This movie blew me away. It is visually stunning.
I was a bit skeptical when I saw the trailer because you know, nothing looked real.
But I was blown away by how beautifully constructed and designed the Jungle Book world was.
Mowgli (Neel Sethi), a human child, was raised by Raksha (voiced by Lupita Nyong’o) , a wolf in a pack led by Akela (voiced by Gioncarlo Esposito). He grew up with the wolves and identified himself as one. However, Mowgli was always different. He could walk on two legs and invented tools to make things more convenient.
Sadly, the wolves always followed the rules, and they made Mowgli promise to embrace the wolf way, not the man way.
Then one day, Shere Khan (voiced by my beloved Idris Elba), the feared tiger in the jungle, wanted Mowgli handed over to him, and got the whole wolf pack worried.
Mowgli, feeling responsible, decided to leave the pack with Bagheera the panther (voiced by Ben Kingsley) who first founded him as a baby and trusted him into Raksha’s care.
Then the scary parts started from that point.
Shere Khan went after Mowgli and Bagheera, who told Mowgli to run as fast as he could while the guardian tried to hold Shere Khan for a bit.
Mowgli then got lost, deep into the jungle, and Kaa the snake (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) tried to eat him alive. Unfortunately for Kaa, Baloo the bear (voiced by Bill Murray) happened to pass by and saved Mowgli.
It was really strange however, to think that Baloo who could not climb, could save Mowgli who was up on a tree with Kaa.
We learned something really cool though, that the population in the jungle believed that whoever could have “the red flower” (a.k.a fire) would be on the top of the food chain. No wonder everyone hated men.
But that doesn’t matter, because this movie was awesome!
Meanwhile, Shere Khan took over the wolf pack by killing Akela, and terrorized the whole pack until Mowgli returned to them.
Baloo took Mowgli under his care and Mowgli wanted to stay with the bear. Later on Bagheera found them, and told Baloo to let Mowgli go.
Mowgli who was upset, got kidnapped by the monkey group and delivered to King Louie (voiced by Christopher Walken). King Louie offered Mowgli protection and family, in exchange of one thing: the red flower.
After learning that Shere Khan killed Akela and took over the wolf pack, Mowgli decided to run to the men village, steal some fire, and run back towards his wolf pack.
And the battle began.
I love this movie. I really enjoyed it.
Now, this movie relies so much on CGI, and I have no problem with it. Sadly, poor Neel had to interact with CGI, and you can tell that the kid tried really hard.
I feel for him.
But this is something that is good about this movie: we are invested in the characters. And this is some excellent story telling.
The movie did the old cartoon justice, and I respect that. It created a whole world and it’s truly beautiful. It also teaches us important lessons: Do not burn the forest. Respect the elephants. A mother’s love runs deep. Monkeys are not to mess with. Bears sing and take long naps.
Point is, watch Nat Geo channel every now and then. Open your eyes to the world, the other world out there. We humans are not the only ones living on this Earth.
I give this movie 8.5/10. It is a must watch. Every frame is like a painting, and it’s amazing. Disney has been giving us some of the best cinematic experiences this year, and it’s not even halfway through 2016 yet.