Up until a few days ago, I was on the fence as to whether or not I was going to take my son to see the latest adaptation of The Jungle Book. He is 3 1/2 years old, and I wasn’t sure if he’d get scared by some of the scenes. But, he has watched the animated version several times and loves it when we read the Little Golden Book to him.
For the most part, he is able to watch animated movies like Zootopia without any problem. But he has also watched live action movies like Pan and Paddington and surprisingly, he was able to watch those movies in their entirety. So I waited for the reviews of Jungle Book to be released and it seemed that most of the reviews said that it depended on the child.
Ultimately, my husband and I decided that our son would probably be able to watch the entire movie, and enjoy it. My son usually does well if we prepare him in advance for the movie. So whenever we take him to a movie, we show him the trailer several times to see if it’s something he’d be interested in watching and he definitely seemed interested in seeing The Jungle Book.
With that, on to a review of the movie. It was fantastic and my son really enjoyed it (as did my husband and I)! Jon Favreau directed the movie, and did a great job incorporating different elements. (As an aside, my husband has been told several times that he looks like Jon Favreau, lol – I’ll let that be our claim to fame!). Here are some of the things that really stood out to us:
Mowgli (portrayed by newcomer Neel Sethi) is a man cub raised by the wolves after being rescued by Bagheera, a panther. Bagheera is voiced by Sir Ben Kingsley, and I can’t imagine him voiced by anyone else. I thought Neel Sethi also did a great job interacting with the animals, especially since the animals were created via CGI (more about that below). All the other actors and actresses are just as noteworthy for voicing the animals that they portray: Lupita Nyong’o (Raksha the wolf), Idris Elba (Shere Khan the tiger), Scarlett Johannson (Kaa the python), Christopher Walken (King Louie the ape) and Bill Murray (Baloo the bear).
The special effects
The movie was filmed using CGI (computer-generated imagery). For me, this can be a hit or miss depending on the movie. I’ve seen some movies filmed with CGI that just came across as too over the top. But I didn’t feel that way with the The Jungle Book. The animals seemed very realistic, as well as the fight scenes.
Baloo breaks out singing “The Bare Necessities” and King Louie sings “I Wanna Be Like You.” You’ll walk out of the movie singing one of those songs 😊
With that being said, there were some intense scenes throughout the movie. My son held my hand a few times during the movie, but overall, he didn’t get scared. At the end, we asked him who his favorite character was and he said the big monkey (King Louie). When we asked him if King Louie was a good guy or bad guy, he said bad guy. And he also told us during the movie that Shere Khan was a bad tiger. So at least I know he was paying attention to the movie! And my favorite character? Baloo.
“Look for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities, forget about your worries and your strife….”