Review of "The Jungle Book (2016) (DVD)"

published 02/04/2017 | IzzyS
Member since : 27/07/2006
Reviews : 809
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About me :
Thanks for all the rates through the years. Its the end of an era - im thankful to all who talked to me. Apologies for the mass postings but I have a ton of film reviews in drafts! ill try to re-rate as many ppl as I can.
Excellent
Pro Great visual effects/realism, very atmospheric, good voice acting, engrossing
Cons Not suitable for very young children perhaps? jerky camerawork ocassionally
very helpful
Did you enjoy it?
Story
Characters / Performances
Special Effects
Soundtrack

"An Impressively Realistic Action Packed Extravaganza"

- Story -

Mowgli, the man cub as he's referred to by members of the animal kingdom, is forced to leave the jungle he's been abandoned in and he sets out to see if he can find a new home, with the help of panther Bagheera and of course the jolly bear, Baloo.

- More Info., Thoughts & Opinions -

This is a family drama/adventure/fantasy film, with themes including acceptance and community. I should note that this is a review of the 2016, live action version, just to make that point clear.

I was impressed by the high quality of the special effects, with the various animals looking pretty much entirely realistic, when I presume they must have been created via CGI, certainly the ones which are shown to speak on screen. If not then wow, that really would be a remarkable discovery, talking tigers and the like!. Anyway, suffice to say I was suitably surprised and impressed with the way the visual effects were woven in to the jungle setting - due to its generally quite high realism, I felt it became really quite engrossing, as I wondered about how certain characters might be affected by the plot and suchlike. I felt the voice acting to be very good, with the more villainous characters having sombre voices and the like - the voices seemed to fit the personality of the characters.

I felt the jungle had somewhat of a magical feel to it - in that sense, it felt to me a bit like a childs fantasy film, of sorts. Having said that, I found myself jumping due to some sudden events happening, hence the PG rating, so it probably isn't quite suitable for every single family member (more on that later).

Cast wise, there are a wide range of well known actors who lend their voices to the various characters. The main character, that of Mowgli, is played by Neel Sethi. He gave a very good performance. Also present are Bill Murray as the voice of Baloo, Ben Kingsley as the voice of Bagheera, Idris Elba as the voice of Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson as the voice of Kaa, the devious snake and Christopher Walken as King Louie.

While this film undoubtably has morals to it, as (of course) does the original book by Rudyard Kipling, I felt it was quite well pitched, in that it didn't feel to me as if it was overly preachy. Its certainly an entertaining watch - its somewhat thrilling in parts, as we watch in fast paced motion as characters are forced to attack, flee or otherwise. I didn't find myself second guessing what plot developments may occur, I felt myself worrying about the outcome for Mowgli and some of his animal friends but I certainly didn't feel it to be a too simplistic film. If anything, I felt at times that the darker side of the jungle was made all too clear and as thus it certainly didn't seem primarily a patronising film either.

I noticed some decent camerawork used at certain times, to highlight how frantic things were in certain scenes - one scene featured what seemed like a camera bouncing around as Mowgli was quickly falling from a height - if anything, it may potentially bring on a mild case of vertigo or motion sickness perhaps but hopefully not and in any case it hopefully helps demonstrate how realistic it seemed and engrossing it felt.

Music wise, I quite liked the balance it had between relatively little, to no, music in some scenes and soothing orchestral pieces in others, while, in more sombre scenes, you can hear a more spooky classical piece.

Content wise, the film contains no swearing but it does contain some scenes depicting violent acts, with animals attacking others. There is no real blood shed shown in any kind of detail, so it isn't gory as such, although mild cuts are visible and it is potentially quite spooky and could frighten fairly young children, due to the dark lighting and the spooky or sombre sounding music played during more dark scenes (in terms of the plot and in terms of visually). I would imagine that it should be fine for slightly older children to watch - say about 9 or 10 years old, or older, which is roughly when I started watching films of the PG rating, which this film indeed carries (although mostly with my parents near by).

I wasn't sure what I'd think of it, given that I've been a big fan of Disney films as a child and I, obviously, was very keen on the original, cartoon version of the film, although this version follows a different story. I had some reservations, although I've tended to enjoy the few Disney and Pixar films I've come across on TV and curiosity led me to add this to my rental list, as I had such fond memories of the cartoon film adaptation. I would say that for anyone wondering about seeing it, its definitely worth a watch. Its surprisingly spooky at times but its also bright, light and generally remarkably impressive - just perhaps don't leave the youngest of children in front of it, as it could perhaps scare the very young with the devious snake, tigers showing their aggressive faces and the like (I won't elaborate so as to avoid spoilers).

I understand that this is a bit of a 'Marmite' type film, in as much as its one that people tend to either love or hate - I suppose it depends on how much you hope it'll reflect the original, cartoon film. This is definitely a different film, albeit with some very familiar characters - it is what it is and I felt it was very good, although perhaps a little frightening at times to the very young and also it may not suit those who perhaps suffer from extreme motion sickness due to some jerky camerawork.

- Would I Recommend It? -

Unsurprisingly, yes, I would happily recommend it. I was pleasantly surprised by how well it was made - the realism and how atmospheric and engrossing it was. It didn't seem excessively patronising or entirely sugar coated as such and it features a good range of voice actors in the cast.

- Availability -

If your interested in seeing this, you can buy it on DVD for £6.99 at Amazon UK, at time of publishing this review.

- Final Note / Thank You -

Thank you for reading my review, I hope you found it useful and thanks, as ever, for any and all rates and comments.

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Comments on this review

  • Username_Unavailable published 09/04/2017
    Excellent, sounds great :)
  • euphie published 06/04/2017
    vh :o)
  • DanniiJ18 published 05/04/2017
    Brilliant review!
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Product Information : The Jungle Book (2016) (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Director(s): Jon Favreau

Actor(s): Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken, Lupita Nyong'o, Idris Elba

DVD Region: DVD

Classification: Parental Guidance

Production Year: 2016

EAN: 8717418482954

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Listed on Ciao since: 30/12/2016