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The Jungle Book
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Jungle Book More at IMDbPro »

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46 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

Such a great movie, very under rated

10/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
1 February 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One of my favorite childhood memories of all time, the live action Jungle Book, in 1967 we had a classic animated movie of the same title, it's a great movie, has fun music and terrific characters. When my family bought the movie The Jungle Book, I don't think they realized the surprise that we got when we just enjoyed watching this film. It's strange because this is made a little more for the grown up crowd vs. the children, but still I absolutely loved The Jungle Book and every time I see it, I admire it a little more for different reasons. The story, the setting, the actors, I don't know what it was about this film that I just love so much, but it holds a special place in my heart.

In the Victorian period, Mowgli is the five-year-old son of a wilderness guide who accompanies his father on a hunting trip in the jungles of their native India. Mowgli becomes close friends with a British girl named Kitty Brydon, whose father, Colonel Geoffrey Brydon, commissioned the hunt. When Shere Khan attacks the camp and kills Mowgli's father, the boy and the wolf are lost in the confusion and are left to fend for themselves. Bagheera finds them and leads Mowgli to the wolf pack. Mowgli is befriended by the animals of the jungle including Baloo the bear cub, and they develop an unspoken bond as the growing boy learns to survive. While in the wild, the Bander-Log steal the bracelet Kitty gave him. Years later, after growing to adulthood, Mowgli once again encounters Kitty, who still lives in India with her father and her arrogant and deceitful suitor, Captain William Boone. Kitty and Mowgli recognize each other, and while his powers of speech are rusty, Kitty reintroduces Mowgli to civilization with the help of Dr. Julius Plumford and Mowgli introduces Kitty to his friends in the jungle. However, after spending most of his life in the jungle, Mowgli does not feel at home among the rude and snobbish aristocrats who are friends with Kitty's family. He falls in love with Kitty, but wants to go back to the jungle and to be with his real family.

The Jungle Book is an incredibly good movie that I highly recommend. It has great laughs, like watching Mowgli learning how to becoming "civilized" in society with the help of Dr. Plumford and seeing how Plumford is also trying to learn from Mowgli how to be in touch with nature. I loved to love story between Mowgli and Kitty, it was so lovely and their kiss was one of those sappy moments that got a big "Awww!!!" from me. Then there's one of the saddest movie moments ever, when Baloo gets shot and Mowgli finds him and just lies with him crying, then Dr. Plumford reveals Baloo at the end of the movie and I cry in joy, they had me on so many rollar coaster rides of emotions. But seriously if you haven't seen this movie, I would recommend it very much, it's a very special film and deserves more recognition.

10/10

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23 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

A Solid Version Of The Classic Story

8/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
11 July 2006

This was pretty solid adventure story with colorful backgrounds of a the country of India and jungle scenery.

Jason Scott Lee as "Mowgli" is interesting to watch in the lead. Lee is an intriguing actor. He has an Asian background, but has played an Eskimo, here in Indian and other nationalities in other films. He is one of the more diverse actors I've ever seen, yet he isn't well-known.

Cary Elwes is usually effective as a villain. He has the acting talent that makes him easy to despise! The animals are fun, too, from Mowgli's friends in the jungle to the monkeys and giant snake guarding the lost caves with the treasure. Nicely filmed and a good adventure story for everyone.

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28 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

I can't believe this movie rated so low!

10/10
Author: tulip33 from Fort Smith, AR
31 January 2003

I love this movie,I rated it a 10.I can't believe this movie rated so low!This movie is full of action and adventure.The monkeys in it are a hoot.I loved the Indiana Jones style ending.The casting is perfect.My teenage daughter adores this movie.A must see that is perfect for the whole family.

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20 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Fine performances and direction in the spirit of Kipling.

