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 self-discovery, 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.
Mowgli is a "man cub" raised by the Indian wolf Raksha and her pack, led by Akela, in a jungle of Seoni, Madhya Pradesh, ever since he was brought to them as a baby by the Black Panther (Indian Leopard) Bagheera. Bagheera trains Mowgli to learn the ways of the wolves, but the boy faces certain challenges and falls behind his wolf siblings, and Akela disapproves of him using human tricks like building tools instead of learning the ways of the pack.
One day, during the dry season, the jungle animals gather to drink the water that remains as part of a truce during a drought that enables the jungle's wildlife to drink without fear of being eaten by their predators. The truce is disrupted, however, when a scarred Bengal tiger, Shere Khan, arrives, detecting Mowgli's scent in the crowd. Resentful against man for scaring him, he issues a warning that he will kill Mowgli at the end of the drought. As the wolf pack debates whether they should keep Mowgli or not, Mowgli voluntarily decides to leave the jungle for the safety of his pack. Bagheera agrees with the decision and volunteers to guide him to the nearby man village.
En route, Shere Khan ambushes them and injures Bagheera, but Mowgli manages to escape. Later, Mowgli meets Kaa, an enormous Burmese python, who hypnotizes him. While under Kaa's hypnosis, Mowgli sees a vision of his father being mauled while protecting him from Shere Khan. The vision also warns of the destructive power of the "red flower" (fire). Kaa attempts to devour Mowgli, but he is rescued by a Himalayan Brown Bear (Sloth Bear) named Baloo. Baloo and Mowgli bond while retrieving some difficult-to-access honey for Baloo, and Mowgli agrees to stay with Baloo until the winter season arrives. Shere Khan meanwhile, upon learning that Mowgli has left the jungle, kills Akela and threatens the pack to lure Mowgli out.
Bagheera eventually finds Mowgli and Baloo and is angered that Mowgli has not joined the humans as agreed. An argument flares between Mowgli and Bagheera, but Baloo calms them down and persuades both of them to sleep on it. During the night, Mowgli finds a herd of elephants gathered around a ditch, and uses his vines to save a baby elephant from the ditch. Although Baloo and Bagheera are both impressed, Baloo realizes that he cannot guarantee Mowgli's safety after learning that he is being hunted by Shere Khan. Baloo agrees to push Mowgli away to get him to continue onward to the man village.
Mowgli is kidnapped by the Bandar-log (Macaques (Pig-tailed Macaques and Lion-tailed Macaques), Langurs (Gray Langurs, Golden Langurs, and Nilgiri Langurs), and Indian Hoolock Gibbons) who present him to their leader, a humongous Bornean Orangutan-resembling Gigantopithecus named King Louie. Assuming that all humans can make fire, King Louie offers Mowgli protection from Shere Khan in exchange for it. Baloo distracts Louie while Bagheera tries to sneak him out but their plan is discovered. As Louie chases Mowgli through his temple, he informs Mowgli of Akela's death. Louie's rampage eventually causes his temple to collapse on top of him. Furious that Baloo and Bagheera never told him about Akela's death, Mowgli goes to confront Shere Khan alone.
Mowgli steals a lit torch at the village to use as a weapon and heads back to the jungle, accidentally starting a wildfire in the process. He confronts Shere Khan, who argues that Mowgli has made himself the enemy of the jungle by causing the wildfire. Mowgli throws the torch into the water, giving Shere Khan the advantage. Baloo, Bagheera, and the wolf pack intervene and hold Shere Khan off, giving Mowgli enough time to set a trap. He lures Shere Khan up a dead tree and onto a branch, which breaks under the tiger's weight, and Shere Khan falls into the inferno. Mowgli then directs the elephants to divert the river and put out the fire.
In the aftermath, Raksha becomes the new leader of the wolf pack. Mowgli decides to utilize his equipment and tricks for his own use, having found his true home and calling with his wolf family, Baloo, and Bagheera.
