The Jungle Book Trailer (2016)

Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, The Jungle Book is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire.

The Jungle Book marks Bill Murray's Disney debut; he provides the voice of Baloo.

Original Jungle Book lyricist and composer, Richard M. Sherman, has written new songs for the film.

All locations in the movie are CG backgrounds, and the animals are created using a mix of humans filmed using live-action VFX, and CG.

This is the first time the snake, Kaa, has been portrayed as female. Voiced by Scarlett Johansson, director Jon Favreau said it was a deliberate choice as he felt there weren't enough female characters in the original movie. Ironically, female snakes are far more viscous than their male counterparts.

The Jungle Book Trailer Screencap

Following on from Cinderella, Disney bring us the next in a long line of live-action reimaginings, this time it's a remake of their 1967 animated classic, The Jungle Book.

Most of us know the story of Mowgli, the man cub raised by wolves deep in the Indian jungle. With the fearsome tiger, Shere Kahn, eager to catch Mowgli, it is up to the strait-laced yet kind panther Bagheera, and the lovable, happy-go-lucky bear, Baloo, to escort Mowgli safely to the man village.

Along the way they meet a whole host of animals, not least the intimidating and totally crazy King Louie, a giant ape who wishes to become more like a human. In this version, he is voiced by Christopher Walken.

Newcomer Neel Sethi plays the part of Mowgli, the only human on screen. The animals are voiced by an all-star cast including Sir Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong'o, and Idris Elba.

There's not denying this trailer is impressive; the CG is incredible and the sense of action and adventure that Favreau wanted to capture certainly comes across. Favreau also said he wanted his version of The Jungle Book to be darker, closer to Rudyard Kipling's original tale. Again, that is clear from the trailer, but one can't help but feel it's all a little bleak.

Part of what made the animated Jungle Book so great is the singing, the dancing, the overall joyfulness. Now, that's not to say this version won't have plenty of light-hearted moments too, but the trailer doesn't give that impression; it seems as though Favreau has gone for fear rather than fun.

Will it work? Well, as a standalone film it will probably be a good piece of animation with a decent enough storyline but as a remake of a classic? I don't think it will even come close.

1 min 45 sec


Posted On
September 15, 2015
Jon Favreau

Rudyard Kipling

Walt Disney Pictures

April 15, 2016
Scarlett Johansson
Idris Elba
Lupita Nyong'o
Ben Kingsley
Neel Sethi
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