For a studio so synonymous with childhood memories and nostalgia, Disney has been getting increasingly bold with their live-action re-imaginings of classic features. MALEFICENT twisted the story of SLEEPING BEAUTY into a sexual assault allegory, and CINDERELLA emphasized the emotional trauma of losing one’s parents. And if the newest TV spot is anything to go by, Jon Favreau’s upcoming Jungle Book revival seems to place a bigger emphasis on action and the terrors hidden with the jungle.
The new spot is comprised mostly of previously revealed, yet high energy footage. Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi) can be seen running, jumping, and climbing to escape the paws and fangs of the jungle denizens. The film’s tone continues to impress, as Mowgli always keeps a curious state despite working with an entirely CGI cast. In particular the final shot of the TV spot really demonstrates what the film is going for; it’s a classic retelling of the hero’s journey.
Even though JUNGLE Book is another animated classic adapted to live-action, the film is still a big gamble. It looks to be a fairly intense movie for young children, and the casting of first time actor Neel Sethi clearly won’t help draw viewers in. Hopefully the all-star voice talent of Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken and Scarlett Johansson.
Disney’s recent initiative to bring back the films young adults grew up with has been a very overwhelming process. On one hand, it’s clear that Disney’s live-action initiative needed to move in a different direction – thanks to a series of box-office bombs: TOMORROWLAND, TRON LEGACY, THE LONE RANGER, JOHN CARTER- but on the other hand, is there anyone really asking for a live-action WINNIE THE POOH?
Yet, this nostalgia mining has, so far, proven to be a great success for the company. This has prompted the studio with announcing more films including: MULAN, TINKERBELL, DUMBO, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and FANTASIA.
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THE JUNGLE BOOK stars Neel Sethi, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken, Giancarlo Esposito, Emjay Anthony and Lupita Nyong’o. The story begins on 15th April.
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