By: Andrew Haas
Disney sets out to bring another animated classic to the live action cinema with The Jungle Book. It tells the tale of an orphan boy who is raised by animals who try to protect him from the dangers of the jungle. While at first, I wasn’t interested in this film, the new teaser trailer definitely put it on my watch list.
The teaser opens with shots of the jungle, with Scarlett Johansson narrating as Kaa the Python. It gives the film a dark, mysterious vibe as the young man-cub Mowgli, played by young newcomer Neel Sethi, appears in the darkness of the trees.
At first, the film looks to be rather dreary. But as the trailer progresses, it shows more glimpses of the characters from the original cartoon and the environment. Both give off a sense of realism and massive size. The jungle looks like something out of James Cameron’s Avatar and the animals appear to be very lifelike, as well as threatening and enormous. The ape King Louie especially looks gigantic compared to his animated counterpart.
The trailer also likes to bring up all the big names involved. From Iron Man director Jon Favreau to actors like Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, and Christopher Walken; this film has a lot of talent behind it that will hopefully add to the experience. Granted, only Johansson’s Kaa is heard during the trailer, but it adds to the curiosity of how the others will sound as the loveable animals.
Everything seems much more epic than the animated film, with Mowgli being chased by the vicious tiger Shere Khan and the aforementioned King Louie, animals running and attacking each other, and a ton of wildfire. After all the intensity, the trailer ends with Baloo the bear floating down the river with Mowgli on his belly, all while whistling none other than “The Bare Necessities”. So there might be some light-heartedness to it after all.
Judging by this teaser trailer, the new version of Disney’s The Jungle Book looks like a state-of-the-art experience that mixes dark adventure and sweet nostalgia. It makes me wonder how Warner Bros is reacting to this.
The Jungle Book release date is April 15, 2016.