‘The Jungle Book’ is an immersive remake

Zoë Jennings

Courtesy of Disney Movie Trailers.


Disney’s remake of the 1967 “The Jungle Book” is a beautifully-crafted adventure for viewers. The remake is worth watching because of its realistic, computer-generated imagery along with a live-action boy.

Based on the 1894 children’s stories by Rudyard Kipling, the new movie did not have a clear target audience. It was too scary for young children and too simplistic for adults. The former cartoonish predators from the original movie were depicted in the new movie as ferocious and realistic animals.

Directed by Jon Favreau, director of Iron Man,”The Jungle Book” tells the story of a boy named Mowgli, played by Neel Sethi, who was raised by wolves and grew up in the jungle. The fearsome tiger Shere Khan, voiced by Idris Elba, fueled by a vendetta against humans, wanted Mowgli to leave the jungle and return to human civilization.

As Mowgli runs away from Khan he meets friends and enemies in the jungle. Panther Bagheera, voiced by Ben Kingsley, who is Mowgli’s life-long mentor, guides Mowgli in his journey. Along the way, Mowgli meets a bear named Baloo, voiced by Bill Murray, and they become friends. Mowgli encounters two evil animals: Kaa the snake, voiced by Scarlett Johansson, and King Louie the orangutan, voiced by Christopher Walken.

The overall message of the movie is that everyone should work together for the best result. The film includes Kipling’s poem “The Law of the Jungle,” which was inspired by Kipling’s views of an ideal society in which people would follow rules to ensure peace.  Mowgli grew up reciting the poem, which includes the line, “The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”

The movie included three songs from the original movie. “The Bare Necessities” fit in well with the fun and comedic character of Baloo. “I Wan’na Be Like You” was played when Mowgli met King Louie and did not fit the angry head honcho orangutan who sang the song while trying to capture Mowgli. “Trust in Me” was featured in the credits.

The voice acting was good in the movie, and it was fun to hear famous voices. Baloo was the most lovable animal and served as the comedic relief for the movie. Baloo and Mowgli’s bond was heart-warming. “If anything happens to that kid, I’ll never forgive myself,” said a concerned Baloo.

Disney’s success in reviving a classic animation to a real-life form leaves viewers to wonder if Disney will revive other animated classics such as “The Lion King.” This could be a new frontier for Disney. However, this plan may exclude small children due to the realistic, and therefore potentially scary, scenes. 

Despite the ambiguous target audience, Disney’s revival of “The Jungle Book” is worth the watch. Viewers can fully immerse themselves in the classic tale or just sit back and enjoy the beautiful, computer-generated scenery. 

Collegian Reporter Zoe Jennings can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.