The Jungle Book

Summary

The Jungle Book is a 2016 American fantasy adventure film directed and co-produced by Jon Favreau, written by Justin Marks and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on Rudyard Kipling’s eponymous collective works and inspired by Walt Disney’s 1967 animated film of the same name, The Jungle Book is a live-action/CGI film that tells the story of Mowgli, an orphaned human boy who, guided by his animal guardians, sets out on a journey of self-discovery while evading the threatening Shere Khan. The film introduces Neel Sethi as Mowgli and also features the voices of Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito, and Christopher Walken.

Favreau, Marks and producer Brigham Taylor developed the film’s story as a balance between Disney’s animated adaptation and Kipling’s original works, borrowing elements from both into the film. Principal photography commenced in 2014,[citation needed] with filming taking place entirely in Los Angeles. The film required extensive use of computer-generated imagery to portray the animals and settings.

The Jungle Book was released in North America in Disney Digital 3-D, RealD 3D, IMAX 3D, D-Box, and premium large formats, on April 15, 2016. It became a critical and commercial success, grossing over $966 million, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of 2016 and the 31st highest-grossing film of all time.

Plot

Mowgli is a “man cub” raised by the Seeonee Indian wolf Raksha and her pack, led by Akela, in an Indian jungle ever since he was brought to them as a baby by the black panther Bagheera. Bagheera trains Mowgli to learn the ways of the wolves, but the boy faces certain challenges and falls behind his wolf siblings while Akela disapproves of him using human tricks like building tools instead of learning the ways of the pack.

One day, during the dry season, the jungle animals gather to drink the water that remains as part of a truce during a drought that enables the jungle’s wildlife to drink without fear of being eaten by their predators. The truce is disrupted when a scarred tiger named Shere Khan arrives detecting Mowgli’s scent in the large crowd. Resentful against man for scarring him, he issues a warning that he will kill Mowgli at the end of the drought. As the wolves debate whether they should keep Mowgli or not, Mowgli decides to leave the jungle for the safety of his pack. Bagheera agrees with the decision and volunteers to guide him to the nearby man village.

En route, Shere Khan ambushes them and injures Bagheera, but Mowgli manages to escape. Later, Mowgli meets an enormous python named Kaa who hypnotizes him. While under her influence, Mowgli sees a vision of his father being mauled while protecting him from Shere Khan. The vision also warns of the destructive power of the “red flower” (fire). Kaa attempts to devour Mowgli, but she is attacked by a sloth bear named Baloo, rescuing an unconscious Mowgli. Baloo and Mowgli bond while retrieving some difficult-to-access honey for Baloo and Mowgli agrees to stay with Baloo until the winter season arrives. Upon learning that Mowgli has left the jungle, Shere Khan kills Akela and threatens the pack to lure Mowgli out.

Bagheera eventually finds Mowgli and Baloo and is angered that Mowgli has not joined the humans as agreed, but Baloo calms him down and persuades both of them to sleep on it. During the night, Mowgli finds a herd of Indian elephants gathered around a ditch and uses his vines to save a baby elephant from the ditch. Although Baloo and Bagheera are both impressed, Baloo realizes that he cannot guarantee Mowgli’s safety after learning that he is being hunted by Shere Khan. Baloo agrees to push Mowgli away to get him to continue onward to the man village.

Mowgli is kidnapped by the “Bandar-log” (monkeys) who present him to their leader, a giant ape named King Louie. Assuming that all humans can make fire, King Louie offers Mowgli protection from Shere Khan in exchange for it. Baloo distracts Louie while Bagheera tries to sneak him out, but their plan is discovered. As Louie chases Mowgli through his temple, he informs Mowgli of Akela’s death. Louie’s rampage eventually causes his temple to collapse on top of him. Furious that Baloo and Bagheera never told him about Akela’s death, Mowgli goes to confront Shere Khan alone.

Mowgli steals a lit torch at the village to use as a weapon and heads back to the jungle, accidentally starting a wildfire in the process. He confronts Shere Khan, who argues that Mowgli has made himself the enemy of the jungle by causing the wildfire. Mowgli throws the torch into the water, giving Shere Khan the advantage. Baloo, Bagheera, and the wolf pack intervene and hold Shere Khan off, giving Mowgli enough time to set a trap. He lures Shere Khan up a dead tree and onto a branch, which breaks under the tiger’s weight, and Shere Khan falls into the fire to his death. Mowgli then directs the elephants to divert the river and put out the fire.

In the aftermath, Raksha becomes the new leader of the wolf pack. Mowgli decides to utilize his equipment and tricks for his own use, having found his true home and calling with his wolf family, Baloo, and Bagheera.

Cast

  • Neel Sethi as Mowgli, a young boy who was raised by wolves.
    • Kendrick Reyes as infant Mowgli
  • Ritesh Rajan as Mowgli’s father

Voice cast

  • Bill Murray as Baloo, a bear who befriends Mowgli
  • Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, a black panther who is Mowgli’s teacher.
  • Idris Elba as Shere Khan, a fearsome, scar-faced tiger with a grudge against Mowgli.
  • Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, a female wolf who is Mowgli’s adoptive mother.
  • Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, an enormous python.
  • Giancarlo Esposito as Akela, a male wolf who leads the pack.
  • Christopher Walken as King Louie, a Gigantopithecus who rules the Bandar-log.
  • Garry Shandling as Ikki, an Indian crested porcupine that observes the Water Truce.
  • Brighton Sharbino as Grey Brother, a wolf cub that is Mowgli’s adoptive brother.
  • Jon Favreau as Fred, a Pygmy Hog.
  • Sam Raimi as a giant squirrel.
  • Russell Peters as Rocky, a rhinoceros
  • Madeleine Favreau as Raquel, a rhinoceros.
  • Sara Arrington as a Nilgai Antelope

Emjay Anthony, Max Favreau, Chloe Hechter, Asher Blinkoff, Knox Gagnon, Sasha Schrieber, and Kai Schrieber voice the Young Wolves.

Dee Bradley Baker, Artie Esposito, Sean Johnson, and Allan Trautman provide additional animal voices.

Box Office

The Jungle Book became a huge financial success and a surprise hit. It has grossed $364 million in the USA & Canada and $602.5 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $966.5 million against a budget of $175 million. Worldwide, the film was released across 28,000 RealD 3D screens and had an IMAX worldwide opening of $20.4 million from 901 IMAX screens, a new record for a PG film. It grossed a total of $39 million in IMAX screens worldwide. On May 13, it became the second film of 2016 (after the studio’s own Zootopia) to pass the $800 million mark. On June 10, it became the third film of 2016 after Zootopia and Captain America: Civil War to pass the $900 million mark.

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