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
Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jhaa, Bolly Spice : ...Don’t wait. Just go out this weekend with the kids and re-live one of the most cherished children’s stories told from an adult perspective and yet miraculously maintaining an artless innocence that makes this film entirely winsome experience. And so what if Priyanka doesn’t sing in the Hind version. The film is suffused in the music of the soul. ... full review
Thumbs up, Bollywood Hungama : ...Overall, THE JUNGLE BOOK is a shining example of phenomenal filmmaking, transporting the viewer to a different world. Complete with a riveting plot combined with VFX and 3D that makes you jump, THE JUNGLE BOOK is definitely a must watch. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Sreeju Sudhakaran, Bollywood Life : ...This is one of the best Jungle Book adaptions on screen and also one of the best live action motion-capture films I have seen in years. Just wondering how Warner Bros will top this with their version of the book that will come next year. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Sidhant Shori , Desi Martini : ...The Jungle book is beautiful. Fantastically well acted and meticulously CGI’d, The Jungle Book will ensure a sense of wonder in the entire audience. The animals are so well crafted and lifelike, that their speaking doesn’t feel odd in the slightest. I wish Kaa had been given a little more screen time, seeing as he was one of my favorites in the original, but that’s just nitpicking. The Jungle Book will tug at your heartstrings, even though you know how the story plays out, and therein lies its greatness. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Aneela Zeb Babar, Desi Martini : ...Should you watch the latest avatar of The Jungle Book. Oh please do. Will it stay with you? That only time will tell. Im still going to imagine Mowgli as that cheeky boy in 2D lines and color and sinister will be George Sanders. Whether it is a Sher Khan's "Is ilaaqe mai naye ho sahab...varna Sher Khan ko kaun nahi jaanta" or a Shere Khan's "Oh please dont insult my intelligence, it makes me irritable" and "And you should know that everyone runs from Shere Khan" I have always been a Khan girl.Other than an onimous rendition of a cuckoo's tale as a bedtime story; Shere Khan doesnt conjure as many quote worthy moments here. All very well that Nihalini is playing spoiler here. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Bryan Durham, DNA : ...And yet, you're going to love Mowgli, this film, the voice cast, the photo-realism of the animals surrounding Mowgli and an inherent innocence that just shines through and through. It's a spectacular film and one you shouldn't miss. Just go watch it! ... full review
Thumbs up, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ...In India, The Jungle Book will always be compared to the version that was aired on Doordarshan. In comparison, this movie is every bit as brilliant as it seemed 20 years ago on 21-inch television sets. The 3D and the IMAX goodness add depth not just to the visuals but the impact of the story and the experience. Kids, young adults and adults will all enjoy this thrill-a-minute ride in the jungles of India, where animals can talk and where human beings and their creations are a part of enigma. Do not miss this at any cost. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Josh, fullhyd.com : ...As this reviewer walked out of the hall with a content smile on his face he heard a fellow patron about seven years old excitedly tell his mother, "I love Mowgli! I love Bagheera! I love Sher Khan! Oh, oh... And I looooove Baloo!" ... full review
Thumbs up, by Jyoti Sharma Bawa, Hindustan Times : ...However, a word of caution, do take your children but prepare them for some awe and shock. I hate to break it to you but Pahlaj Nihalani may be a teeny weeny bit right when he said that young children may get scared at some points during the film. The Jungle Book is no longer cute and cuddly but a tale of survival. This time, it really is a jungle out there. But I can guarantee one thing, once you and your children do enter it, you would not want to leave. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...Persuasive as it is, Jon Favreau’s live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book can ultimately be seen as a tribute to the durability of Disney’s original animated version... full review
Thumbs up, by Johnson Thomas, MiD DAY : ...Cinematographer Bill Pope and the VFX team led by Robert Legato and Adam Valdez integrate real time sequences with animation so brilliantly that it's difficult to pinpoint the differences. It's seamless, proportionate and way above anything that has come before. A must-see for all - irrespective of species, age or gender! ... full review
