The Jungle Book (2016) Poster


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Amid the treasures in King Louie's temple, one of them happens to be Genie's lamp from Aladdin (1992).
The CG character Baloo is so large and furry, he took almost five hours of rendering time per frame.
Actor Neel Sethi said that since he never actually worked with real animals on set during filming, director Jon Favreau would on occasion stand in for where the animals would be present, most notably as Shere Khan lunging out from the tall grass.
In The Jungle Book (1967), King Louie - a character created by Walt Disney's people, not by Rudyard Kipling - was an orangutan. In this film, he's a Gigantopithecus, an ancestor of the orangutan whose range is believed to have included parts of India. This change in species was made to make the film more fantastic, since it would be a good way to represent him as King of the Monkeys, and since orangutans are not native to India. Despite this, the film does still feature some animals not native to India, like Peccaries and Red-Eyed Tree Frogs.
The talking animals in this film were created using animal behavior, then having the actors copy those movements in motion-capture VFX.
Bill Murray voices Baloo in this film; his older brother Brian Doyle-Murray had voiced Baloo in The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story (1998).
All the locations in the film are computer-generated VFX. The story may have been set primarily in India, but the film was completely shot at the LA Center Studio in Los Angeles, California.
This is the first time that Kaa the snake is portrayed as a female, rather than a male. Jon Favreau said the change was a deliberate one, as he felt there were too many male characters in The Jungle Book (1967).
The film released in India on April 8, a week ahead of its U.S. debut, to pay tribute to the Indian environment of the film/novel.
Ben Kingsley described Bagheera as a military character: "He's probably a colonel, he is instantly recognizable by the way he talks, how he acts and what his ethical code is."
Mowgli has a scar on the right side of his chest which appears to be the letter "r" and also has a scar on his left shoulder which is a "k". This is a nod to the original author Rudyard Kipling.
Lyricist Richard M. Sherman, who wrote songs for The Jungle Book (1967), composed a new verse for "Wanna Be Like You" for Christopher Walken, where King Louie declares that he is a Gigantopithecus.
Actor Neel Sethi has said his favorite song is "Uptown Funk". When he would get tired on set, they had the track backed up and would blast it across the studio. Director Jon Favreau said that Sethi would dance around to pump himself up and get right back into the scene.
The animal characters were both motion-captured and performed live on set by puppeteers from the Jim Henson Company. For the on-set performances, Jim Henson's Creature Shop built elaborate life-sized puppets to act alongside Mowgli and serve as eye-lines.
Remote jungle locations in India were photographed and used as reference for the jungle environment in the film.
This is Garry Shandling's final film, released less than a month after he died of a heart attack. He provided the voice of Ikki the Porcupine, a character from Rudyard Kipling's original novel, who was not present in the 1967 film. Similarly, The Jungle Book (1967) also had a posthumous performance: Verna Felton, the voice of Winifred, Haithi's wife, in that incarnation, who starred in many other previous prominent Disney animated film productions, such as Dumbo (1941), Cinderella (1950), Alice in Wonderland (1951), Lady and the Tramp (1955), and Sleeping Beauty (1959), up until her death on December 14, 1966, the day prior to the death of the producer of The Jungle Book (1967): Walt Disney. Of all the voice acting roles Shandling had up until his death, all of them had also been animal characters (the other two being a pigeon from Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001) and Verne the Turtle from Over the Hedge (2006).
All three of director Jon Favreau's children have voice roles in the movie. His son Max voices a wolf cub, while his two daughters, Brighton Rose and Madeline voice Gray, another wolf cub.
The wolf pups in the film are named after motion capture actors and other crew members.
Over 2,000 children auditioned for the role of Mowgli, in his first audition, acting newcomer Neel Sethi won the role.
A scene where Baloo scratches his back on a tree, mimicking a famous scene in The Jungle Book (1967), was filmed and appears in some trailers. However, this scene is not in the final cut of the released film.
Right before he meets King Louie, Mowgli finds a cowbell in the monkey palace and proceeds to pick it up and shake it, causing Louie to appear. King Louie is played by Christopher Walken, who once famously stated on an SNL sketch on Saturday Night Live: Christopher Walken/Christina Aguilera (2000) in 2000, "I have a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell!"
While the film is a live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book (1967), the filmmakers decided to include elements from the Rudyard Kipling novel to make the film more adventurous and dangerous. The story of the film is not independently taken from Kipling's works but also borrows cinematic inspirations from other films, including the child-mentor relationship in Shane (1953), the establishment of rules in a dangerous world from Goodfellas (1990) and the use of a shadowy jungle figure in Apocalypse Now (1979).
The ending credits feature "The Jungle Book" in book form, that has the same cover design as the book seen in the opening credits of The Jungle Book (1967). It is, in fact, the original book prop, taken from Disney's archives, as mentioned in the "Making of" featurette.
Man's 'Red Flower' has a bigger role in this film. In the animated film The Jungle Book (1967), it is mentioned briefly by King Louie but in this version several animals mention it and it is implied all animals apart from Louie fear it. This possibly explains why Louie wanted to know how to make fire so he can use it to his own advantage so that all animals including Shere Khan fear him.
Inspiration from the Disney animated classics did not begin and end with The Jungle Book (1967). As director Jon Favreau explained: "We went back to films like Bambi (1942) to see how they best used elements, because I wanted to use different elements in this." He went on: "I wanted air, fire, water, and earth, and Bambi uses seasons and weather, and using different types of day-opportunities that this filmmaking style allows you. So we looked at films like Bambi, we looked at films like The Lion King (1994)." It's true-throughout The Jungle Book, you can sense the legacy of these earlier films and, thanks to the nature of the story (roughly broken up into vignettes), the changing seasons effect is vital and dazzlingly realized.
Despite not being a musical, three songs from The Jungle Book (1967), including "The Bare Necessities", "Trust in Me" and "I Wanna Be Like You" were included in this film, with the full versions being sung in the credits.
Bits of the overture from The Jungle Book (1967) were recycled in John Debney's musical score for this film.
The 3D of the film and the original 1990s Walt Disney Pictures opening logo were a tribute to the multi-plane camera system. Director Jon Favreau said that one of his is "rules" for making the film was "let's treat the 3D like multi-plane. Let's be as gimmicky as Walt Disney would have been-but not more." The multi-plane camera is a special camera used to create a sense of dimensional space-of a camera moving through a set, instead of one just taking photos of a series of still images. Disney had a special version of the system developed, which was used first in the Silly Symphony animated short film The Old Mill (1937) and later in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Favreau went on: "There are tremendous shots in Pinocchio (1940) and Bambi (1942) where the multi-plane was a new technology and they were using it to show off, and that was the 3D of its day. And so we were studying that very closely and became very fascinated with the multi-plane and what went into it and the artistry and ingenuity." This aesthetic philosophy extended to the movie's treatment of the main castle logo. "I got the idea, 'Let's do the opening logo, and instead of doing a super high-tech one, let's have a hand-painted, cel-animated multi-plane logo,'" Favreau said. "And not only that but 'Let's make the kingdom behind the castle have elements from what the live action version would have been,' so it was almost like a little taste of what's back there."
This is the fourth collaboration between director Jon Favreau and composer John Debney; they had previously worked together on Elf (2003), Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005) and Iron Man 2 (2010). This is also his thirteenth musical score for a Disney movie.