- Bill Murray as Baloo
- Ben Kingsley as Bagheera
- Idris Elba as Shere Khan
- Lupita Nyong'o as Raksha
- Scarlett Johansson as Kaa
- Giancarlo Esposito as Akela
- Christopher Walken as King Louie
- Garry Shandling as Ikki the Porcupine. This was Shandling's very last role since he passed away in 2016. The film is dedicated to his memory.
- Brighton Rose as Grey Brother
- Jon Favreau as Fred the Pygmy Hog
- Sam Raimi as Giant Squirrel
- Russell Peters as Rocky the Rhino
- Madeline Favreau as Raquel the Rhino
Richard M. Sherman who, alongside his late brother Robert B. Sherman wrote songs for Disney's original animated Jungle Book, originally was going to write new songs for this film, but in the end, the director decided to not exactly make the film a musical, however, Richard revised some new lyrics for the song "I Wanna Be Like You" performed by Christopher Walken, and "The Bare Necessities" has been recycled from the original and sung by Bill Murray.
The Jungle Book became a huge financial success, grossing $966.5 million against a budget of $175 million, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of 2016 and the 31st highest-grossing film of all time.
The Jungle Book received positive reviews from critics and holds a 94% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Jungle Book won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects at the 89th Academy Awards, making it Disney's first live-action adaptation to win an Oscar.
Differences between the book and the 2016 film
- Tabaqui, Buldeo and Chil the Kite are once again absent. Although, there is a bird in the film that resembles the Chil from Jungle Book Shōnen Mowgli.
- Ikki the porcupine is portrayed as a hoarder.
- Hathi summons everyone to the water truce.
- Shere Khan does not promise to not kill Mowgli during the water truce.
- Baloo teaches Mowgli the law of the jungle, instead of thinking the poem is silly.
- Akela gets killed by the wild dholes instead of Shere Khan.
- Kaa is a female villain.
- Mowgli gets the fire from coal instead of a torch, Grey brother was also with him.
- Instead of falling into a fire, Shere Khan dies from a herd of stampeding buffaloes. His novel death is alluded to however when he got hit by a buffalo in the film.
Differences from the 1967 film
- Rama, Winifred, Flunkey, Shanti, and the vultures are all absent.
- Grey Brother was absent in the original film.
- Some animals that didn't appear in the original film appear in the remake. They include porcupines, nilgais, peacocks, jerboas, cobras, Indian rhinos, blackbucks, pangolins, hornbills, pygmy hogs, boars, and giant squirrels.
- Bagheera first finds Mowgli in a cave after Shere Khan kills his father. In the original film, he finds him on a destroyed raft.
- How Bagheera met Mowgli is shown in flashbacks while in the original, it is shown at the start of the film.
- Raksha has many lines while she is mute in the original film.
- She also becomes the new leader of the wolf pack at the end of the film.
- Mowgli is shown being capable of making contraptions and tools out of objects found in the jungle.
- The wolves have a larger role in the remake.
- Fire is referred to as the "Red Flower" throughout the film.
- Mowgli is seen training to be a wolf with the rest of the young wolves and Bagheera. This was merely mentioned in the original.
- When dry season occurs, all the animals gather to drink water as part of a peace agreement.
- In the remake, Mowgli's father appears in flashbacks while in the original, he is neither seen nor mentioned.
- The wolf meeting takes place in the day instead of at night.
- Shere Khan is heavily scarred by fire (a trait which in the original book Hathi had), which is the reason why he despises humans. In the original, his hatred for humans is unknown.
- Mowgli decides to leave his wolf family to keep them safe and says goodbye to them.
- The elephants are respected creatures, rather than the comedic counterparts in the animated film. The animals are required to bow in respect.
- Mowgli later helps them rescue Hathi, Jr. from a pit.
