Now that I’m starting to get my life back under control, it’s time to continue this series on Disney live-action Remakes. Today’s subject is 2016’s The Jungle Book, the remake for the last movie that Walt Disney produced. He died during the movie’s production. The Jungle Book is generally seen as the best of Disney’s live-action remakes so far, and for good reason. It’s the only one of these remakes that I’ve rewatched for the fun of it, since my Disney movie blogathon back in 2017. I’ve got multiple friends who agree that it’s the only one that actually improved on the original.
The Jungle Book is directed by Jon Favreau (he also directed the first two Iron Man movies). Plans to remake The Jungle Book were announced back in 2013. It’s actually the third live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book Disney has released, with the 1994 film and its 1998 sequel. Those two movies are generally considered much closer to the original series of books than the 1967 animated film, and they do have their fans. I’ve always been at least curious about them, but I’ve never got around to seeing them. Favreau wanted to find a balance between the two very different versions, keeping the spirit of the animated movie, while also adding a stronger sense of realism and peril. He also wanted to stress the importance of nature. In the time of the books, nature was seen as something to overcome, whereas now, it’s seen as something to be protected. It’s said that the movie also takes some cinematic inspiration from Shane (1953), Goodfellas, and Apocalypse Now. Continue reading