Giancarlo Esposito who voices the wolf Akela, was featured in a commercial for the video game Destiny (2014) where he narrated a part of the poem "The Law of the Jungle". This poem appears in Rudyard Kipling's "The Second Jungle Book".
The animal characters were created entirely in key frame computer animation, with the assistance of footage of real animal movement, the actors recording their lines, and performance capture for reference. The production team underwent a thorough process to realistically convey the animals' speaking, while still making them perceptually believable to the audience. Jon Favreau researched earlier films featuring anthropomorphic animals - including Walt Disney's animated features, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Bambi (1942), as well as modern films such as Babe (1995) - and adopted certain techniques from those films into this one. Nearly 70 separate species of native animals are featured in the film, with several species being portrayed as "150% larger" than their actual counterparts. Jim Henson's Creature Shop was brought in to provide animal puppet figures for Sethi to act against, although none appear in the finished film. Favreau expressed a desire to avoid overusing motion capture in order to prevent an uncanny valley effect. Moving Picture Company (MPC) and Weta Digital created the film's visual effects. MPC developed a new software for animating muscular structure in the animals. Around 1,000 remote jungle locations in India were photographed and used as reference in post-production.
Actors Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber's sons Sasha and Kai make their film debut in the movie as little wolves. Director Jon Favreau's children also appear in the movie.
This is Idris Elba's second of three starring roles in Disney films of 2016, following Zootopia (2016) and Finding Dory (2016). All three films feature Elba in prominent voice-over performances.
The original release date was set to be in October 2015, but was switched with another film to be released six months later in April 2016.
The first time King Louie appears on the screen, he is sitting in a chair, his face obscured by shadows and talking in a sinister, slightly muffled voice about offering Mowgli protection before finally revealing his face. This is an obvious homage to the classic film Apocalypse Now (1979) in which Marlon Brando's character, Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, first appears on screen similarly composed.
Director Jon Favreau received the Innovation in Film award from P.E.T.A. for using all CGI animals, and not harming any real animals during the production.
Kaa is the second character from "The Jungle Book" to be a female after Bagheera who was a female in The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story (1998).
Songs from The Jungle Book (1967) appear as bits of dialogue in this film. Kaa speaks "Trust in Me", and Baloo and King Louie sing a bit of "The Bare Necessities" and "I Wanna Be Like You" respectively. "Trust in Me" as sung by Scarlett Johansson is heard during the closing credits, which also feature longer versions of the other songs.
Rocky the Rhino was dropped from The Jungle Book (1967), where he was to appear during the scene with the vultures, voiced by Frank Fontaine, but he does appear in this film, voiced by Russell Peters.
Though Baloo looks like a Himalayan brown bear in this incarnation, Bagheera still refers to him as a sloth bear as in the original book and The Jungle Book (1967).
Despite being a prominent character in other adaptations of the same novel, Kaa only appears for a few minutes in this version.
Kaa, according to some concept art, was supposed to have two or more scenes, which were never used in the final film, with Kaa only appearing in one scene.
The scene where Louie first shows his hand to Mowgli is a homage to the Peter Jackson version of King Kong (2005) where Kong does the same thing upon meeting Ann Darrow.
This is the third live-action remake of a classic Disney animated feature film of the 21st century. The previous two being Maleficent (2014), and Cinderella (2015).
For most of the film, Baloo is seen walking on all four legs like a normal bear, but is seen twice standing upright like his The Jungle Book (1967) counterpart.
This is Christopher Walken's first Disney movie since The Country Bears (2002).
The sounds you hear when Mowgli goes underwater when on Baloo's tummy are generated through high powered underwater speakers made by Oceanears.
Jamie Dornan was originally cast as Hathi. In the final film however, he and the other elephants do not have any dialogue, nor are referred to by name.
This film is dedicated to Shawn Robinson, a stunt actor, who died a year before the film was released, in addition to voice actor Garry Shandling, who voiced Ikki the porcupine.
Marks the reunion of Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray following Lost in Translation (2003).
DIRECTOR_CAMEO(Jon Favreau): as the voice of one of the pygmy hogs.
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The little armadillo-like creature in Baloo's gang of silly sidekicks is a pangolin, which belongs to a unique animal family. Its closest relatives are not armadillos, but carnivorans like lions, tigers, bears, wolves, etc.
Most animals in the film are based on real wild animals that are largely found on the Indian subcontinent, as per the original novel, but most are increased in their relative size by at least thirty percent from their real-life counterparts, compared to Mowgli to make him look even more physically disadvantaged. This is for obvious reason in menacing figures such as Shere Khan and Kaa, but even friendly characters, towards Mowgli, such as the wolf pack, or Bagheera, loom over him whereas real-life Indian races of wolves or leopards are relatively small and average, rather smaller than an adult human, for example. Even King Louie appears considerably larger than real-life Gigantopithecus were, at up to nine and a half feet tall, whereas Louie appears to be perhaps fifteen feet tall.
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The film's cast includes three Oscar winners: Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong'o and Christopher Walken; and one Oscar nominee: Bill Murray.
The only songs from The Jungle Book (1967) not recycled were "Colonel Hathi's March", "That's What Friends are For" and "My Own Home". The latter two were sung by characters not even featured in this film.
The film was released in 2016, which is the 49th anniversary of the original Disney animated classic masterpiece The Jungle Book (1967).
This is Disney's second live-action remake to feature Dr. John singing a song from the animated original during the ending credits. He previously performed "Cruella DeVille" for 101 Dalmatians (1996)
This is Bill Murray and Christopher Walken's first voice over job since Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) seven years prior and Kangaroo Jack (2003) 13 years prior, respectively.
In addition to playing Mowgli's Father, actor Ritesh Rajan also provided motion capture performances for the character of Mowgli himself.
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This is Ben Kingsley's fourth Disney movie after Tuck Everlasting (2002), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) and Iron Man Three (2013).
Ritesh Rajan's second film after The Last Airbender (2010).
The scene in which Baloo distracts King Louie, while Bagheera tries to get Mowgli, is very similar to the animated Disney film Aladdin (1992), where Jasmine distracts Jafar, allowing Aladdin to get the lamp, only for the villains to spot them in the process.
Coincidentally, both Ritesh Rajan who played Mowgli's Father, and Sean Naegeli, who played Mowgli in The Jungle Book (1994) attended the same High School in Mahopac, New York.
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When Mowgli first meets King Louie, he picks up a cowbell, an homage to Christopher Walken's appearance on Saturday Night Live (1975), where he demands more cowbells in the song "Don't Fear the Reaper".
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Giancarlo Esposito, the voice of Akela, previously stated the "Law of the Jungle" in the trailer for the video game Destiny (2014). He repeated the proverb in this film.
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The actor who plays Mowgli, Neel Sethi was born in 2003, the same year that The Jungle Book (1967)'s theatrical sequel The Jungle Book 2 (2003) was released.
Scarlett Johansson previously appeared in The Horse Whisperer (1998) with Sam Neill, who had been in Disney's previous remake The Jungle Book (1994).
This is one of four movies in 2016 to feature Scarlett Johansson. Others are Hail, Caesar! (2016), Captain America: Civil War (2016), and Sing (2016).


