The Jungle Book Review
RYAN: This is Disney’s latest live action adaptation of their classic animated films and it’s there finest one yet! And I’m comparing it to Cinderella, Maleficent, Alice in Wonderland… It’s their first musical retelling. Beauty and the Beast will be as well. I can’t wait for that one. I only saw the original Jungle Book once as a child and don’t remember it that well but this brought back memories. And remember enough to notice there are some changes to the story. It’s so beautiful and cool! I’m not an outdoorsy type but this movie makes me wanna go live with the animals in the jungle.
CHUCK: They did make a few tweaks but they stay so true to the original and there were many, little homages throughout that gave me the chills. Even the way the boy walked was similar to the animated version.
RYAN: There are some iconic images from the artwork in the classic film that came to life here. They literally were breathtaking.
CHUCK: Absolutely. I have a hard time calling this live action because so much of it is CGI. The animals, the waterfalls, the jungle – it’s all so lush and so photorealistic. The fur, the water – all unbelievable. But the animals were slightly cartoonish.
RYAN: Well the spoke and their eyes were more humanlike in their expression.
RYAN: Especially the snake. Whoa – that was some of the best effects in the film.
CHUCK: It was as mesmerizing as the character. In the original, Kaa is male but they cast Scar Jo in this film.
CHUCK: Lupita Nyong’o – amazing. Can I see her in a movie though? She’s a great talent. Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley…
RYAN: And the boy, Neel Sethi was terrific. And could there be sequels? There are other Mowgli stories that could be adapted if this does well enough.
CHUCK: Anything is possible.
RYAN: I am so impressed by this. Disney is so consistently good – but to walk in expecting to be dazzled and walk out impressed is a fulfilling experience. I was exhausted today, traveling but I was almost leaning into it. And the 3D is subtle. It’s not a pop up book.
CHUCK: I loved it. It was filmed in 3D and director Jon Favreau did some amazing work but keeping the action quick and exciting without movie the camera too much. They were basically fast still shots with action in them instead of moving the camera which ends up blurring in 3D and giving some people headaches.
RYAN: That’s a good point. He figured out how to improve action in 3D. And I’m so happy they put the songs in there. Even Christopher Walken redeemed himself from TV’s Peter Pan.
CHUCK: This is the one place we will disagree. I didn’t like him in it. I loved Baloo and Mowgli’s song and thought it fit, but didn’t think Christopher’s worked. Also, I don’t know why he was so big.
RYAN: This is a big movie. It was crazy.
CHUCK: But they need to stop hiring him to sing.
RYAN: You have to stay for the credits – there’s a Scarlett Johansson song and great animation and 3D. And it’s a little dark. Some kids were scared but it’s Disney PG.
CHUCK: It’s ok for kids to get scared and have emotions!
RYAN: I agree. Snow White was scary as a child – but we’re ok. It’s a right of passage.
CHUCK: Jon did an awesome job directing.
RYAN: This is the man who did Iron Man – he knows his action.
CHUCK: The Pacing is fantastic and all the CGI is incredible – same company that did Lord of the Rings. It has a great story of belonging and what makes a family.
RYAN: And also about being true to yourself without fear. I’m a Jungle Book fan now. I wasn’t before. Disney Magic, personified.