Full disclosure, I’ve never seen the original Jungle Book movie from 1967. I was never raised on Disney’s animated classics, so I never really felt the need to go back and rediscover them. I’ve also been fairly aggravated with the sheer glut of remakes the company has been planning lately. However, after seeing the first trailer for Jon Favreau’s (Iron Man) new take on this tree coated tale, my tune might be changing. This looks like a pretty wonderful film.
What stands out in this trailer is just how visually striking the film appears to be. Not only are the vast environments lush and dangerous, but the animals themselves seem to be masterfully brought to life. While there certainly is still a little of the uncanny valley effect that has harmed CGI effects since the beginning, these are some of the most advanced looking designs I’ve ever seen. Baloo (Bill Murray) and Shere Kahn (Idris Elba) in particular are looking fantastic. I will say that Scarlett Johansson’s narration left a little to be desired, but perhaps she picks up the pace as the movie goes on. It looks like the perfect mix of intensity and nostalgia, and I can’t wait to check it out.
What do you guys think? CGI overload, or a benchmark for the advancing technology?
The Jungle Book opens April 15th, 2016.
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 wild adventure swings into theaters in 3D on April 15, 2016.