- Neither Hathi and his son, Hathi, Jr., the other elephants nor the Monkeys talk in the remake.
- Bagheera and Mowgli get separated after Shere Khan attacks them, as opposed to Bagheera leaving Mowgli behind due to arguments.
- After escaping from Shere Khan, Mowgli hitches a ride on a water buffalo and is later knocked into a river by a landside.
- Akela has more appearances in the remake.
- Kaa is female instead of male and only appears once in the film (unless you count singing "Trust in Me" during the credits).
- Kaa is also much larger in the remake.
- Baloo meets Mowgli from saving him from Kaa. Kaa and Baloo also never interact with each other in the original. While in the animated film, he meets Mowgli after Bagheera abandons him.
- Baloo walks on two legs in the original while in the remake, he walks on all fours.
- When Kaa hypnotizes Mowgli, it not only puts him in a trance, but also causes him to see his past
- Baloo has Mowgli get some honey as repayment for him saving Mowgli from Kaa.
- Bagheera finds Baloo and Mowgli when they're floating downriver instead of playfighting.
- Bagheera tells Baloo about Shere Khan's determination to kill Mowgli before the boy gets captured by the monkeys.
- Baloo lies to end his friendship with Mowgli, as opposed to being honest about the man-village crises.
- The monkeys don't kidnap Mowgli while he's riding Baloo.
- King Louie is a villainous Gigantopithecus instead of a comedic orangutan, due to the fact that orangutans aren't native to India, but Gigantopithecus are as fossil remains were discovered there which hints that they are native.
- King Louie offers to protect Mowgli from Shere Khan in exchange for the creation of fire.
- King Louie's temple is much different from its animated counterpart.
- In the original film, the entire temple collapses while in the remake, only a large portion collapses with King Louie buried under the rubble.
- Baloo and Bagheera's plan to rescue Mowgli is different. In the original film, Baloo disguises himself a female monkey and joins the dance party while Bagheera tried to retrieve Mowgli (unsuccessfully). The plan is exposed when King Louie knocks off Baloo's disguise. In this movie, Baloo simply strolls into the temple and creates a large distraction by talking loudly and acting like a fool while Bagheera sneaks in and signals Mowgli. They nearly escape, until a monkey notices and sounds the alarm. Furthermore, in the original film, the plan is concocted by Bagheera (although Baloo is distracted by the music and dances away), while in this film, Baloo is the one who comes up with the plan.
- The confrontation with King Louie differs as well. Mowgli runs from King Louie while Baloo and Bagheera fight the monkeys.
- The man-village only appears briefly and is never actually visited. Mowgli only goes there to steal a torch and the villagers do not notice him.
- Shere Khan dies in the climax, whereas he escaped alive in the original film.
- Mowgli stays in the jungle in the end, while in the original film, he hears Shanti singing as she fills her jug at a river and follows her back to the man-village.
- Shere Khan and Kaa never interacted at all with each other. They did so in the original film.
- Unlike the original film, Shere Khan appeared much earlier than his animated counterpart.
- Shere Khan kills Akela for Mowgli's departure from the jungle to the man-village and declares himself as the new leader of the pack until he returns.
- Shere Khan tells stories to some wolf cubs until their mother comes to retrieve them.
- King Louie later tells Mowgli about Akela's death, which leads him to lash out at Baloo and Bagheera for hiding this from him.
- In the animated film, Shere Khan doesn't kill Akela as he was always alive, the difference is that he does die in the remakee.
- In the original film and its sequel, Bagheera and Shere Khan never fought each other in battle because Baloo and Mowgli fought Shere Khan in battle in those two films. In this film, Shere Khan and Bagheera fight twice in the remake.
- In the original, only Baloo fights Shere Khan while in the remake, Bagheera, Baloo, and the wolf pack all fight Shere Khan.
- Shere Khan bites Baloo on the neck instead of maiming him with his claws. Baloo also doesn't fall unconscious after the battle.
