Another in a series of remakes of Disney movies, originally produced as an animated musical in 1967 . . . this new version returns to Rudyard Kipling's strong storyline, with truly amazing visuals.

The only human in this story is Mowgli, an orphaned boy who was raised by wolves. It is a tale that combines aspects of Tarzan, Apocalypse Now, Quest for Fire and King Kong, all set in the backdrop of a cinematically created jungle with creatures so life-like that they are nearly impossible to distinguish from real animals -- an astonishing advance in digital technology -- perfectly suited to this movie, with a panther, a bear and a tiger as the main animal characters. These are not cartoon animals, such as we have seen in Ice Age or Madagascar. These are very realistically rendered recreations of wolves, monkeys, mice, snakes and great cats . . . with young Neel Sethi as Mowgli seamlessly woven into the each scene.

The animals are given their voices by Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken, Idris Elba and Lupita Nyong'o.

The Jungle Book lends itself well to 3D (worth the upcharge); but is equally entertaining in 2D, and will be best appreciated while it in theater. Highly recommended for children and adults.

See also my review of Star Wars -- The Force Awakens.


-- Thomas Ormsby


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