I saw this movie a couple weeks ago, but haven't been able to get to the review because I've been working on my Fan Expo cosplay. That's actually also the reason why I haven't been around that much. So, without further delay, The Jungle Book.
This movie was great. Funny, gorgeous, emotional. However, I did not think the writing was particularly spectacular. Not bad at all, just not as good as I was expecting.
The best part of the movie is the visuals. The fact that everything is computer generated, except for one boy, is astounding and just beyond impressive. It's clear that there were countless animators working on this project and that they all used multiple references for the animal's movements. Everything came together perfectly, the animation, texturing, rigging, modelling, lighting (yes, even animation has lighting), everyone worked together to create such stunning visuals.
The characters were very well done as well. They all stayed quite true to their animated counter parts, with one exception. The way they introduced Baloo seemed a bit selfish and I don't remember the care free bear showing any signs of that in his previous representation. It has been a while since I've watched the Jungle Book story, but something about Baloo's character when he first appeared just didn't seem right to me.
The voice acting and Neel Sethi's performance as Mowgli were absolutely amazing. It's funny that, in Hollywood, they say not to work with kids or animals, and yet that's all this movie showed on screen (even if they were animated animals). All the main characters were cast appropriately and gave stunning performances, and Neel did a wonderful job as well, despite his young age.
As for the story itself, it was sweet and very enjoyable, but I just wasn't blown away by it. I was more enthralled by the visuals than what was actually happening. Although, the scene where Mowgli helps get the elephant babe out of the pit by using his "man tricks" did get to me. It was a beautiful scene and comes back to aid Mowgli in the end very nicely. Other than that, the story was okay. I was a little disappointed about some of the aspects they decided to leave out of this version, such as Baloo badly attempting to pull himself off as a monkey in the King Louie scene, but I did still enjoy the humour and other additives this version had. I also wasn't expecting there to be any singing, since that's the road they took with the new Cinderella, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that both the Bear Necessities song and King Louie's I Wanna Be Like You number made it into the film, even though King Louie's singing didn't quite fit into the feel of this movie as well as Bear Necessities did.
Overall, a very enjoyable movie, but could have benefited from a few improvements. Or perhaps it just wasn't my cup of tea.Let me know what you rated the film here.