“The Jungle Book” is a live-action epic adventure about Mowgli, a man-cub raised by a family of wolves who is coming of age and trying to find his place in the world. Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when a fearsome tiger Shere Khan, who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. The Jungle is not a safe place for a kid.
The Jungle Book Cast, Technology and Jon Favreau and Brigham Taylors dedication brought this movie to life.
The Jungle Book Cast
The Jungle Book stars Neel Sethi as Mowgli, Bill Murray as Baloo, Sir Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, Idris Elba as Shere Kahn, Christopher Walken as King Louie. and Giancarlo Esposito as Akela. The film was directed by Jon Favreau and produced by Brigham Taylor.
Newcomer Neel Sethi
Newcomer Neel Sethi stars as the film’s only human character, Mowgli. Sethi was selected from thousands who auditioned as part of an extensive worldwide search. He read with several actors before being selected as Mowgli.
Technology and Innovation Brings The Jungle Book To Life
Filmmakers employed CGI technology and real animal characters that artists stylized to tell the story in a contemporary and immersive way. “‘The Jungle Book’ is a universal coming-of-age story that everyone can relate to,” says producer Brigham Taylor. “Walt Disney told the story through traditional cell animation and we have the technology to bring these characters to life, make them photo-real and put a real kid into the environment in a seamless, believable way.” Favreau’s adaption of The Jungle Book uses CGI technology to tell the story the way that Kipling actually imagined it with a real kid in a real jungle living with actual performing animals that talk to him. The Jungle Book also draws inspiration from the Disney animated classics, while retaining the gravitas and mythology inherent in Rudyard Kipling’s original stories. Filmmakers decided to build an almost entirely digital jungle. The animals each have their own unique emotional language and are made larger than life to show the vulnerability of a child in the Jungle.
To create the iconic float-down-the-river scene, filmmakers built two tanks with jets and pumps. The larger tank had gigantic jets that created a current. Each set had to be constructed with an eye for the digital characters who would be added to the scene and allows viewers to be immersed in the movie.
The Jungle Book Made an Impression on Jon Favreau and Brigham Taylor
Jon Favreau and Brigham Taylor were very impressed with the characters of the Jungle Book. According to Favreau, story is king. “Every story needs humanity, emotion and 2 character development, as well as humor—presented in a way that doesn’t betray the stakes of the film. There are white-knuckle moments in the movie when you wonder, ‘what’s going to happen to this kid?’” The bond between Mowgli and Baloo made a very strong impression Favreau. According to Favreau, “The relationship between Baloo and Mowgli remineded him of his own relationship with his grandfather, who was a big part of his life. “I really like that Mowgli is rambunctious, always getting into trouble. He isn’t the standard well-behaved kid, but a bit precocious—a ‘Dennis the Menace’ type. He isn’t intimidated by these big wild animals, in fact, he’s completely at home among them. He’s a tough kid but also very vulnerable emotionally, especially with Baloo”, said Favreau.
THE JUNGLE BOOK opens in theatres everywhere in 3D, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D on April 15th! For additional information visit the official THE JUNGLE BOOK website.
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