9/10
Author: Abby-9 from United States
19 July 1999

The switch here, and Jason Scott Lee does it with skill and heart of genius, is that Mowgli talks to the animals in their languages. We do not hear the animal speaking English. But from the moment Bagheera offers his tail to the tiny Mowgli and Mowgli grasps that tail, we are in intimate communication with the animals. Mowgli, his pet wolfcub and the rescued bearcub Balu follow the panther through the jungle and I went with them. Every actor modulates his or her performance to make the story happen, to balance the telling. Kitty, Mowgli's childhood friend, does not let one drop of saccharine spoil her natural young woman. Cary Elwes as a villain is frighteningly archetypal (just as he is a beautiful hero in other films). . . But the animal actors are what compel me to fork over dollars for my own copy of the video. Since they are surrounded by masterful cinema storytelling and heartfelt human performances, their work carries the main theme of this film. We know now how fragile the jungle and its inhabitants are as man approaches with guns and bulldozers. The delicate balance of man and animal, the diplomacy of Mowgli at times, the essence of courage and loyalty -- all this is portrayed. If you know the original Jungle Book and the moral spirit of its author, you recognize that the character of the jungle inhabitants is respected. In this film, while we are given an adventure extrapolated from the original literary situation, the Law of the Jungle is kept. For sophisticated Kipling see the Michael Caine/Sean Connery film "The Man Who Would Be King".

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Lusciously filmed, with slick pacing, good performances and terrific music; while just lacking the 1967 film's charm, it is truer to the book, worthwhile and very underrated

8/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
30 January 2010

I'd better start off saying how much I love the 1967 animated film. I just loved how original, funny and light-hearted it all was. This film doesn't quite have the charm of the 1967 film, and there are some parts like the animal mauling that I found rather intense. Wilkin's death comes to mind. But there is so much that compensates; it is actually truer to the book than the 1967 film was and it is definitely worthwhile. I also think it is very underrated, the look of the film and the music should've at least guaranteed a 7.0 rating on IMDb, and whether I bring this film up to people the general impression is that a)they haven't seen it, b)it is inferior to the 1967 film or c)they hate it full stop. I admit it I do prefer the animation, as I grew up with it, but I really like this version as well. The animals are very well trained, I liked how wise Baloo was and Shere Kahn gave a good amount of menace whenever he was on screen. The film looks absolutely stunning, the cinematography is striking, the forests are lush and the waterfalls are sparkling. The costumes are fabulous, Kitty's dresses are to die for, and Lena Headey I must say looked gorgeous. The music from Basil Pouledoris, who also composed the music for the Hunt For Red October, is sweeping and rousing, and the pace and direction are slick. The performances are fine too, Jason Scott Lee is likable as Mowgli, John Cleese is wonderfully benevolent as Dr Plumford, and Cary Elwes makes a suave, handsome and charismatic villain. In conclusion, very good and underrated film. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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16 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

The plot summary is just as IMDb says.

10/10
Author: kealoha87 from United States
16 June 2005

What it doesn't say is how uplifting it proves to be mentally, morally,emotionally, physically,spiritually, and any other way i failed to mention. A truly captivating work of art, this can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. The characters take you into a world of magic and mystery where anything is possible. It is not something that is described easily though, rather, it must be seen to be FELT. It has evolved from its simple beginnings as a cartoon which few people watch anymore. Yet, my family watches this version often. Although it's to the point that we know the dialogue by heart, it never fails to bring tears, or to inspire. I highly recommend this movie for all.

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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Boys young & old like adventure yarns and this is a good one!

