The Jungle Book (2016) delivers on all fronts with gorgeous CGI, beloved songs, and one hell of a child actor.
The Jungle Book (2016) Synopsis
Shere Khan, the most feared predator of the Indian Jungle, is determined to kill Mowgli, a human child raised by wolves since young. So as not to endanger the wolves, Mowgli decides to head to a human village and is accompanied during his journey by black panther Bagheera. En route, Mowgli is separated from Bagheera and meets Baloo, a sloth bear who rescues him from a monstrous python. After learning of how Shere Khan has been tyrannising the wolves since his departure, Mowgli decides to return and confront the predator. He does so with the aid of the legendary red flower of the humans.
When I first heard about this remake months ago, two questions burnt in my head. Would a CGI “realistic” version ruin my fond memories of the 1967 animated version? Would the signature songs from that version be reused in this update?
Answers to both question … The remake is not only great, it’s better. And yes! The best of the songs from the animated version are in it. Lovingly honoured, down to their jazzy arrangements.
The Jungle Book (2016) is truly a rare example of a remake surpassing its predecessor. All cherished elements from the ’67 version are retained, with modern technology further enhancing viewing experience with spectacular backdrops. Especially worthy of mention is Indian-American child actor Neel Sethi too. Gosh, could this kid act! He effortlessly alternates between naive juvenile and intrepid hero, segueing into each role with ease and charm.
While the singing animals were the stars in the animated version, Sethi’s immaculate skills as an actor would be what audiences remember about this remake for a long time. I much look forward to greater works by this very talented boy in the future. For once, I hope for a sequel, just to see Sethi as Mowgli again.
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