By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)
While we are all gawking at what Walt Disney Studios has planned for us with their Star Wars movie line-up and merchandise tie-ins, Disney is reminding us why they are a movie-making media powerhouse and that it’s not just about a story in a galaxy far, far away. With the release of Disney’s The Jungle Book trailer, the story is closer than we think. In fact it is here on Earth.
Rudyard Kipling’s tales of a boy-cub who manages to survive in the darkest of jungles receives new life by leaving Disney’s hand-drawn animation roots and embracing a live action and CG mix. And if I were asked, “Does it work?” my answer is yes.
One of the best decisions Disney made in this film is in casting Scarlett Johansson as the python, Kaa. It makes more sense for Mowgli (Neel Sethi) to be lulled into a false sense of security by a motherly voice. But I mean no disrespect meant to Sterling Holloway who voiced Kaa in the 1967 version.
The new Jungle Book sends shivers down my spine and not in a bad way. I am in awe of the majestic beauty of it all. Disney has truly captured the imagination of the movie going public and released it within this film.
Director: Jon Favreau
Writer(s): Justin Marks, and Rudyard Kipling (book)
Cast: Neel Sethi, Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken, Lupita Nyong’o, Giancarlo Esposito