by CHESANIE BRANTLEY/Editor-in-Chief

A little boy is running through huge trees with trunks bigger than imaginable. He is being chased by a black panther and gets caught.

Disney’s 2016 version of “The Jungle Book” was brought to the big screen on April 15. Mowgli, played by Neel Sethi, has enough energy for 10 people. The jungle is his home, and it shows by the way he runs across trees and jumps from limb to limb. Bagheera, voiced by Ben Kingsley, is his protector, helping raise Mowgli with a wolf pack.

The wolf pack’s leader is Akela, voiced by Giancarlo Esposito. He accepted Mowgli as a toddler and gave him to the female wolf, Raksha (voiced by Lupita Nyong’o), who would raise him as one of her own.

Mowgli gets to be a young boy when a drought affects the jungle. The peace rock is revealed, and therefore there is a water truce between the animals. During a water truce, anytime animals are at the peace rock, another animal cannot come to attack. Mowgli also goes to the peace rock and gets a lot of odd looks, since he was considered a “man cub.”

This is when Shere Khan, voiced by Idris Elba, shows up and threatens Akela’s wolf pack because of Mowgli. Therefore, Mowgli leaves the pack with Bagheera to head back to the man village.

“The Jungle Book” was a remake of Disney’s original “The Jungle Book” that was released in 1967. Except, the original was much better. Honestly, I do not know why they even bothered to change it. I get that it had the whole realistic vibe to it. But come on. That is all we could get?

The movie finally gets a little interesting when Mowgli meets Baloo, voiced by Bill Murray, when Baloo saves him from Kaa, voiced by Scarlett Johansson.

The scene with Kaa was the best part of the entire movie. Mowgli climbs up in a tree and is greeted by a voice. The audience cannot tell where the voice is coming from, and can only see hints of a camouflaged snake in the tree. Finally, Kaa is face to face with Mowgli, and she hypnotizes him in a way where the audience is almost hypnotized with him. Her voice stays calm, and she begins to tell Mowgli about the night his father died and why Shere Khan wants him dead. Before you know it, Kaa has wrapped Mowgli and is getting ready to squeeze when Baloo shows up and saves Mowgli.

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After that, Baloo is telling Mowgli that he owes him for saving his life, which I was not a fan of at all. Then, comes the disappointing rendition of “The Bare Necessities.” Mowgli and Baloo are floating down the river, kind of halfway singing the song and splashing around.

After a while, Mowgli is taken by monkeys to King Louie, voiced by Christopher Walkin. King Louie was portrayed as a mob leader in the movie, which I already was not a fan of, and then he randomly started singing. He was singing, “I Want To Be Like You,” but it did not match his character, and the timing was off.

I will not ruin the rest of the movie for anyone, but if you are a big fan of the original “The Jungle Book,” I would not see this one in theaters. It would be OK to rent it from Redbox or something like that, though.

All in all, I give this movie 2 out of 5 stars.

Posted by Plainsman Press Staff

The student newspaper of South Plains College.

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