**Image source: Disney.com
First, let me say this movie is simply incredible but as the reviewer it is my job to be subjective and provide as much insight to the movie as possible. With that being said, let’s break down the good and “bad” (which is really just being picky) and discuss why this movie is a must watch!
The Jungle Book is visually stunning. From the landscapes, animals, and various effects it is simply beautiful. I cannot remember one moment where the CGI was noticeable or poorly executed. Most of the time I was in disbelief just how real they replicated every texture, animal coat, or effect. It is very easy to find yourself lost in this world.
Next and probably the most important aspect of The Jungle Book I was looking for in this movie was the music. I just wasn’t sure where or even how much they would incorporate from the original Disney Classic. I was pleasantly surprised that the more marquee pieces were present. The “Bear Necessities” and “I Wanna Be Like You”, were done very tastefully and I have to say the Main Theme is incredible in addition to the rest of the music added throughout the movie. I don’t think anyone would be disappointed but it is not a musical and what songs were included are modified or weaved into the dialogue more than full numbers. I was not disappointed in the least and as I said earlier, I was pay close attention to this piece of the movie as it was very important to me.
Let’s segue into where I get picky. Before I say anything that may appear to be negative, the story is fantastic and we are taken a little deeper into The Jungle Book story. However, if you’re looking for the more bright and whimsical story of The Jungle Book, it’s not there. That’s not to say the comedic pieces are not present and light-heartedness but it is dark and even a little frightening. I believe there are two parts where something “jumps out” and surprises you. I had a 4 and 8 yr old and it wasn’t anything they couldn’t handle but people do get scratched, a little blood, and it’s even suspenseful at times.
I’ll try not to spoil anything in my next comment but there are also a couple of moments were we “lose” a couple of characters. So your children may have to deal with the loss of a character or two. Shere Khan is very clearly established to be a villain and so there are some dark and evil moments. Now, is this bad? No, i’m not critiquing this direction but I feel that people (especially parents with small children) may want to know.
Lastly, and this was more of a head-scratching moment for me was the ending. It’s not bad but it is different than the classic. Maybe this was intentional to set up for a sequel or there are simply more adventures to occur prior to the ending from the classic but (again without spoiling) it’s slightly different.
Overall, it’s an incredible retelling of the classic and while there’s a darker tone and a more realistic approach to the film, it in no way impacts the quality of the story or film. It is still a fantastic story with stunning visuals, beloved songs, and enduring characters. You won’t be disappointed! I’m going to give this a 5 star rating simply because I cannot critique the movie in any negative way but most of the critiques I have are “heads up” for parents and children not quite sure how it compares the original. Regardless, this movie is phenomenal and I think people of all ages will sincerely enjoy this Disney classic retold.