THE JUNGLE BOOK MOVIE

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 “The Jungle Book” hit the box office April 14 with the second largest opening weekend ever for the month of April, according to pro.boxoffice.com. Honestly, I’m surprised it wasn’t first. This computer-animated, live-action fusion was filmed and executed beautifully. The animation and graphics are flawless. The tale follows the man-cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi), who is found orphaned deep in the jungle by Bagheera the panther (Ben Kingsley). It is not as carefree as the 1967 adaptation and has much more action. Raised by wolves,  Mowgli was scolded for his creativity because it was not the wolf way. A drought brings a water-truce to the jungle inhabitants. Shere Kahn (Idris Elba), a Bengal tiger, visits the watering hole. He tells the wolves that once the rains return and the water-truce is lifted, he will kill the man-cub because man is forbidden by the Law of the Jungle. Mowgli is hypnotized and nearly eaten by the enormous snake Kaa (Scarlett Johansson), then rescued by Baloo the bear (Bill Murray). Bagheera finds Mowgli and tries to return him to the man village, but he is kidnapped by monkeys, which brings us to the only problem I had with this movie. The only songs reminiscent of the 1967 version occur in the second half of the movie, and they are “The Bare Necessities” and “I Wan’na Be Like You.” King Louie the orangutan (Christopher Walken) sings the latter. “The Jungle Book” is a must-see.

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