Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Disappointing Recreation of the Jungle Book

            What could be more cool that a high quality movie where animals talk and human actors stand side by side with digital images. The new Jungle Book movie grabbed my interest immediately when I saw trailers for the film for that exact reason. I imagined the movie would not only be a masterpiece in regards to effects, but I was also intrigued by how the film might put a new spin on an old story. I had seen the old jungle book movie when I was young and I had always liked it. It excited me to follow Mowgli and his daring escape from Shere Khan. Mowgli's easy going companion, Baloo, was my favorite character as a child and the prospect of seeing how he was portrayed in the new film held some influence in my descsion to go see the movie.

            The effects were stunning as I had imagined them to be and I was very impressed by how naturally real actors and digitally produced images coexisted in the film. The film also meant some expectations of mine that were not necessarily as positive as the CGI effects. The movie centered heavily on the violent rages and plots of Shere Khan, the tiger who wants to eat Mowgli, which is something I figured would be more prevelant considering the public obsession with anger and violence in films. I also predicted that the film would follow a lot less of a clear story line and that it would emphasize smaller aspects of the film rather than the story as a whole. For example, after finishing the movie I did not feel like there had been a clear story line that had been followed and then resolved, it was a bit more all over the place. One thing that disappointed me is that Baloo, my childhood favorite, was portrayed as a greedy and manipulative bear who desired the companionship with Mowgli to satisfy his own laziness and desires. In the original movie, Baloo was more of a sincere character who stuck with Mowgli because he had a general concern for him. All in all, the film made me feel wowed by its visual excitement, but unsatisfied with its recreation of the great animated film. The ending did not really seem like a well thought out solution and the interpretation was stale for the standpoint of someone who fell in love with the story as a kid. It seems as though thats the trend of movie now a days; make it as violent and visually appealing as possible and you don't have to have a good story or thought out plot. Its just a shame that Jungle Book had to fall under that category of films, especially considering the greatness of the original film.

1 comment:

  1. "The Jungle Book" was also a favorite of mine growing up. Although the new film did have a good amount of violence, I believe that this was a vital component to the film in order for it to catch the attention of more people. After watching the new "Jungle Book," I took time to watch the original version again. The noticeable differences that you noted really stand out. Baloo never came across as too greedy or lazy in the original, nor was there nearly as much intense violence. These changes are simply Disney adapting its films to modern appeals. With new and exciting effects at director's disposal, why not grab viewers attention with raging flames, a blood-thirsty tiger, and such life-like animations? I think that the update of the classic film simply goes to show how children's movies and their qualities have evolved over the years.