Art+Science=Animatronics, which makes it possible to create a film with fierce life-like animals who interrelate with a human child and no creature is harmed! After all, this Disney production is rated PG, so even though some of the scenes may scare the piddle out of a youngster, it will still be family fare. As Rudyard Kipling's classic tale of a boy raised in the jungle comes to life once again, I can't help but smile as I imagine his amazement if he could see what stunning things can be done with his stories these days.
Director Jon Favreau ("Iron Man"), working with Justin Marks who adapted Kipling's book, has stayed reasonably true to the original as the quest for fire becomes a central issue. His blending of CGI and real life is seamless and the involving story sweeps us along at a break-neck speed.
Here are some of the voices:
All in all, we loved the animals: the porcupine ("It's MINE!"), the elephants in all their majesty, the snoopy armadillo-like critter, the slow-moving tortoises, the darling wolf cubs, the ever-alert meerkat, the lumbering rhinos and the cape buffalo (although their stampede was pretty scary!). I found the monkeys to be upsetting, so to me, that scene lasted a bit too long.
The 3D only made me jump once, although there are several "Gotcha!" moments. This movie is a wonder! The story is intelligent, some of the situations are very funny, and Shere Kahn is genuinely terrifying. The children in the audience were riveted! (So was I...)