Disney has released another TV spot for The Jungle Book, the studio’s big-budget take on the Rudyard Kipling classic, playing up the photo-realistic animals and tremendously absorbing sense of place on display in the spring tentpole.
There’s a curious balancing act going on in the marketing campaign for this movie, one that’s trying to blend the epic scope and visual wow with a charming, old-school sensibility that extends to a bear voiced by Bill Murray whistling “Bear Necessities.”
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The jury’s still out on whether that duality is actually true to the finished product (it’s hard to imagine how the movie would be able to pull off both a realistic visual tone and whimsical narrative approach), but with the film’s April release date coming right up, Disney is working hard to emphasize two oddly contrary things: that this is still the Jungle Book audiences know and love, and that it’s its own extremely well-realized animal.
Neel Sethi is the sole human star here, playing human boy Mowgli, but the voice cast includes an array of big names, like Bill Murray (Baloo), Ben Kingsley (Bagheera), Lupita Nyong’o (Raksha), Giancarlo Esposito (Akela), Christopher Walken (King Louie), Scarlett Johansson (Kaa), and Idris Elba (Shere Khan).
The Jungle Book opens April 15.
Directed by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”), based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, “The Jungle Book” is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of selfdiscovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire.
The all-star cast also includes Lupita Nyong’o as the voice of the fiercely protective mother wolf Raksha, and Giancarlo Esposito as the voice of wolf pack’s alpha male Akela. “The Jungle Book” seamlessly blends live-action with photorealistic CGI animals and environments, using up-to-the-minute technology and storytelling techniques to immerse audiences in an enchanting and lush world. The wild adventure swings into theaters in 3D on April 15, 2016.