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The scene where Shere Khan is standing on a dead tree telling Mowgli that he will devour him or the red flower will is also a deleted scene in The Jungle Book (1967).
When all of the animals gather for the climactic confrontation with Shere Khan, there is a shot of a wild boar and an Indian mongoose next to each other, a nod to Pumbaa the warthog and Timon the meerkat from the Disney animated film The Lion King (1994).
Although this is a remake of the original film, the ending is significantly changed from The Jungle Book (1967). In the original, Shere Khan does not die, he is just frightened away, but returns in its sequel, The Jungle Book 2 (2003), and Mowgli leaves the jungle to go live in the man-village. In this film, Shere Khan is killed by the fire, and Mowgli remains in the jungle with Baloo and Bagheera.
Earlier in this film, when Shere Khan chases Mowgli into a valley, there was a stampede of water buffalo. In the original novel, Shere Khan was killed by a stampede of water buffalo (at Mowgli's direction) while sleeping.
The composer John Debney gives a lot of references to George Bruns's original score for The Jungle Book (1967). It is first heard at the beginning of the film, then heard with some of the other main characters. You can even hear the melodies of some of their songs. Example: when we meet Kaa, we hear a few notes of the character's original song "Trust in Me".
The scene in which Mowgli is almost trampled by the stampede of water buffalos, while the main villain looks down from atop the cliff, is very similar to a scene from The Lion King (1994), where Scar looks down from the cliff after dropping Mufasa to his death in a wildebeest stampede.
This is the first Jungle Book film adaptation to be rated PG by the MPAA, rather than G like the previous film adaptations. If an early screenplay that showed Shere Khan breaking Akela's neck then throwing him off the ledge hadn't been cut, it would have given the film a PG-13 rating.
Shere Khan is based on his incarnations from the Jungle Book film/novel, but he also incorporates elements of Scar from The Lion King (1994):
  • he bears scars on his face