Thumbs up, by Jaidev Hemmady, Movie Talkies : ...However, The Jungle Book is not just about special effects and technical wizardry. Jon Favreau deserves a pat on his back for infusing the film with scenes that provoke strong emotions. The scenes where Mowgli and his wolf-mother Raksha part ways is sure to bring a lump to your throat while Mowgli's wolf brother Grey, who pines for his human sibling will make you want to reach out and hug the little tyke. Shere Khan's hatred for Mowgli is the stuff of nightmares while the final David versus Goliath battle between Mowgli and Khan is simply breath-taking. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...At a time when works of Blyton, Keene and Kipling fail to interest children — who'd rather swipe away mindlessly on their tablets — this one is a pleasant reminder of what worked once. While the original story has little mystery and would even seem like a lame fantasy today, this adaptation, thanks to its visual bravado, makes it a contemporary classic. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...The Jungle Book is a classic genre film that harnesses the inherent strengths of the source material to rustle up a captivating drama that is both epic and intimate. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Among all the emotions I felt while watching The Jungle Book, happiness tops the list. Relive your childhood or enrich your kid’s but revisit The Jungle Book you must. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Sankhayan Gohsh, The Hindu : ...What makes The Jungle Book enduring in our collective consciousness is that it is an outlet to our eternal fantasy to live in the wild. The film, painted in mystical shades, succeeds in invoking this deep, primal core present in all of us. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Reagan Gavin Rasquinha, Times of India : ...While Favreau is faithful to the old elements, (old songs like Bare Necessities included, of course) he also brings in a few new subtle touches as well in order to keep things interesting. While the King Louie scene is one of the many high points, Kaa's screen time could have been lengthened a bit, though. Nonetheless, the performance of the voice cast is spot-on. But more than anything, the intricate landscaping, masterful camerawork and environment (actually filmed in Downtown Los Angeles) create a delightfully immersive experience. Heartwarming and enjoyable. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Roy D’Silva, yahoo! India : ...The Jungle Book is a near-perfect film that’s a great weekend watch for children and adults as well. However, there’s this rankling point about the blink-and-miss – maybe menacing and mysterious – appearance of Kaa (Scarlett Johannson). ... full review
Thumbs up, by Raghav Jaitly, Zee News : ...'The Jungle Book' is a visual masterpiece that will entice the audiences of all groups. If you are looking for a break from the modern film culture, then don’t waste a moment and grab tickets immediately! ... full review
So-So, by Anna MM Vetticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...The Jungle Book is too flawed to be among Disney’s best works of animation or live action set in the animal kingdom. That crown, when sparingly given out by this blog, must go to The Lion King (1994). Still, this film is thoughtful, thought-provoking, visually spectacular and features some A-grade voice work. It is also a significant part of Disney’s journey if you consider the lightness of the 1967 film and how much heavier this one is. The two interpretations are as different as night and day. That does not make this a lesser film. Just different in an interesting way. ... full review
So-So, by Samrat Choudhury, Deccan Chronicle : ...The film is very well produced. The effects are spectacular and the performances are good. It is entirely worth watching, but its implicit politics is as troubling as Kipling’s was. ... full review
Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Abhishek Sagar : Worth watching and better than any other boring love stories.
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Anuj
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Asrar : Good movie
Yay! Thumbs Up, by dani : 90
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Fan
Yay! Thumbs Up, by hinditutorialspoint
Yay! Thumbs Up, by jitendra : 100
Yay! Thumbs Up, by kawkaw : Stunning, Enchanting and Action Packed
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Kenny : bring your kids ... they will love it
Yay! Thumbs Up, by News Planet
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Shiv : All fine but missed " Chaddi Pahn ke Phool Khila Hai ..Somg.." should have been there..
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Sudip Mistry : good
So-So, by Anup
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.