The Daily Gamecock

'The Jungle Book' warms hearts, honors Disney classic

The Jungle Book. (Walt Disney Studios)
The Jungle Book. (Walt Disney Studios)

Disney's highly anticipated remake of its beloved classic film "The Jungle Book"  — a modern retelling of the 1967 animated feature starring Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson and Christopher Walken — was released Friday.

Director Jon Favreau’s adaptation of the legend was every bit as magical and endearing as the original. While most people can agree that sequels, adaptations and remakes hardly amount to the original films, "The Jungle Book," also based on Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 collection of stories, only made viewers fall more in love with the characters and the narrative.

From the very beginning, viewers are taken on an action-packed journey that, with the help of the film’s beautiful cinematography and unbelievable special effects, feels positively lifelike. 

Newcomer Neel Sethi plays Mowgli, a “man-cub” who was raised by a close-knit pack of wolves and forced to embark on a new adventure after a threat from the self-proclaimed ruler of the jungle, Shere Khan (voiced by Idris Elba). After a confrontation at the Peace Rock with the tiger, who detests mankind, the young boy must escape the tiger’s wrath and start a strange new life in the “man village,” even though the jungle is the only home he has ever known. With the help of old and new friends, Mowgli begins a brave journey that ultimately becomes a quest of self-discovery.

While the film preserves the magic and the memories of the Disney classic, it also adds its own new flair with new characters, hilarious commentary and plot twists. In addition to cast originals Baloo the bear, Bagheera the panther, Kaa the snake, wolves Raksha and Akela and King Louie the ape, we are introduced to brand new characters, including wolf cub Grey and the porcupine Ikki, who add to the heartwarming tale. The film’s soundtrack also brings back all the feels of the 1967 film — reprising favorites such as “The Bare Necessities” and “I Wan'na Be Like You."

"The Jungle Book" truly brings to life the jungle and its lovable, incredibly realistic creatures, making it a must-see this season for children and adults alike.