  • he kills the hero's father and takes over his tribe

  • when the hero comes for him, he at first ousts him as a traitor to his family

  • he tries to throw the hero into a fiery pit

  • and he meets his end by a trick from the hero.

In The Jungle Book (1967) and its sequel The Jungle Book 2 (2003), Bagheera and Shere Khan - both cats - never meet in battle. In this film however, they do meet in battle twice.
The elephants and the monkeys, in addition to the animals that make cameos like Blackbuck, are the only animals not to speak.
Unlike the 1967 film, King Louie is an actual villain in this incarnation, where he's more antagonistic and sinister, and though he is a bit more charming and convincing, he can be quite impatient and aggressive. Though many Disney villain fans believed him to be a villain in The Jungle Book (1967), he's actually more of an anti-hero in that incarnation, and has been proven in his other appearances to be on the same side as Mowgli, Bagheera and Baloo.
Acknowledged on-screen deaths: 2 (Akela and Shere Khan) in the course of the movie, plus 1 (Mowgli's father) in a flashback. While there were probably monkeys killed in the temple battle, and other animals killed in the climactic forest fire, none are specified. The end credits scene suggests that King Louie emerged alive from the collapsed temple.
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This is the second adaption where Shere Khan kills a wolf, (in this film being Akela), not seen in The Jungle Book (1967). The first one being The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story (1998).
The scene where Baloo saves Mowgli from being devoured by Kaa may have been inspired by a scene in the Born to be Wild DVD of The Jungle Book (1967) spinoff series Jungle Cubs (1996).

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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