The Jungle Book is enjoying something rarely granted to reboots: stellar reviews. Critics say the live-action remake of the Disney cartoon based on the stories of Rudyard Kipling—in which a 10-year-old human raised by wolves sets out on a jungle adventure—is enchanting, giving it a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Here's what they're saying:
- "Wow. Just, wow," writes Randy Cordova at the Arizona Republic. There's so much to love, from the incredible visual effects—"It's often impossible to tell where the CGI ends and the real animals begin"—to Neel Sethi as a "perfect" Mowgli. Bill Murray as lazy bear Baloo "adds a cutting humor the movie may have been missing," Cordova adds. "It's truly a family film in that it entertains all ages; parents won't be checking their watches to see when things are going to wind up."
- Disney's The Jungle Book "is what this franchise-tentpole-universe-theme-park factory does best," writes David Edelstein at Vulture. "It's dazzling—almost no one will dislike it," he adds. "Untethered by reality, its settings are huge, its cliffs and waterfalls like something out of James Cameron's Avatar." The film is realistic, however, in that "the animals are savage," so "little kids might be shaken up. Some grown-ups, too."
- Ann Hornaday agrees the film includes "some genuinely terrifying fight sequences and a couple of potentially upsetting deaths," yet "every inch of The Jungle Book pulses with life, grace, and authenticity. Even when this idyllic world turns ugly, it's a thing of rare beauty," she writes at the Washington Post. And in the end, "the audience comes out whistling—in this case, with joy and quite a bit of awe."
- "It's one of the few films in which the 3D enhancement is justified. Each scene captures the essence of each animal so vividly that children in the audience were reaching out to the screen to try to 'touch' the fur," Maricar Estrella writes at DFW.com. Estrella says this "enthralling blend of live action and CGI is officially the first big family hit of the season," even with Christopher Walken's somewhat "ominous" portrayal of King Louie. Idris Elba (Shere Khan) and Scarlett Johansson (Kaa) also star.
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