The Jungle Book poster tryptic

A little less than a year ago, the very first footage from The Jungle Book brought the house down at Disney’s D23 expo, with critics raving about the “next level” animation. This past weekend, the first reviews from the full-length film finally hit theaters, and… well, it turns out critics still like it a whole heck of a lot.

Reviews range from fairly positive to really positive, but a general consensus has formed around a couple of elements: one, the 3D is some of the best we’ve seen since Avatar, and two, Idris Elba‘s Shere Khan makes for one terrifying villain. Find out what else the critics had to say in our Jungle Book reviews round-up below.  Read More »

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jungle book imax trailer

The most effective pieces of marketing for Jon Favreau‘s The Jungle Book have been the trailers and clips that focus on character instead of action. It’s one thing to create an entirely digital jungle full of photo-realistic animated animals, but it’s another thing altogether to make us care about those creatures and their sprawling home.

But if spectacle is what you want, the new IMAX trailer for the film has got it in spades. Running! Jumping! Smashing! Yelling! Fire! Etc.! The movie looks impressively huge. For those who want a something a little more low-key and charming, there’s also Bill Murray and Neel Sethi singing “The Bare Necessities” on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

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the jungle book clip

I may have shrugged at the earliest teaser trailer for The Jungle Book, the one that was 98% jumping through an unfinished CGI jungle, but I’ll give credit where credit is due: the past few months have made me genuinely excited to see what director Jon Favreau does with this material. The most recent trailer is brimming with personality and charm. Those photo-realistic animal characters really do look stunning. The first clip from the film showcased strong vocal performances, killer visual effects, and strong sense of place. Yeah, I’m on board. Never bet against a Jon Favreau movie, unless the words “cowboys” and “aliens” are in the title.

And now, here’s another new clip, just in case you need some additional convincing.

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The Jungle Book questions

Jon Favreau‘s last two major releases, Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens, were disappointments for some filmgoers. But after those minor missteps, the director of ElfZathura, and Iron Man quickly bounced back with his last feature, Chef. Now Favreau’s next upcoming film is The Jungle Book, which is possibly his biggest film to date.

Below, watch The Jungle Book featurette, in which the director and cast discuss the reimagining.

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the jungle book clip

Last year, Disney really got their whole reimagining game down. While Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent were box office hits, neither quite captured the spirit or the appeal of the original animated films. Kenneth Branagh, however, accomplished just that recently with his lovely Cinderella remake. Next at bat to reimagine another Disney classic is director Jon Favreau.

Following up his charming drama Chef, Favreau returns to big studio filmmaking with The Jungle Book. Watch a clip from the film below.

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The Jungle Book TV Spot

When Super Bowl 50 unrolled a bunch of new TV spots for some of this year’s biggest movies, The Jungle Book got an impressive new full-length trailer that finally showed the incredibly realistic computer generated animals talking. Even though it’s a little strange to see such incredibly detailed animals speaking like humans, it works surprisingly well.

Now a new TV spot gives us a little more from the new adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic book about a boy (newcomer Neel Sethi) raised in the jungle who finds his life threatened by Shere Khan (Idris Elba), a tiger hellbent on keeping any trace of men out of the wild. In a new The Jungle Book TV spot, the panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) decides he’ll take Mowgli back where he belongs. Read More »

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The Jungle Book poster #3

It’s been nearly half a century since The Jungle Book hit theaters, and Disney figures that means it’s time for an upgrade. This spring brings Jon Favreau‘s new “live-action” version of Rudyard Kipling‘s classic story about a “man-cub” raised by a family of wolves.

“Live-action” is in quotes there because much of the movie is actually CG — cutting-edge, shockingly realistic CG that looks almost indistinguishable from real life, at least in the footage we’ve seen so far. Behind these CG animals will be an all-star voice cast including Idris ElbaScarlett JohanssonBen KingsleyChristopher Walken, and Bill Murray. The one character who’s definitely not a special effect will be the boy Mowgli, played by newcomer Neel Sethi.

Disney’s clearly got huge hopes for this one, and they’ve given it a cushy Super Bowl spot to tease the spectacle. Watch The Jungle Book Super Bowl spot after the jump. Read More »

The Jungle Book poster tryptic

Update From Editor Peter Sciretta: Disney has released the third and final piece of this triptych Jungle Book poster. The full triptych can be seen above, and see the final poster up close after the jump.

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The Jungle Book set visit

On December 11th, 2014, I visited a soundstage in downtown Los Angeles where director Jon Favreau was shooting his adaptation of The Jungle Book. As you may have noticed, Disney has begun to do a big rollout of the film, and we’ve been given the go-ahead to share something from our set visit. What I saw on set was amazing, but the studio has asked us not to talk about the technological process behind the film’s creation at this time (that will come later). So instead I present to you some of the methodology behind the adaptation.

I’ve always been a fan of Jon Favreau‘s work for the long haul, from his performances as an actor, to his more indie features like Made and Chef, and of course his larger, more accessible films like Elf and Iron Man. But when it was announced that Favreau was going to direct an adaptation of The Jungle Book, I was a little confused. It didn’t seem to fit in with his tastes. So I was interested to find out: Why did Jon Favreau want to make The Jungle Book? His answer is rooted in the power and emotion of mythic storytelling, and, among other things, Star Wars.

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