less loyal to the original well-loved Jungle Book (the film) script.

Visuals are stunning, especially the fast paced camera movements in the jungles each time that Mowgli is sprinting across it. Stunts are breath-taking.

The film, even though an enjoyable experience, is made for an adults population. The jungle wild-life, and the violence amongst them, and the killings involved etc. would make it quite a scary film for the kids – a contrast to the 1967 vintage version which was more colourful animated and intended for children as the primary target audience.

Voice overs were alright for most of the animals except Bhaloo. I felt that Bill Murray was a bit subdued for the ever so popular character. Yes, he did have some good interesting one-liners but far fewer than what the original Bhaloo had (voiced admirably by Phil Harris). That is the difficulty with remakes, one tends to compare, which should not be the goal.

Background score is superb, adds to the adrenaline. Film has a noire feel for most of the time, typical of a jungle but atypical of an animation film targeted for younger audience. The sets (even though created by animation) are magnificent, especially the den of King Louie.

All in all, Jungle Book 2016 is a good watch primarily because of the technology used to make it.

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