The Jungle Book: A Review
Hot movie: Jungle Book: Suitable for Kids
I’ve seen the new Jungle Book movie twice. The first time I saw it was because the trailers intrigued me and it looked like a beautiful and well done movie. The second time I saw it was because the first time didn’t disappoint and I liked it so much I wanted to see it again.
There were a few things that stood out to me.
The quality of the acting (by the kid, obviously) was so great. How they found a kid that could really be so natural in all of his movements and reactions and speech patterns was beyond me. Really superb casting there.
Also the kid was a natural for that part. From his appearance to his mannerisms to his language, he was perfect. He reminded me a lot of the animated Mowgli in the original Disney movie.
Another thing that stood out was the naturalness of the animals talking. I had really wondered about that before I went in to the theater. I wondered how the producers were going to pull that off without it looking incredibly hokey.
I’m still not sure how they did it, but it didn’t look hokey. As much as you can make a talking animal look real, they did. I suspect that we as viewers had some pre-sets present. In other words, we have all seen the original animated Jungle Book movie, in which the animals all talked. So I think the story would have felt weird if the animals in the new movie hadn’t talked. And it would have looked weird if the animals had talked but their mouths hadn’t moved. They really had to have the animals speak with moving mouths if they wanted to replicate the original animated version.
Another thing that stood out to me was how closely the movie followed the animated version, and the fact that some of the same songs were used in both movies. It wasn’t exactly predictable, at least not in a negative sense. It was comfortingly familiar with enough interesting interpretations and variations on the original to make it a fresh and new viewing experience.
Suitable for Children?
I’ve had some people ask me if the movie is suitable for small children. I have answered that it depends on your kids and on what they already watch.
There are definitely scary parts of the movie—those moments when Sher Kahn, the tiger, kills Mowgli’s adopted dad, when the tiger attacks Mowgli, and when it falls out of the burning tree to its death. Also a kid could be unsettled by the scenes when King Louie the giant monkey is chasing Mowgli, and when he is being crushed by the crumbling temple.
Those points in the movie could be pretty disturbing to a little one. Still, you know your kid. If you watch scary stuff regularly at home, then your kid will be fine. If you don’t, you may want to wait for the DVD showing or see it yourself first and make a decision after that.
I give The Jungle Book two thumbs up.