I just discovered that we’re to be given a double helping of Jungle Book adaptations over the next couple of years. In 2016 Disney will release their fourth(!) attempt at filming Rudyard Kipling’s famous collection of children’s stories and poetry, and in the year after that, Warner Bros will bring us The Jungle Book: Origins. Here’s the trailer for the Disney one:
Now, Kipling ranks among my favourite writers, and The Jungle Book (or, to be more precise, Jungle Books: Kipling wrote a sequel which is now almost always published in the same volume as the original) in particular is one of those desert island books for me. It was read to me as a child, and in reading it as an adult, Kipling’s Jungle (among other locales visited) remains one of those places that I can get lost in for some time. If I ever have any kids, I’ll introduce them to Mowgli and his brothers too.
Disney’s popular 1967 animated adaptation is, if you’ll pardon the pun, a different beast altogether. Like most Disney adaptations of literature, it ignores most of the spirit and content of the original. Which is fine and fair in its own right, but this is one of those situations where my own attachment to the book makes its Disneyfication more conceptually cringeworthy for me, regardless of the finished product (it’s been some time since I’ve seen it, so I’m not sure what my opinion of it as an animated feature is).
So, the salient question for me is: is the new flick going to be a different adaptation of the book, or just a remake of the movie with less jazzy music and more cgi action? The trailer makes me lean more towards the latter, but I’ll wait and see.
I don’t think I’m convinced by Scarlett Johansson as Kaa though.
EDIT: Looks like this is just part of Disney’s live-action remake lineup. Oh well.