The Jungle Book (2016)

Hypothetical Netflix Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

After seeing this on the couch, I kinda wish I’d seen it while it was in theaters for that extra layer of immersion. The scenery is so rich and vivid, I had to remind myself over and over that none of it was real. Seriously, almost everything in this movie is CGI, which is mind blowing when you think about it. Makes you wonder how long till it’s like that Al Pacino movie, S1mOne, where he creates a CGI actress that everyone thinks is real. That would explain Margot Robbie actually. Anyway.

Jon Favreau, the movie’s director who I can’t say enough good things about, managed to keep things interesting with enough new elements while still keeping it very similar to the animated film. This film follows basically the same plot as the Disney animated classic with a few extra beats of action. The film also takes the time to develop fire as a character, which was kinda cool.

Neel Sethi, who plays Mowgli, does an excellent job in his portrayal considering all of his animal co-stars are CGI. Seriously, I’m pretty sure Sethi and like five tree trunks were actually on set. The voice acting in this movie was, however, very much on point. With a talented cast ranging from Bill Murray to Ben Kingsly. From Scarlett Johansson to Idris Elba. There wasn’t really a weak performance.

Best part of the movie, though this could just be childhood bias, was Baloo. More importantly, it was watching a bear gently fight off an army of monkeys and give zero fucks all the while he’s doing it. Priceless.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. This movie was suggested to me by my buddy Ben DeGarmo on a list of movies with Oscar potential. This will sweep all of the technical awards. Except for sound probably. Not enough stuff blowing up for it to win that one.

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