I loved Disney’s The Jungle Book. I thought it was not only better than the animated version; I thought it was better than Kipling’s book (maybe blasphemy, but there it is). I have wondered for a long time how Andy Serkis was going to separate his take on The Jungle Book, and with the release of the first trailer for the fall film, you can clearly see this is an entirely different take. Mowgli appears to be well-titled, because its focus is squarely on the man-cub after he’s grown to the age where Disney’s version leaves him. I’ve always thought the animated version’s end was ridiculous because you knew five seconds after he wandered into that village after the girl that a mob was going to chase him right back out or throw him in a cage. That’s exactly where Andy Serkis begins this trailer. You add to that a voice cast boasting Serkis, Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Naomie Harris, and Cate Blanchett as well as the motion capture expertise that Serkis has been perfecting through the Planet of the Apes trilogy, and Mowgli just jumped to the top of my most anticipated films of the fall. The film is set to open October 19, 2018, more from Coming Soon below. Continue reading Mowgli Trailer #1 (2018) *Witness the Darkest Telling*
Walt Disney Home Entertainment has officially announced that it will release on Blu-ray director Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book (2016), featuring the voices of Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o, and Bill Murray. The release will be available for purchase on August 30.
Please note that the 3D version of The Jungle Book will be available later this year.
Synopsis: Synopsis: Directed by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”), based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, “The Jungle Book” is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire.
The all-star cast also includes Lupita Nyong’o as the voice of the fiercely protective mother wolf Raksha, and Giancarlo Esposito as the voice of wolf pack’s alpha male Akela. “The Jungle Book” seamlessly blends live-action with photorealistic CGI animals and environments, using up-to-the-minute technology and storytelling techniques to immerse audiences in an enchanting and lush world.
- “The Jungle Book” Reimagined – Favreau sits down with producer Brigham Taylor and visual effects supervisor Robert Legato to discuss “The Jungle Book” and reflect on the years they devoted to the reimagining of this timeless tale. Discover how Rudyard Kipling’s original stories and the classic animated film influenced their unique approach, witness the technical wizardry that enabled the team to create a believable and thrilling movie-going experience, and learn how they borrowed a page from Walt Disney’s innovation playbook to make it all happen. Lastly, meet the all-star voice cast who help bring the film’s colorful characters to life, as well as the musicians who accent the adventure with a majestic music score.
- I Am Mowgli – Follow the extraordinary journey of 12-year-old Neel Sethi, who was selected from thousands of hopefuls worldwide to play Mowgli “alongside” some of today’s biggest movie stars. Get a glimpse of Neel’s life before Hollywood came calling, check out his audition that sealed the deal, and see how a close-working relationship with Favreau brought out his best. Plus, Neel shares how filming “The Jungle Book” was one wild ride, from working alongside imaginary animals to performing some super-fun stunts.
- King Louie’s Temple: Layer by Layer – So, exactly how do you create a musical number featuring one man-cub, a massive, legendary ape and an army of wild and wily monkeys in the Seeonee jungle? Viewers are granted rare and unique access to the development of the “I Wan’na Be Like You” sequence in which King Louie attempts to coerce Mowgli into giving up Man’s deadly “red flower” (fire). A fast-moving musical progression reel showcases storyboards, animatics, Christopher Walken’s recording session and visual effects layers, which ultimately merge to form one of the film’s most memorable scenes.
- Audio Commentary – Favreau delivers his scene-by-scene perspective on the live-action adventure “The Jungle Book” with all the candor and humor you’d expect from this multi-talented actor-writer-director-producer.
Hard as it is to believe, 2016 is halfway done. For moviegoers, 2016 has had its disappointments (Batman vs. Superman…really anything Warner Brothers made), but it’s also delivered flawless films, super hero awesomeness, animated classics, and some surprise gems. The story of the year so far, though, is Disney. The studio has manhandled the box office, winning nearly half the weeks in the year thus far. Yes, Alice: Through the Looking-Glass failed and The BFG isn’t looking like a winner, but the studio barely noticed because the films trampling those and still earning were OTHER Disney films. They’ve made my top three films of the year, to date, and four of the top seven. Disney is hitting it out of the park with all of its major weapons: Disney Animation (Zootopia), Live-Action Films (Jungle Book), Pixar (Finding Dory), and Marvel (Cap: Civil War). Not to mention that it still has another Marvel film in Dr. Strange this fall and that’s all before we get to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. They’re pretty much running a clinic on how to deliver quality and how that translates into monetary success. I’m looking forward to a lot of films in the year’s second half, and who knows what the final list will be, but here are my Top 5 Films of 2016 at halftime. Continue reading Top 5: Films of 2016 at the Midpoint
“Now this is the law of the jungle, as old and as true as the sky, And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die. As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the law runneth forward and back; For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”
Disney has been remaking their classic animated features into live-action films for a while now, and I haven’t really been impressed at the effort. There seemed no need for them. It simply looked like a money grab. Disney’s The Jungle Book is a film that needed to be made, because it couldn’t have been made before now. It’s not often, in the age of FX we live in, that I can say I’ve never seen anything like this, but bringing an entire jungle of completely CGI photorealistic animals who speak, and never having it look fake is astounding. The entire film is. Jon Favreau has combined a strong script leaning much more on Kipling’s books, but giving homage to the 1967 animated film, with groundbreaking effects and one of the best performances I’ve ever seen given by a child to make his best film yet by far. I can’t find flaw in it. In fact, I would go so far to say that this surpasses Kipling (whose prose I never really enjoyed) as the definitive version of The Jungle Book story. Quite simply, it’s a masterpiece. Continue reading Movie Review: Disney’s The Jungle Book (2016) *Disney Brings the Wonder to the Jungle*
The animated version of Disney’s The Jungle Book has about as much to do with Kipling’s two Jungle Book novels (oh, yes, there are two) as Disney’s Robin Hood has to do with that particular legend. Both star Phil Harris as the exact same bear so who knows? I’ve always loved the movie. It was my wife’s favorite of the animated classics, so I’m a little bummed I can’t take her this weekend to the live-action version, which is getting incredible reviews. But when I hear this song, one of my favorites from Disney’s canon, I think of her and smile.