We are showing this because it’s an outstanding film but also to offer parents something worth taking their children to at the end of the school summer holiday, when they may have run out of ideas for entertainment!
In this reimagining of the classic collection of stories by Rudyard Kipling, director Jon Favreau uses visually stunning CGI to create the community of animals surrounding Mowgli (Neel Sethi), a human boy adopted by a pack of wolves. The appearance of a villainous tiger named Shere Khan (voiced by Idris Elba) forces Mowgli’s guardian, the panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley), to shepherd the child to safety in the ‘man village’. Along the way, the boy meets an affable, lazy bear named Baloo (Bill Murray), as well as a snake with hypnotic powers (Scarlett Johansson) and an orangutan (Christopher Walken) who wants to harness the power of fire. Lupita Nyong’o, Giancarlo Esposito, and Garry Shandling also lend their voices to this adventure tale.
Using state of the art CGI environments (very little of what you see is actually ‘live’) and Life of Pi-style animal animations, this breathes delightful new life into a longstanding family favourite, lending digital depth and a hint of darkness to the familiar anthropomorphic encounters. The jungle landscapes are lush and dreamy, veering occasionally into Lord of the Rings darkness, and John Debney’s music revives the snaky mysteries of the original score while adding a 21st-century kick to Mowgli’s journey to manhood. We even get a couple of the old songs, with Richard Sherman penning a few new verses for I Wan’na Be Like You. It all adds up to a hugely likable romp which respects the legacies of both Rudyard Kipling and the Disney, and gives modern audiences ample reason to rejoice in both.
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Venue: William Loveless Hall