It takes more than the bare necessities to remake an animated Disney classic and transform it into a live-action success, of course with a good blend of CGI. If compared to the book instead of the animated movie, “The Jungle Book” was more than adequate. In fact, some would call it wildly entertaining.

Given a 94 percent rating by Rotten Tomatoes and an eight out of 10 rating by IMDb, it’s obvious that the young Neel Sethi made for a fantastic jungle boy.

Even besides well know actors such as Scarlett Johansson (Kaa) and Bill Murray (Baloo), Sethi took hold of his role like a vine and swung high. His was the only role that didn’t use CGI- created characters so on top of being the main man … cub, he also had the most pressure in being the only primary physical presence. Not to mention being hunted by a CGI-created tiger, which we all know is the most dangerous of all jungle creatures.

jungle-book-2016-posters-mowgli-balooWalt Disney Pictures

Neel Sethi (Mowgli) plays his role incredibly well as the live-action man-cub in the 2016 film ‘The Jungle Book.’

Mowgli is a man-cub raised by wolves after being found by Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) as a baby. When he grows older and Shere Khan (Idris Elba) discovers — during a water truce — he is being harbored by the wolf pack, he asks how many lives are worth the life of one man-cub.

This drives Mowgli into the forest toward the man village, where Bagheera claim he will be safe. Mowgli meets Kaa, voiced by Johansson, after being separated from the black panther. Although the snake’s presence wasn’t as prominent as it was in the animated movie, Johansson squeezed every venomous line into her role and left a lasting impression that kept viewers hypnotized throughout the scene. It also offered insight into Mowgli’s past that wasn’t given in the animated version.

Every lighthearted movie with a serious undertone needs the comedic relief, however, and Bill Murray filled that role perfectly as Baloo. Mowgli meets him after the bear saves him from Kaa, and the two quickly become friends.

Of course, King Louie (Christopher Walken) is a necessary presence in the movie. Walken voiced the king well and made for an enormous presence in the feral film.

Director Jon Favreau hit the box office with “The Jungle Book,” reaching $103.3 million in its opening weekend, according to Rotten Tomatoes. Alongside his other films such as “Iron Man” and “Elf,” Favreau can add this to his list of successful movies.

The movie uses pieces of the book that were not included in the animated film, which is a nice surprise that might initially seem odd to those who expect to see a reflection of the classic. The use of CGI offers a lot of realistic visuals that, according to critics, set a new standard for CGI. Aside from the rain that barely forms beads on the creatures’ fur, viewers will quickly agree with critics.

With help from an amazing cast the journey came to life and showed a world that will make you want to stay in the jungle, too.

Cayce Berryman

Cayce Berryman is the Managing editor for the Del Mar College Foghorn. She has been with the Foghorn since the Fall of 2015 as one of the staff’s best writers and photographers. After Del Mar College, Cayce plans to continue her job as a freelance editor on the side. She hopes to continue down that road and earn her Creative Writing and English BA at Southern New Hampshire University. You can reach Cayce at cberryman@foghornnews.com or follow her on Twitter @CayceBerryman.

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