The Jungle Book online watch
The slushy escape from a mad tiger and a landslide, astride a water buffalo, is worth a Revenant. The slouch atop a branch where a child, a panther and a bear hang out together, into the sunset, is worth a Lion King. The destruction wrought by an angry giant monkey is worth a King Kong. The heartbreak of a goodbye between friends is worth a Finding Nemo. The Shere Khan will haunt your sleep, the Baloo cheer up your day, and the Mowgli will make every child, and adult, want to walk swinging those arms just a bit.
This is The Jungle Book reinvented for 2016, by a director who knows just how to mix the heavy blows with the light touch. It’s a little more reminiscent of the jungle and the book than the 1967 Disney classic, a lot, lot darker, and yet, ultimately, as exuberant, with a surprisingly strong and novel message at its heart, in a story that already didn’t lack them.
There is no ‘boy being found in a basket, on a boat’ stuff here. We meet Mowgli (Neel Sethi) when already 10 and already finding himself struggling with the wolf life. While his wolf pack is as accommodating as ever, a “water truce” called due to a drought – bringing all the animals together, in peace, to a sole watering hole – brings him to the attention of the other animals in the jungle. Most are just curious, but Shere Khan (Idris Elba) is furious.
Left scarred by humans once, Shere Khan wants his revenge, and tells the wolves who have raised Mowgli (Akela and Rakhsa, voiced by Esposito and Lupita Nyong’O) that he will wait till only the rains to come after the man cub.
The time comes, and Bagheera (Ben Kingsley), who was the one to bring the infant Mowgli to the wolves, tells Raksha that he must take the boy to a “man village” for his safety. There on begin the adventures which bring Mowgli face-to-face with first Shere Khan, then the water buffaloes, Kaa, Baloo and King Louie.