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Movie Review: The Jungle Book

Last year was the year of nostalgia for film, with movies like Creed and Star Wars: The Force Awakens showing us that Hollywood doesn’t need original ideas – they just need to keep remaking old ones.  And I’m actually being serious – I love that Creed was better than most Rocky movies while still capturing the same spirit, and ditto for Star Wars.

The Jungle Book is just the latest movie that gets it right – perfectly capturing the spirit of the original cartoon, but can completely stand on its own as well.  It is a quality movie, seamlessly blending the CGI effects of the jungle with the excellent voice-work of actors like Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken, and Idris Elba.  Everyone is perfectly cast in their roles (I can’t imaging any better than Murray as the lovable Bear Baloo).

While it is not a full-on musical, there are a couple of songs that they pulled directly from the 1967 cartoon, and they are perfect.  They couldn’t have made this movie without ‘The Bare Necessities’ and ‘I Wanna Be Like You,’ so they just went for it and did an awesome job.

I can’t recommend this movie enough for kids and adults of all ages (my five and two-year-olds both loved it).  If Hollywood keeps churning out remakes this good, who needs anything new?

Grade: A-


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