Nov 072016

The Jungle Book is a success in Disney’s obsession with adapting beloved animated movies into live action features and while the likes of Maleficent and to some extent Cinderella weren’t great, this one is entertaining for almost the entire family, though some scenes might be a tad too frightening for younger viewers.



The Jungle Book

Genre(s): Family, Adventure
Buena Vista | PG – 106 min. – $39.99 | November 15, 2016

Date Published: 11/07/2016 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by:
Jon Favreau
Writer(s): Rudyard Kipling (book); Justin Marks (screenplay)
Cast: Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Walken, Neel Sethi
Commentary, Featurettes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 3
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 41.5 GB (2D), 42.5 GB (3D)
Codec: MPEG-4 MVC
Region(s): A, B, C

Note: The majority of this was copied over from my original review with added information for the new features and 3D video.

THE MOVIE — 3.75/5

Plot Synopsis: In an epic adventure, Mowgli (NEEL SETHI), a man-cub raised in the jungle by a family of wolves, embarks on a journey of self-discovery when he’s forced to abandon the only home he’s ever known. In the jungle, and hunted by the vengeful tiger Shere Khan (IDRIS ELBA), Mowgli comes across a variety of creatures from the spell-binding snake Kaa (SCARLETT JOHANSSON) and rescued by loveable bear, Baloo (BILL MURRAY), who tells Mowgli, tempted to go back to man’s world, the positives of the jungle. Meanwhile, Mowgli also comes face-to-face with the Godfather of the jungle, King Louie (CHRISTOPHER WALKEN) who wants Mowgli to give him the power of the “red flower” (i.e. fire).

Quick Hit Review: As someone who is indifferent to the original 1967 animated feature, this latest live action adaptation from Disney, The Jungle Book is a fun, action-filled flick more or less for the entire family, though some visuals might frighten younger viewers. However, as an adult, it was enjoyable with some nice visual effects/motion capture work, well cast voices especially on the parts of Idris Elba, Bill Murray and Ben Kingsley (voicing Bagheera, Mowgli’s protector).

On the downside, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa was pretty distracting and, unlike Murray, whose voice I also recognized, I couldn’t get past that I was hearing Johansson; and then there’s Christopher Walken who wasn’t bad as King Louie… until the King decided to sing. Yikes. Not sure why the studio didn’t just hire someone to play King Louie’s singing voice…

Outside of those issues, The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), appears to be a faithful adaptation of both Rudyard Kipling’s classic book and Disney’s classic animated movie. The visual effects for the most part look good (there were a few wonky shots) and the blending of it and live action elements were pretty seamless. Although there were some scary moments that might affect younger viewers, this is a fine film for the entire family.



This release comes with a glossy and lenticular slip cover. Inside is the standard Blu-ray Copy and DVD Copy. There’s also a code for the Digital Copy as well as a code for the new bonus material (which is available on the Blu-ray disc).

Audio Commentary – Producer/Director Jon Favreau sits down for a serious and informative and engaging track breaking down key scenes.

The Jungle Book Reimagined (35:02; HD) looks at taking the classic novel and animated movie and turning into a live action adventure. Includes behind-the-scenes footage and an interview between Favreau, Producer Brigham Taylor and Visual Effects Supervisor Robert Legato post completion.

I Am Mowgli (8:18; HD) introduces us to the young actor, Neel Sethi, in his first acting role and includes his audition tape.

King Louie’s Temple: Layer by Layer (3:14; HD) is a short featurette on the score/song, visual effects, Walken’s recording session during the temple scene.

The Bare Necessities: From the Jungle to the Bayou (3:30; HD)
– This behind-the-scenes featurette, includes footage of Murray recording the hit song.

The Return of a Legend (3:41; HD) focuses on Richard Sherman who co-wrote the music on many classic Disney animated movies, including The Jungle Book and his contribution to this live action version.

The Jungle Effect (3:20; HD) is on visual effects work.

The Jungle Book: Around the World (1:56; HD) looks at the dubbing of the film in multiple languages. Kind of pointless, really.

Developing Kaa (2:51; HD) is an early animatic of the snake.


3D VIDEO — 4.5/5, 2D VIDEO — 5.0/5

The Jungle Book swings onto Blu-ray through Buena Vista presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec). As one would expect, this transfer looks fantastic, detail is sharp and well defined, colors are generally vibrant though obviously skewing more toward natural tones and it appears to be clean, free of aliasing, artifacts and other flaws. Bill Pope’s (The Matrix) cinematography shows quite well in HD.

The 3D video looks pretty darn good. There’s some nice depth especially during the jungle-swinging sequences and characters, both live and animated, stand out. Colors are still nice and bright and while I’m not sure it’s the best usage of 3D in some scenes, this is the type of film that does at least benefit just with the different locations (albeit green screen) utilized.

AUDIO – 5.0/5

The 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio track is pretty immersive throughout providing some nice depth especially when it came to the action-centric sequences as well as the score by John Debney (Alex Cross) make usage of every available channel. It’s once again a fantastic lossless track from Disney and although I wish they would go with either DTS: X or Dolby Atmos, it is easily the next best thing.


OVERALL – 4.0/5

Overall, The Jungle Book is a success in Disney’s obsession with adapting beloved animated movies into live action features and while the likes of Maleficent and to some extent Cinderella weren’t great, this one is entertaining for almost the entire family, though some scenes might be a tad too frightening for younger viewers. This 3D Blu-ray release offers excellent video and audio transfers and the features are halfway decent, though the new features are not worth the price of upgrade.





Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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