jungle book images

Yesterday, I wrote about a behind-the-scenes video that showcased just how much of Jon Favreau‘s The Jungle Book was created in post-production and I was just bowled over by it. It’s one thing to hear that a movie is set entirely in digital environments (because computers can do anything and so on), but it’s another thing to actually see the before and after (because computers can do anything and holy cow).

Disney has released a new series of stills showing the transformation of a few shots in the film, revealing how a lone kid standing in front of blue screens was transformed into a lone kid standing in a lush and photo-realistic Indian jungle by the visual effects geniuses at MPC.

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the jungle book vfx

When you’re actually sitting in a theater and watching The Jungle Book, you don’t realize that there were no exteriors shot for the entire film and that every frame was filmed on a soundstage in Los Angeles. Even though the supporting cast of talking animals were obviously created in a computer, the world on display in Jon Favreau‘s film feels so real and so detailed that it’s often hard to believe that almost every element on the screen was generated by a large team of geniuses after the fact. No matter your opinion the film as a whole (I agree with our own Angie Han that it is very good), the visual effects are truly next generation stuff. This is the new high bar everyone is going to chase for a few years.

And now, a new featurette has arrived to offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what it was like to shoot a movie this technologically complex.

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Between Sean Parker’s Screening Room and AMC’s tentatively proposed (and quickly discarded) texting-allowed policy, we’ve seen a lot of debate in recent weeks about the sanctity (or lack thereof) of the theatrical experience. Cinephiles will swear up and down that a pristine movie theater is the only proper way to enjoy a movie — and I tend to agree — but the truth is that for a lot of moviegoers, the drawbacks outweigh the benefits. Why fork over $100 for tickets and popcorn and a babysitter, put up with screaming kids and sticky floors, when you can just rent something from the comfort of your own couch? So what if you’re missing out on 3D and giant screens and surround sound?

Jon Favreau‘s The Jungle Book is the answer to that “so what.” It’s a technical achievement on par with Avatar and Life of Pi, the kind of cutting-edge stunner that actually justifies all the extra premiums and hassles associated with 3D and the theater experience in general. If you’re planning to see this movie at all, see it in 3D while it’s still in theaters. The film’s heart and humor will still be intact when it reaches home video, and thank goodness for that, but the magic of its special effects is on another level altogether.  Read More »

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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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 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 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

Following her mo-cap performance as Maz Kanata in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lupita Nyong’o is reteaming with Disney for Jon Favreau‘s remake of The Jungle Book, in which she’ll play another computer-generated character. Specifically, you’ll hear her voice as Raksha, the wolf who takes and raises in the human boy Mowgli (Neel Sethi).

Raksha didn’t get a lot of screentime in the teaser trailer released this fall (actually, I’m not even sure she was in it at all), but a new photo offers a much better opportunity to get up close with the mother wolf. See the latest Jungle Book image after the jump.  Read More »

The Jungle Book

As you’ve surely noticed, Disney is obsessed with turning their animated classics into new live-action movies. Just this year alone we’ve gotten word of Tim Burton directing Dumbo, Alex Ross Perry writing Winnie the Pooh, and Reese Witherspoon starring in a Tinkerbell movie, not to mention live-action takes on Mulan, Pinocchio, Prince Charming and now an Aladdin prequel called Genies. And that’s not even all of them.

But the next one hitting theaters is The Jungle Book from Elf and Iron Man director Jon Favreau. The footage that played at D23 last month blew people away, and now you can get a sneak peek of that footage in a quick tease from the movie before the full trailer arrives on Monday. Watch The Jungle Book teaser below! Read More »

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Jungle Book

Director Jon Favreau has put together an insanely impressive cast for his live action Disney film, The Jungle Book. The cast includes Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o and Scarlet Johansson to name a few. But those actors won’t be seen on screen. They’ll just be providing their voices. Only one human will appear for the majority of the movie. His name is Neel Sethi. The 10-year-old New Yorker has been cast as Mowgli in the film, which is scheduled for release October 6, 2015. See his photo and read the full release below. Read More »