‘The Jungle Book’ lives up to the hype


Photo Courtesy of Disney

THE JUNGLE BOOK – (L-R) MOWGLI and KAA. ©2015 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Ninotchka Valdez, Editor-in-Chief

“The Jungle Book” is another movie to add to the growing list of animated Disney movies that are once again making their way back into the big screen with a darker twist. In the past couple of years, those at home saw trailers of their favorite childhood movies on their television screens including titles like “Tarzan” and “Maleficent.”

The movie follows the story of a boy-often referred to as a man-cub named Mowgli who finds himself abandoned in the forest, after his father is killed. He is taken in by a wolf pack, but while he is quick to learn the ropes in order to survive, he maintains his cunning nature, and more often than not, resorts to using and creating tools in order to accomplish everyday tasks. Despite having lived in the jungle for a majority of his life, he is still seen as strange by the other animals, and he finds himself threatened by the tiger Shere Khan. Bagheera, a black panther who found and helped raise him, pushes him to leave the jungle and flee to the “man-village” for safety. On his journey, he meets and befriends a bear by the name of Baloo who helps him to see where he really belongs.

Mowgli is played by Neel Seethi, and although he is only 10-years-old and hardly the most experienced actor in Hollywood, his execution of the character, from the dialogue to the movements, was so natural. It was heart-warming to see that the songs kids have grown to love from the animated movie were still woven throughout the film, and although real life does not give much room for instilling characters breaking into songs, the movie flowed well. The saturated colors, as viewers might have expected from a movie taking place in the wild, brought the movie to life and left the audience staring up at the scene in wonder.

Despite the quality of the film as a whole, there were moments when the film reflected scenes found in a documentary about nature more than a story full of adventure and drama. Although time-lapses may be expected by the audience, the approach taken made the film seem cheesy, with lights changing over a still setting to represent time passing. The movie was also entirely narrated by Bagheera, and although it provided a whimsical tone to the film, there were times when it seemed more comical than alluring.

Overall, the film met all expectations and more with amusing, fast-paced dialogue in lighter scenes, as well as expectations in terms of the visuals. It is best to watch the film on its own, instead of comparing it to the animated film. Those looking for the same story in the animated film will be disappointed, as the movie increases the amount of scenes entirely filled with action, and has an ending far from the ending in the animated movie. Nevertheless, “The Jungle Book” is a film that definitely deserves a watch, and will keep even those familiar with the story on their toes.