- Baloo and Bagheera have a closer friendship in the remake than in the original film as they are seen hanging out together for nearly the entire second half of the film whereas in the original, they argued frequently until the end of the film.
- The fire is caused by Mowgli accidentally lighting the forest with the torch stolen from the man-village instead of lightning.
- The fire is also much larger than in the original film.
- Shere Khan tries to tempt Mowgli into killing him with the torch and become an enemy to the jungle but he instead throws it away, giving Shere Khan an advantage.
- In the original film, Mowgli ties a burning tree branch to Shere Khan's tail making him run off yelling and screaming but doesn't die, In the remake has the final battle between Mowgli and Shere Khan taking place in the burning forest, which ends with Shere Khan falling off a tree and into the fire below.
- Bagheera is not as stubborn and strict as he was in the original film.
- Mowgli has the elephants help put out the forest fire.
- This is the third of many live-action adaptations of classic Disney animated films released in the 21st century, following Maleficent and Cinderella (Pete's Dragon doesn't count as it is considered a adaptation of a live-action movie).
- This is Disney's third live-action film adapted from The Jungle Book. The other two were Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book and The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story.
- Because Orangutans are not native to India, this iteration of King Louie is a Gigantopithecus instead (an extinct species of ape), however, he has an orangutan resemblance.
- Kaa is a female instead of male: this is the third time that a Disney character has been depicted as the opposite gender from their original Disney depiction, the first being Bagheera in The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story, and the second being Jaq in Cinderella (not counting Rafiki's and Terk's film and Broadway versions), as well as the second time any Jungle Book character is depicted as the opposite gender from his original Disney depiction.
- In the Jungle Cubs: Born to Be Wild DVD, there is a scene, where Kaa tries to eat Mowgli before Baloo throws Kaa into a big hole. The fighting scene between Kaa and Baloo in this film may have been inspired by the scene from Jungle Cubs.
- Even though King Louie is now an official villain, in that film, he was already believed to be a villain, by some Disney fans.
- This is the first film where the new Walt Disney Pictures logo is done in 2-D animation.
- The soundtrack album was released on the same day as the film, April 15th.
- The trailers and TV spots for the film are in 1:85.1 aspect ratio but during the showings of Zootopia in theaters, the Super Bowl trailer is in 2:39.1 aspect ratio.
- While not a musical, "The Bare Necessities", "Trust in Me", and "I Wanna Be Like You" are the only original songs performed in the film.
- Actors Bill Murray who voices Baloo, and Christopher Walken who voices King Louie, previously worked on Next Stop, Greenwich Village.
- This is Garry Shandling's last movie, since he died in 2016. The film is dedicated to his memory. (In a tragic parallel, the 1967 version of The Jungle Book also had a posthumous performance from Verna Felton, and Walt Disney died before the 1967 film's original theatrical release).
- Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson previously collaborated in Lost in Translation and next appeared together in Isle of Dogs.
- This is the second of three Disney movies released in 2016 to feature the voice of Idris Elba. He first voiced Chief Bogo in Zootopia, and later voiced Fluke in Finding Dory.
- Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, and Lupita Nyong'o all have roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Favreau directed two Iron Man films and plays Happy Hogan as well served as the executive producer to a majority of the films in the MCU, Kingsley plays Trevor Slattery/ "The Mandarin", Elba plays Heimdall, Johansson portrays Natasha Romanoff/ Black Widow; and later Nyong'o has been cast as Nakia in Black Panther.
- The book that closes the film is the same book that opens the animated film, making this the first live-action remake of an animated Disney feature to (literally) bookend its predecessor.
- First Disney remake to be dubbed into Vietnamese.
- Mowgli returns back as the exact same character from the 1967 original movie.
- The Jungle Book (2016 film) on Wikipedia
- The Jungle Book at Disney ¡Ajá!
- The Jungle Book (2016 film) at the Big Cartoon DataBase