Disney gives director Jon Favreau (Iron Man) the keys to Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale. His live-action/CGI hybrid adaptation follows young Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi) as he grows up in a jungle filled with friends – Bagheera the black panther (Ben Kingsley) and Baloo the bear (Bill Murray) – and ghastly foes – Kaa the python (Scarlett Johansson), King Louie the orangutan (Christopher Walken), and Shere Khan the tiger (Idris Elba).
As the adopted cub in a pack of wolves, the jungle is the only home Mowgli has known. But when the greatly-feared Shere Khan expresses his deadly desires to end the boy’s life, the pack is put in danger, prompting Mowgli to divert the threat away from his family and to search for a new home with human civilisation. Aided by the loyal Bagheera, Mowgli’s journey becomes wrought with danger and rich with friendships, revealing what he truly wants for his life and the jungle he calls home.
While the film stays truer to the tones of Kipling’s original story, Favreau also infuses his vision with shades of the original Disney animated movie.
Best Visual Effects, Academy Awards 2017; Best Special Effects, BAFTAs 2017
Once again, Iron Man director Jon Favreau has magically pulled out another incredibly fun blockbuster from behind Disney’s circular ear. While it tips its hat to the 1967 animated film, this fantastical retelling of Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale moves to its own vibrant drum beat with a visual razzle dazzle that takes the tiger from Life of Pi and multiplies it by a whole jungle.
Studios are in the recycling business... lightly diverting, it is also disappointing, partly because it feels like a pumped-up version of Disney's 1967 animated film, with more action and less sweetness.