THE JUNGLE BOOK (original release date: April 15)
What a wonderful surprise this movie was. I was totally uninterested in seeing a live-action remake of the classic Disney animated film, but I was convinced by both the box office and the critics to give it a try and, wow was I wrong. The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau, connects on every possible level, it’s hard to overstate its ingenuity and breathtaking likeability.
Through live-action and CGI effects, The Jungle Book tells the story of Mowgli, a boy who is raised by the animals in the jungle, after having been orphaned as a boy. As he grows older, however, he comes to become more aware of who he is, where he belongs, and the growing threats against him. Mowgli embarks on an adventure, helped along the way by his loyal companions Baloo and Bagheera, traversing the jungle, with all its beauties and dangers, to get where he belongs. It is fantastical, tender, funny, heartbreaking and heartwarming, but, most of all, it is unbelievably endearing. The effects are so seamless, you can’t even see where the reality ends and the special effects start. Most of all, the characters, from Bill Murray’s Baloo to Ben Kingsley’s Bagheera make the movie the charming and timeless family experience that can and should be experienced by everyone.