Lost in the Jungle Once Again

Good evening primitive and intelligent beings. Last night was fun as hell. I didn't get to celebrate my birthday with my friends until now so I decided to make the most of it.

What better way to do that than to see a movie I was was desperate to see for months.

The first time I saw the trailer back in December, I knew right away what the movie was before the title appeared. I have been a fan of The Jungle Book, since I was a wee mite, it is probably one of the most hilarious Disney movies I've seen. I knew that this was going to be an exciting moment for it to return to the big screen in live action. So I went to the theater with big expectations.

Now, I won't spoil too much, but it might be okay to leak a few things since the movie's been out for a month now. I couldn't see it back then because of final exams. So without any further ado:


Feeling of nostalgia approaching in 3...2...1
The story itself is pretty much the same thing as the original, with a few small changes so I won't talk about it too much. I like the idea of the whole truce between different animals at the remaining waterhole during the drought season, I thought that that was a interesting and unique idea. I giggled when the gazelles drank and Bagheera came up to them and said he wouldn't eat them until he's had his fill. So it's not entirely about Mowgli going back to live with his own kind for his own safety, but also that it's the only place where the animals thought it would be appropriate for him to do his human survival tricks. As I said, I won't spoil, but I was surprised by how it ended, you'll have to see it to find out.

I have a lot to say about the characters, most of them are done by well-known actors. But they have a lot more development, and a few alters to their originals personalities, without discarding anything from the original.

Bagheera hasn't changed much, he's still that panther who tries to look after Mowgli and warn him of the dangers.

Mowgli on the other hand, I found him to be a lot more passive and agreeing to what others thought was best for him, unlike in the original movie he was more assertive and tried to do things his own way before succumbing to Shanti's charms at the end of the movie.

Forget about your worries and your strife
Baloo was so funny in this movie, and even though I only have seen Bill Murray for this role and Ghostbusters. I think he did a good job bringing out Baloo's laid back, cheerful, and humorous personality. I love how he tricked Mowgli into believing that the bees wouldn't sting him as he went to fetch the honey, but they did sting after all. He made the poor kid work for him before they actually became friends. But at least he still somewhat resembles the classic.

When I first saw the trailer, I was surprised that they decided to make Kaa female this time. But then again, it seems a little understandable because there aren't a lot of female characters in the original movie. I'm not too upset about this change, surprisingly, at least they kept Kaa's hypnotic abilities.

I wanna be like you
So, about King Louie, we all knew how goofy he was in the original movie. In this version, well....my first thoughts were when I saw the trailer was: are orangutans supposed to be that large? I don't think so. Turns out that, in this movie, he is actually an ancient relative of the orangutan (I think): A gigantopithecus is what they call it. I guess they were trying to go for something historically accurate, because an ape that large apparently did roam the jungles thousands of years ago. It was said to be the largest that ever existed. In reality, orangutans are not found in India, so it's no wonder they decided to morph him to their ancestors. So yeah, and Christopher Walken is known to play creepy roles, so it's safe to say Louie was made to be kind of "darker" in this movie, and still sing his signature song. Perhaps the director's intentions were to make Louie more intimidating by turning him from an orangutan to a monstrous ape that existed hundreds of thousands of years ago (and I thought gorillas were the largest), and I think they succeeded. I was on the edge of my seat when he came out of the dark and pursued Mowgli through the temple.

Hey pussycat
Last but not least, I'll talk about Shere Kahn. When I saw the original movie, I thought that the way he presented himself, he was meant to be feared. But in this movie, he has a lot more depth. He reveals more about why he hates the presence of man in the jungle, and why he hates fire. When he took Akela's place and started conversing with the wolf pups, I was so afraid he was going to kill or eat one of them. I like how he has a bigger role over all because he doesn't appear until halfway through the original film. When you've got a good villain, at least give him/her some more development/screen time. 

So over all I left the theater not disappointed at all. Disney wanted to remake this movie and they did a good job staying true to it in hopes of pleasing the fans that grew up with the original. I don't get too blinded by nostalgia so I'm more likely to give new things a chance and then share what I think about it. I will end up liking both, or one more than the other and have a constructive opinion of it. 

I love how they opened the movie with the original score music and narration, that was the perfect way to show the audience that "We know how much you guys love the original, so we're going to make sure all the classic stuff stays,". They didn't get rid of any of the songs, and not all of the plot was the same but the changes they made surprised me but did not disappoint me. I like how they also gave more development to the wolves including the one that raised Mowgli, (I forget her name)

So yeah, over all, I think this remake of the classic was well done. My only negative thing to say is, where were those vultures? The ones that hang out together as good friends, they should have put them in there.

But other than that, great film for a remake, I'll give it 9.5/10. 

What are your thoughts on the movie if you've seen it? Be sure to comment below.

-Emily


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