The Jungle Book, a visual masterpiece bolstered by a talented cast and a classic story


Photo courtesy of Disney

Seth Ritchie, Contributing Writer

The Jungle Book is a live-action remake of the 1967 classic of the same name and follows Mowgli (Neel Sethi) as he attempts to flee the jungle with the help of his mentor Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) and the laid-back Baloo (Bill Murray).

The Jungle Book boasts incredible visual effects, with every animal looking as if they were completely real. The audience is able to discern every single strand of fur in the film and the result is breathtaking. The jungle itself is equally magnificent, feeling as if one could walk right in. The talented actors that voice the various inhabitants of the jungle bring their characters to life, notably Idris Elba as the undoubtedly evil Shere Khan. However, out of this talented cast, Bill Murray steals the show, providing most of the film’s comic relief and making the plot of the film much more tender and heart-warming. The Jungle Book’s story withstands the test of time and proves to be as engaging as it was fifty years ago.

Faults in the movie are minor. Neel Sethi’s portrayal of Mowgli is a bit underwhelming at times, but overall, he did quite well, considering it was Sethi’s first movie role. Though the CGI (computer generated imagery) is fantastic for the most part, it does not flatter King Louie (Christopher Walken), the 10-foot ape who tries to obtain man’s fire from Mowgli. Louie’s face looks almost exactly like Walken’s, creating a horrific face-swap that plunges the audience straight into the uncanny valley.

The Jungle Book is more than just another CGI spectacle piece. Despite its almost negligible faults, the movie’s dedicated cast and poignant script make The Jungle Book a genuinely entertaining movie that can be enjoyed by fans of the original and and newcomers alike.