The Jungle Book Review
The Jungle Book
Apr 7, 2016
Behind the Scene and other Major Plot Points
King Louie’s Temple
Amid the treasures in King Louie’s temple, one of them happens to be Genie’s lamp from Aladdin (1992).
King Louie — a character created by Disney
In The Jungle Book (1967), King Louie — a character created by Disney, not by Kipling — was an orangutan. In this film, he’s a gigantopithecus, an ancestor of the orangutan whose range is believed to have included parts of India. This change in species was made to make the film more fantastic, since it would be a good way to represent him as King of the Monkeys, and since orangutans are not native to India. Despite this, the film does still feature some animals not native to India, like Peccaries and Red-Eyed Tree Frogs.
The Talking Animals
The talking animals in this film were created using animal behavior, then having the actors copy those movements in motion-capture VFX.
Computer Generated Locations
All the locations in the film are computer-generated VFX. The story may have been set primarily in India, but the film was completely shot at the LA Center Studio in Los Angeles, California.
The film released in India on April 8, a week ahead of its U.S. debut..
to pay tribute to the Indian environment of the film/novel
According to Ben Kingsley
Ben Kingsley described Bagheera as a military character: “He’s probably a colonel, he is instantly recognizable by the way he talks, how he acts and what his ethical code is.”
Actor Neel Sethi has said his favorite song is “Uptown Funk”. When he would get tired on set, they had the track backed up and would blast it across the studio. Director Jon Favreau said that Sethi would dance around to pump himself up and get right back into the scene.
Remote jungle locations in India …
were photographed and used as reference for the jungle environment in the film.
Cinematic Inspiration from other films also…
While the film is a live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book (1967), the filmmakers decided to include elements from the Rudyard Kipling novel to make the film more adventurous and dangerous. The story of the film is not independently taken from Kipling’s works but also borrows cinematic inspirations from other films, including the child-mentor relationship in Shane (1953), the establishment of rules in a dangerous world from Goodfellas (1990) and the use of a shadowy jungle figure in Apocalypse Now(1979).
Man’s ‘Red Flower’ has a bigger role in this film. In the animated film The Jungle Book(1967), it is mentioned briefly by King Louie but in this version several animals mention it and it is implied all animals apart from Louie fear it. This possibly explains why Louie wanted to know how to make fire so he can use it to his own advantage so that all animals including Shere Khan fear him.
Inspiration from the Disney Animated Classics..
The Jungle Book (2016) inspiration from the Disney animated classics did not begin and end with The Jungle Book (1967). As director Jon Favreau explained: “We went back to films like Bambi (1942) to see how they best used elements, because I wanted to use different elements in this.” He went on: “I wanted air, fire, water, and earth, and Bambi uses seasons and weather, and using different types of day-opportunities that this filmmaking style allows you. So we looked at films like Bambi, we looked at films like The Lion King (1994).” It’s true-throughout The Jungle Book, you can sense the legacy of these earlier films and, thanks to the nature of the story (roughly broken up into vignettes), the changing seasons effect is vital and dazzlingly realized.
Homage to Marlon Brando’s character, Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Apocalypse Now)
The first time King Louie appears on the screen, he is sitting in a chair, his face obscured by shadows and talking in a sinister, slightly muffled voice about offering Mowgli protection before finally revealing his face. This is an obvious homage to the classic film Apocalypse Now (1979) in which Marlon Brando’s character, Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, first appears on screen similarly composed.
The ending credits feature “The Jungle Book” in book form that has the same cover design as the book seen in the opening credits of The Jungle Book (1967). It is in fact the original book prop, taken from Disney’s archives, as mentioned in the making of featurette.
References from the Movie Lion King
Shere Khan is based on his incarnations from the Jungle Book film/novel, but he also incorporates elements of Scar from The Lion King (1994):
- he bears scars on his face
- he kills the hero’s father and takes over his tribe
- when the hero comes for him, he at first ousts him as a traitor to his family
- he tries to throw the hero into a fiery pit
- and he meets his end by a trick from the hero.
RT/Meta Critic Review
The Jungle Book is well-made and deserves recognition as one of the year’s best family offerings (thus far).(Click here to see)