The Jungle Book

wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?)

quick review:

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

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Director: Jon Favreau
Running time: 105 minutes
Genres: Animation, Fantasy, Kids
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The Jungle Book (English, Hindi) - Preview

- meeta, a part of the audience

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

25 reviewers(?) - 23 yays 2 so-so 0 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

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 Nikita Kapoor, Desi Martini : ...Verdict - 'The Jungle Book' is a visual treat and will surely make you nostalgic! ... 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 Sritika Goel , Desi Martini : ...The film deserves your time and it is a bang for your buck! ... 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, Free Press Journal : ...The film editing is astonishing, the rhythm of the pace is racy and swift, making the film a highly entertaining one. ... 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 Ananya Bhattacharya, india today : ...In all, take a trip to the jungle this week. Let Mowgli hold your hand and take you back to childhood.... 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, ZEENEWS.COM : ...'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.

7 readers - 6 yays 1 so-so 0 nays

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 Fan

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

So-So, by Anup

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

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:
Story:
Lead Actors:
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The Jungle Book - Cast, crew, links

Director:
Cinematography:
Music Director:
Running time:
105 minutes
Reviewer:
Language:
Country:
USA

Comments (8)

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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.

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.

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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