7/10
Author: raymond-15 from Australia
29 August 2000

What a rollicking adventure story this film is - straight from the pages of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Books and as uncomplicated as any schoolboy adventure yarn. It's really about the laws of man and the laws of the jungle and the divergence of opinions which continue even today. Most of the humans in this film are depicted as tiresome bores, courageous only when their finger is on the trigger of a rifle. The animals of the jungle seem to be the most maligned, but somehow get the upper hand. After all, the jungle is their territory. The film gives some hope for the future when Mowgli (reared by wild animals) and Kitty, a sweet English girl fall in love. The athletic Mowgli with the agility of a leopard in his jungle home is forced to lead a party of soldiers to the monkey palace where untold treasure has been accumulated. It's a difficult trek, but greed drives them on to the secret place. Action hots up as the animals fight back to preserve their territory. Kitty's life is threatened many times, but handsome Mowgli with his animal instincts is able to save her. A touching scene in the film (and one of the quieter moments) is Mowgli's discovery of a room in which the heads of hunted animals are stuffed and mounted as trophies on the walls. Without being too cynical, I must say that Mowgli is surprisingly adaptable as Kitty makes attempts to "civilize" him and teach him to dance. He is certainly a quick learner. But the English aristocracy do not accept him. If one can believe all that Kipling portrays, one feels his heart lies in the jungle which he trekked through himself during his travels in Africa. Maybe his attitude to the jungle is over-romanticized, but the resulting film adds up to great family entertainment. With regard to the monkey palace, it is truly a wonder to behold. The technological experts have done a great job in managing the special effects. They defy analysis. Better to just sit back and enjoy each exciting moment.

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Not bad of its kind

Author: ctomvelu from usa
27 May 2002

Probably better for grownups than kids, who are likely to prefer the 1967 cartoon, of which this is essentially a live-action remake. Being Disney, it does not hew particularly close to the source material. But so what? It's a thundering good adventure, and Jason Scott Lee makes a terrific Mowgli. Just for fun, watch this and SQUANTO, with the equally good Adam Beach in the title role, as a double feature.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Darker and more intense version is visually impressive...

7/10
Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.
16 October 2011

Having missed this when first released, it was a pleasure to discover that this version of Kipling's THE JUNGLE BOOK has been photographed with stunning results in WideScreen color. It features an excellent cast headed by Jason Scott Lee, Lena Headey, Sam Neill and John Cleese, all giving admirable performances.

Detailed scenic wonders of the jungle with dense foliage, rippling waterfalls, exotic plants and animals--and best of all, the majestic looking sets for the hidden city holding all the treasures, are what make the film worth watching.

The famous story has its share of jungle thrills and these have been broadened to include even more conflict in the jealousy that evolves between Mowgli and a British officer who wants to marry the girl. His only interest in Mowgli is to have him lead him to the hidden city.

As the boy who finds out that Civilization can be more dangerous than any jungle, Jason Scott Lee is the perfect embodiment of Mowgli, capturing the character's innocence and naive nature in a way that is always credible. Lena Headey makes a lovely heroine as the girl he knew as a youngster who befriends him again, against the opposition of her arrogant British officer fiancé Cary Elwes whose untimely end makes for one of the story's most exciting and satisfying scenes.

Background music by Basil Pouledoris is highly effective and Stephen Sommers directs the whole piece in workmanlike fashion with only a few scenes a bit too intense for young children.

Summing up: An adventurous tale well told in a gorgeously mounted production.

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13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Uh-oh: they said "macaque"!

10/10
Author: Lee Eisenberg (lee.eisenberg.pdx@gmail.com) from Portland, Oregon, USA
14 September 2006

Beyond simply being a "children's movie", this adaptation of "The Jungle Book" actually looks at colonialism in India. You can see how the British treat Mowgli (Jason Scott Lee) once he enters their society, and how Capt. Boone (Cary Elwes) sets up the animal heads like prizes and proudly talks about hunting them. Seeing what the English colonizers do, you actually want the tiger to attack them.

The truth is, I can't find any problems with this movie. It's a movie that I recommend to everyone, as a good look at history and with plenty of adventure to keep things going. Also starring Lena Headey, Sam Neill, John Cleese and Jason Flemyng.

Oh, and I noticed that they mentioned macaque monkeys. It just reminds me of Sen. George Allen's recent racist comment involving the word "macaca".

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