As far as daring to re-imagine the classics goes, Disney seems to be getting braver with each passing year. After all, there has never been a studio more synonymous with childhood memories of cinema than Disney. This sort of familiarity isn’t easily toyed with – no one wants the animated fare they grew up with brought back in anything less than perfect condition.
Plans have long been in the works to bring a steady stream of animated Disney classics into the live-action realm, with development underway on titles such as Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh, Tinkerbell, Fantasia, and Mulan. In about a month and a half (at the time of writing this), Disney will release their Jon Favreau-directed adaptation of The Jungle Book - and at present, general opinions seem to fluctuate between curiosity and eagerness.
So far we’ve seen several images, multiple official trailers and one TV spot for the upcoming film, all of which have highlighted what looks to be a fairly action packed adventure for Mowgli (played by newcomer Neel Sethi), amidst a sea of very impressive CG animals -- both friend and foe. The latest TV spot has now arrived for the film and you can check it out above.
The new spot once again is comprised of high-intensity action – running, climbing, jumping all set to the pounding rhythm of up-tempo drumming. It opens with Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) explaining to Mowgli that he’s being hunted by a tiger (Shere Khan, as voiced by Idris Elba), which is the catalyst for the boy’s jungle adventure. There’s very little new footage on display here, but the spot’s tone and impressive CG continues to deliver John Favreau’s love of big themes and the overall concept of a hero’s journey. The new TV spot also coincides with the commencement of ticket pre-sales for the film’s April 15 release.
Disney’s decision to take on a re-imagining of The Jungle Book is definitely a bit of a gamble – especially considering what has been seen of the film thus far has a level of intensity to it smaller children could find frightening. What’s more, pairing an unknown, first-time feature child actor (Neel Sethi) with an otherwise all CG cast is something of a bold move.
On the flip side, the footage looks wonderful and Favreau’s previous Iron Man experience ensures Disney has chosen a director with knowledge of the action/adventure genre. Then of course, there’s the phenomenal cast, with voices courtesy of some of the biggest names in Hollywood - Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken, and Lupita Nyong’o – to help bolster confidence that Disney’s latest re-imagining of a classic is likely in the best hands possible.
The Jungle Book opens in U.S. theaters on April 15, 2016.
Source: Walt Disney Pictures