Favreau's Jungle Book is a marvel. With a Spielbergian sense of magical awe and reverent fear, it's a children's epic that not only stands-up to its legacy, but surpasses it. Giant snakeskins, intense animal battles, and daring escapes from ape kingdoms give the film a scope beyond the animated musical, all while keeping intact its persistent joy. Funny, jaw-dropping, thrilling, grand, and fun, it's an all-cylinders-go cinematic experience on every level. The story of a young man-cub raised by wolves and living amongst the animals of the jungle hasn't changed much, down to the talking beasts. Much like last year's Cinderella, they utilize nostalgia of the beloved product to dive deeper into the story without cynically dismissing it. On top of immersing us into the wilderness through meticulous attention to the smallest of details, the characters are drawn with much more depth. The bratty and paper-thin Mowgli of yesteryear is replaced by a boy with brains and motivation. Played with wide-eyed confidence by newcomer Sethi, we emotionally engage with his adventure. And he's not alone; all characters are given loving attention, specifically the foreboding presence of scary-cool bruiser Sheer Khan. The technical feat of creating photo-realistic animals that convincingly speak and emote is so impressive it feels like a benchmark in CGI. It wouldn't be an overstatement to say this is as groundbreaking and beautiful as any visual effects in years. Favreau and co. manage intense attention to accuracy without shoving it down our throats or overshadowing the story. At the end of the day, under all the computer data, there is a soulful and entertaining tale about life's bare necessity: individuality within community.