The Jungle Book (2016 film)
|The Jungle Book|
|Directed by||Jon Favreau|
|Screenplay by||Justin Marks|
|Based on||The Jungle Book
by Rudyard Kipling
|Music by||John Debney|
|Edited by||Mark Livolsi|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios
|Box office||$909.8 million|
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Jungle Book is a 2016 American fantasyadventure film directed by Jon Favreau, written by Justin Marks and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on Rudyard Kipling‘s eponymous collective worksand inspired by Walt Disney‘s 1967 animated film of the same name, The Jungle Book is a live-action/CGIfilm 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, adapting elements from both into the film. Principal photography commenced in 2014, 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, as well as premium large formats, on April 15, 2016. It became a critical and commercial success, grossing over $909 million, making it the third highest-grossing film of 2016.
Mowgli is a “man cub” raised by the Indian wolfRaksha and her pack led by Akela in a jungle of India ever since he was brought to them as a baby by the black pantherBagheera. Bagheera trains Mowgli to learn the ways of the wolves, but the boy faces certain challenges and falls behind his wolf siblings and 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 the Water Truce that enables the jungle’s wildlife to drink without fear of being eaten by their predators. The Water Truce is disrupted when a scarred Bengal tiger named Shere Khan arrives, detecting Mowgli’s scent in the 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 Indian 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 a 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 elephantsgathered 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 namedKing 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 inferno. 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.
- Neel Sethi as Mowgli, a young boy who was raised by wolves.
- Kendrick Reyes as infant Mowgli
- Ritesh Rajan as Mowgli’s father
- Bill Murray as Baloo, a sloth 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 Bengal tiger.
- Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, a female Indian wolf who is Mowgli’s adoptive mother.
- Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, an enormous python.
- Giancarlo Esposito as Akela, a male Indian wolf and leader of the Seeonee Wolf Pack.
- Christopher Walken as King Louie, a Bornean orangutan-resembling Gigantopithecus who rules theBandar-log.
- Garry Shandling as Ikki, an Indian crested porcupine.
- Brighton Rose as Grey Brother, a wolf cub that is Mowgli’s adoptive brother.
- Jon Favreau as a Pygmy Hog.
- Sam Raimi as a Giant Squirrel.
- Russell Peters as Rocky, an Indian rhinoceros.
- Madeleine Favreau as Raquel, an Indian rhinoceros.
- Sara Arrington as Neelgai Deer
Emjay Anthony, Max Favreau, Chloe Hechter, Asher Blinkoff, Knox Gagnon, Sasha Schrieber, and Kai Schrieber voice the Young Wolves.
Development and casting:
“The idea of going out to the jungle and shooting this, it just felt like it wouldn’t have the magic that the 1967 film had had. There was a dreamlike quality to it. There was a surreal quality to it. It was a high-water mark for character animation and to me, that’s what I remember about it. And so I wanted to make sure we preserved that…But what [Alan] Horn said was: look at the technology. Look at Life of Pi, Avatar. Why not use the technology to create a whole world that transports you? Let’s really embrace this new technology and see what we can do if we push its limit.”
— Jon Favreau on approaching the film’s technical intent. Walt Disney Pictures announced that a live-action remake of The Jungle Bookwas in development on July 9, 2013, with Justin Marks set to write the script. The film would be Disney’s second live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling‘s works, following the 1994 film, and the studio’s third overall after the 1967 animated musical. Jon Favreau was later confirmed as director, on November 5, 2013. Favreau as a child used to watch Disney’s 1967 animated musical version. He felt the need to strike a balance between the two films by retaining the buoyant spirit of the 1967 film, including some of its memorable songs, while crafting a movie with more realism and peril. He also stressed the importance of nature and realized how things have shifted during Kipling’s time and now, “In Kipling’s time, nature was something to be overcome. Now nature is something to be protected.” He was encouraged by Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn to take advantage of the film’s setting and story as an opportunity to use the latest advancements in photorealisticrendering, computer-generated imageryand motion capture technologies. The story of the film is not independently taken from Kipling’s works, but also borrows cinematic inspirations from other films, including the child-mentor relationship in Shane (1953), the establishment of rules in a dangerous world fromGoodfellas (1990) and the use of a shadowy jungle figure in Apocalypse Now (1979).
The cast was announced between March and August 2014, with Idris Elba being announced to voice Shere Khan during early stages, and Bill Murray eventually confirmed as the voice of Baloo in August 2014. Between then, Scarlett Johansson,Ben Kingsley, and Christopher Walken were confirmed to play Kaa, Bagheera, and King Louie, respectively. Favreau decided to cast Johansson to play Kaa, originally a male character, as he felt the original film was “a little too male-oriented.” Favreau and Marks noticed the lack of female characters in the 1967 film version and wanted to address that by featuring Raksha’s character more prominently, as in Kipling’s tales. Lupita Nyong’o was cast as Raksha as Favreau believed her voice imbued the emotion required for the role, “Lupita has tremendous depth of emotion in her performance. There’s an emotional underpinning she brings, and a strength, and we wanted that for this surrogate mother. Much of that comes from her voice.” Favreau also decided to change King Louie from an orangutan to a Gigantopithecus due to the fact that orangutans are not native to India, where the story takes place. His character was given a slight alteration from the 1967 film and was partly inspired by Marlon Brando‘s character Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, as well as incorporating Walken’s own physical mannerisms. In regards to Louie’s changes, Favreau stated, “We created this looming figure that was trying to extract the secret of fire from Mowgli. And also this gave Mowgli the idea that if he had fire, he could have power over Shere Khan, whether it was good or bad. So there was a Lord of the Rings aspect to that; the fire was almost like the ring in that was going to give someone ultimate power, but corrupt them as well as create destruction.”
The search for casting Mowgli was extensive, with thousands of children auditioning from the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada. Eventually, newcomer Neel Sethi was confirmed for the role, with casting director Sarah Finn describing him as embodying “the heart, humor, and daring of the character. He’s warm and accessible, yet also has an intelligence well beyond his years and impressed us all with his ability to hold his own in any situation.” Sethi underwent parkour training in preparation for the role. Pixar Animation Studios assisted in the development of the story, as well as providing suggestions for the film’s end credits sequence.