How Does 'The Jungle Book' Connect To The Original? Disney's Reboot Sure Looks Different
The Jungle Book might be based on stories by Rudyard Kipling, but to the majority of the world, the new movie is really just a live-action update on the classic Disney Animation film. Since it's release in 1967, The Jungle Book has become a childhood classic. It's basically impossible to meet someone who doesn't know the story of a boy, Mowgli, raised by animals in the jungle, serenaded with the "Bare Necessities." Needless to say, it's a story we've all seen before, so it's no wonder fans are wondering whether or not the new Jungle Book movie will take on the original story. Is The Jungle Book a remake? Is it just a new interpretation? Or is it a whole new story altogether? How The Jungle Book relates to the original film is actually a mix of the three.
Jon Favreau's new Jungle Book movie is, really, a lot like the original Disney film, despite it's obvious darker tone. When Favreau first signed onto the movie in 2014, he told Collider that he wanted to mix the "strong mythic theme" of the original Kipling stories with the "personality" of the Disney film. It's not a direct live action remake, but it doesn't stray too far from the original, either. Think of it as following in the footsteps of Disney's recent live action Cinderella, as opposed to Alice in Wonderland. It's not a word-for-word remake, but it's still the same main story. Here are a few points of comparison:
1. The Characters
Mowgli isn't the only character back for another round in The Jungle Book. The movie also features the friendly bear Baloo, voiced by Bill Murray; Bagheera, the panther voiced by Ben Kingsley; and Shere Khan (Idris Elba), the villainous tiger. Also back: King Louie (Christopher Walken) and Kaa (Scarlett Johansson). While the animal characters might look a bit different — animation has come a long way since the '60s — Mowgli, as played by Neel Sethi, looks nearly identical to his animated counterpart. As Favreau put it in an interview with USA Today , "Mowgli looked like he walked out of the original 1967 cartoon."
2. The Songs
Don't worry, The Jungle Book is still a musical. After all, could a movie even call itself The Jungle Book without "Bare Necessities"? The new film even recreates the scene when Mowgli rides down a river sitting on Baloo's stomach, singing the song. Murray and Sethi even performed the classic tune during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live .
3. The Animation
Yes, The Jungle Book has been called a live action adaptation of the original animated film, but in reality, the new Jungle Book is just one character shy of being 100% animation. The only live performer in the film is Sethi's Mowgli. All the animal characters and sets were created later via CGI. The only actor who ever really had to be on set was Sethi, and he did all of his work in front of green screens.
4. The Stakes
One major difference in the two Jungle Book films is the degree of danger. Early trailers for the new movie show a lot more action and adventure, suggesting dire circumstances for Mowgli. "We play with a tone that has a lot more jeopardy and where survival isn't necessarily a given," Favreau said in an interview with Variety . That said, it's still a Disney movie, so, I wouldn't be too worried for our little human friend.
The Jungle Book might not look like the Disney classic, but for fans looking to see a new interpretation of their childhood fav, the new movie will do just fine.
Images: Disney; Giphy (4)