I had the pleasure of being invited to the #JungleBookEventpress trip in LA. I have seen the Jungle Book TWICE! The first time was at a screening at Dolby Cinemas at AMC Prime Theater and the second was at the Red Carpet World Premier. I am so excited about this movie for so many reasons. I share of few of them with you in this post and hope you go see the Jungle Book in theaters, starting April 15.
Life Like Animals
I love animation. I love watching animated features from when each frame was hand sketched all they way up to what is produced today. But what Jon Favreau and his team of CGA animators have created with The Jungle Book will make you question if what you are seeing on screen is real or computer generated. There were MANY times while I was watching the film that I had to shake my head and give mental applause to the creator of the film for the incredible work they did with creating animals, scenery, water, honey, lighting shadows…. you name it… I was in awe.
In fact, if you have kids in your family that are not able to differentiate what is pretend and what is real, you may have to remind them several times during the movie that the animals are not real, they just look like it.
The Law of the Jungle
There are several scenes where a portion of Rudyard Kipling ‘The Law For The Wolves’ is recited and I loved each one of them. The rhythm of the stanzas and the message of family and belonging rang true for me. Listen for it:
Now this is the law of the jungle, as old and as true as the sky, And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die. As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the law runneth forward and back; For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack. ~ Rudyard Kipling
Acceptance and Inclusion
Not only is there a message of family but a message of acceptance and inclusion. Rashka, voiced by Lupita Nyong’o takes in and cares for young Mowgli. Mowgli is not only not her cub but is a completely different species. It goes to show that a mothers love can be fierce and strong no matter whom she loves. Read more on my interview with Lupita and Giancarlo Esposito.
I love to look for little hidden bits and pieces in Disney Movies that are a nod to other movies, people, pop culture or an inside joke with the production team. There is one I want you to look for. It is in the Monkey Temple. It was the only obvious Easter Egg for me and I hope you get a big kick out of it. I have seen the movie twice and I am still searching for another one.
Keep in mind this is NOT a musical. There are a few songs in this version of the Jungle Book that were in the 1967 animated version but they are reimagined. The tune is there, the words are there but they are in the movie as an integration in the movie not as animals bursting into song. Well, animals do burst into song but it is more like me singing as I work around the house. It is fun, silly and totally appropriate!
Last but not least…. Pangolins.
Mr. Pangolin makes a cameo in the Jungle Book. I will give you an hint and look for him when Mowgli and Baloo are harvesting honey.
When you see him remember this information:
Pangolins are the most illegally traded mammal in the world. An estimated one million pangolins were poached from the wild in the past decade to satisfy demand for their scales and meat by consumer countries including China, Vietnam, and the U.S. Pangolins are protected by international and national laws but continue to be decimated unabated. If nothing is done to protect these animals, we could be witnessing the extinction of one or more pangolin species in our lifetimes.
Pangolins are small to medium size, scale-covered, insectivorous mammals and use their scales to protect themselves from predators as well as stinging, swarming prey. When threatened, pangolins will roll into a nearly impenetrable ball. There are eight extant species, four in Africa and four in Asia. Pangolins are slow growing and only produce one young at a time. Pangolins are primarily nocturnal, solitary, and extremely shy. Pangolins rarely survive in captivity for extended periods of time and cannot be captive bred.
For more information and ways you can help visit: