Daily Recco, March 3: Watch the jungle come to life in Jon Favreau's Jungle Book

On World Wildlife Day, go back to experiencing wildlife with The Jungle Book's live-animation version.

 |  2-minute read |   03-03-2021
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It is World Wildlife Day today and for most of us, the first jaunt into the wild world was with The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling — as a storybook, comics or as Disney's animated musical film released in 1967. The tale of Mowgli — the feral child raised in the Indian jungles by a pack of wolves, mentored by the black melanistic leopard Bagheera and the sloth bear Baloo, as they try to keep him safe from the evil tiger Shere Khan, is a story that tilled our fertile minds and transported us to the forests sitting in the comforts of our couches.

And this was brought back to life in 2016 by director Jon Favreau and screenwriter Justin Marks in more realistic-looking central Indian forests with authentic ruins, collapsing temples, human actors, lifelike mammals, reptiles and birds that quip and sing, in a live-action remake of Disney’s 1967 animated film.

The Jungle Book (CGI hybrid version) is the kind of dream that you dream when you first read Rudyard Kipling's book. Clearly, the now 54-year-old Favreau grew up watching the 1967 version of The Jungle Book, for his adaptations — from the dialogues to the musical score (like the adaptation of the Trust in Me — The Python's Song) — stay very true to the 1967 version, without losing any of the nostalgic charm to CGI. In fact, the visually stunning version pays a fitting tribute to the animated edition.  

The intricate creation of the landscape — from the pretzel-twisted and vein-cloaked foliage rising from the ground to the ruins of the temple of King Louie, to the parched watering holes, to the honeycomb hanging from the Cliffside — the live-action version nails it all. With the voice cast including doyens like Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson and Christopher Walken, each animal unveils the kind of personality that perhaps would have won Kipling’s nod of approval.

It is a story that should be every generation’s introduction to wildlife. And the 2016 movie makes it more palatable to the present and oncoming generation of children and parents.

Watch it on Hotstar — with or without the children in your life, for The Jungle Book will bring out the child and explorer in you.

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Rajeshwari Ganesan Rajeshwari Ganesan @rajeshwaridotg

Assistant Editor, DailyO

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