Disney's 2016 remake is the fourth installment in their live action renditions of their own famous animated productions. Previous attempts have been hit and miss, however Jungle Book actually succeeds on all counts.
The characters are more fleshed out this time and their relationships with each other are much stronger. Mowgli and his wolf family, in particular. The animated movies skimmed over this family, but the newer film takes the opportunity to explore the affection between Mowgli, his mother, and his siblings. That was a nice touch.
Mowgli's relationships with Baloo and Bagheera are about the same, but you do get a deeper sense of responsibility from both of them as they try to protect Mowgli.
Shere Khan was terrifying and simply evil. Now for this, I give points to the animated movie for having a better Shere Khan, in that he didn't need to act menacing. His reputation did all that for him, and thus made him free to put on the refined gentleman mask. In the remake, he kills without any hesitation and while that's threatening, it's not as scary as someone calmly planning your demise.
Mowgli was pretty cool in this. They made him to be the MacGyver of the jungle, using his surroundings to build simple things to help himself and others in everyday ways. The law of the jungle makes building things to be extremely taboo and we see Mowgli struggling between his love of the jungle and developing his skills as a human.
The world of the jungle was just fascinating to me. It was interesting to hear what the laws of the jungle are and how they apply to all of the characters. Not to mention the imagery was wonderful.
My minor gripes are: Kaa needed to be in more of the story and King Louie didn't need to have a musical number. I know one of the popular songs in the original movie, but we didn't need to have him sing it out.
In the Books vs. Movies debate, I'm giving it to the movie this time. The book is cool, but I'm not a fan of the composition. The book is essentially comprised of several short stories, not a solid plot. The movie has a solid plot and is definitely worth watching. Don't miss it!
Next time: Civil War.