Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book
|Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Stephen Sommers|
|Produced by||Edward S. Feldman
|Screenplay by||Stephen Sommers
|Story by||Ronald Yanover
|Based on||The Jungle Book
by Rudyard Kipling
|Starring||Jason Scott Lee
|Music by||Basil Poledouris|
|Cinematography||Juan Ruiz Anchía|
|Editing by||Bob Ducsay|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Pictures|
|Running time||111 minutes|
Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book is a 1994 American adventure film co-written & directed by Stephen Sommers, based on the Mowgli stories in The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. The film stars Jason Scott Lee as Mowgli, Cary Elwes as his adversary Captain Boone, and Lena Headey as Mowgli's eventual love interest Kitty. Also appearing in the film were Sam Neill, John Cleese, Jason Flemyng and Ron Donachie, the latter who would later work with Headey again in Game of Thrones.
During the times of the British Raj in India, Mowgli is the 5-year-old son of the widowed Nathoo, whose wife was a victim of maternal death. Nathoo works as a tour guide. On one of his tours, he is leading Colonel Geoffrey Brydon and his men as well as Brydon's 5-year-old daughter Katherine, with whom Mowgli nicknames "Kitty" and is close friends. That night, Shere Khan attacks the encampment, killing some soldiers who had been hunting for fun in the jungle earlier, which had enraged Khan. When he tries to kill the third hunter, Buldeo, Nathoo defends Buldeo who leaves him to be mauled to death by Shere Khan. In the confusion, Mowgli is lost in the jungle with his pet wolf, Grey Brother (so is left unaware of his father's death) - Brydon and his men now believe Mowgli has too been killed. Mowgli is soon spotted by Bagheera the gentle panther, who brings the boy to the wolf pack. Mowgli also befriends a bear cub named Baloo.
Years later, Mowgli, now a grown man, discovers Monkey City, a legendary ancient city filled with treasure, owned by King Louie who has his treasure guarded by Kaa the python. Elsewhere, Katherine and her father are still stationed in India. She and Mowgli meet again, but neither recognize the other. Katherine is also in a relationship with one of Brydon's soldiers, William Boone. Mowgli enters the village in search of Katherine. Boone and his men manage to capture him and see that he is in possession of a valuable dagger that he took from Monkey City. Katherine discovers an old bracelet of her mother's: one she gave to Mowgli when they were children, and instantly realizes who Mowgli is. She and Dr. Julius Plumford (a good friend of Brydon's) decide that they must re-introduce Mowgli to civilization. In doing so, Mowgli and Katherine fall in love, much to Boone's displeasure. Boone later proposes to Katherine and she accepts. Around this time, Mowgli returns to the jungle as he does not feel at home in the village, among Boone's friends. After Boone's cruel treatment of Mowgli, Katherine realizes she cannot marry Boone, so her father decides to send her back to England.
Meanwhile, Boone and his friends (Lieutenant Wilkins and Sergeant Harley) team up with Buldeo and his confederate; Tabaqui. The men gather some bandits to capture Mowgli in order to find out where the treasure is. They shoot and badly wound Baloo when he comes to Mowgli's defense. They then kidnap Katherine and her father (who is shot and wounded in the process) and use them as blackmail: if Mowgli leads them to the treasure, Katherine and her father shall live. That night, the group learns that Shere Khan has returned to the area and is following them.
The next morning, Harley catches Mowgli escaping (with the aid of Bagheera) and gives chase, only to fall in quicksand and drown, despite Wilkins' help. Mowgli then has an elephant take the left-to-die injured Brydon back to the village and promises to rescue Katherine. Later, Tabaqui falls to his death from a cliff when attempting to kill Mowgli. As the remaining group get nearer to the lost city, they hear Shere Khan nearby and separate. Wilkins accidentally shoots Buldeo on the leg and is then chased down and killed by Shere Khan. In Monkey City, Buldeo accidentally sets off a trap while trying to kill Mowgli and is buried alive, while Mowgli narrowly escapes. Only Mowgli, Katherine, and Boone reach the treasure. In the treasure room, with King Louie and his fellow monkeys watching in amusement, Mowgli and Boone engage in a fight until Mowgli injures the soldier. Mowgli then escapes with Katherine, not before Boone tries to make up with Katherine by offering the wealthy life they would live together, to which she rejects. After they leave, Boone begins pocketing as much gold as he can, only to notice the primates have become silent; he is then attacked by Kaa. Boone falls into a moat at the center of the room and sinks to the bottom due to his backpack filled with treasure. The last thing Boone sees before Kaa kills him is the skeletal remains of people whom Kaa had killed in the past. As Mowgli and Katherine leave, they are ambushed by Shere Khan: when Mowgli shows no fear towards the tiger, Shere Khan sees him as a creature of the jungle and accepts him. Mowgli and Katherine return from the jungle and meet Katherine's father and Baloo, both of whom have recovered from their injuries under Plumford's care. Mowgli now becomes lord of the jungle and begins a relationship with Katherine.
- Jason Scott Lee as Mowgli
- Sean Naegeli as 5-year-old Mowgli
- Cary Elwes as Captain William Boone
- Lena Headey as Katherine "Kitty" Brydon
- Joanna Wolff as 5-year-old Kitty
- Sam Neill as Colonel Geoffrey Brydon
- John Cleese as Dr. Julius Plumford
- Jason Flemyng as Lt. John Wilkins
- Ron Donachie as Sgt. Harley
- Faran Tahir as Nathoo
- Stefan Kalipha as Buldeo
- Anirudh Agarwal as Tabaqui
- Liza Walker as Alice
- Rachel Robertson as Rose
- Natalie Morse as Margareta
- Trained animals
- Baloo - Casey, a male black bear.
- Bagheera - Shadow, a male black leopard.
- Grey Brother - Shannon, a female gray wolf.
- King Louie - Lowell, a male Bornean orangutan.
- Shere Khan - Bombay, a male Bengal tiger owned by Randy Miller.
The film was well received, with praise towards its performances, action and visuals, but chided for not staying true to Kipling's work, although his name remains in the title.
|“||The sweet innocence of Kipling's fables about a boy who learns to live among the animals is replaced here by an "Indiana Jones" clone, an action thriller that Kipling would have viewed with astonishment.||”|
He goes on to say that it is a good film, awarding it three stars out of four, but it does not fit its target audience; some "scenes are unsuitable for small children, and the 'PG' rating is laughable."
Brian Lowry of Variety said that, "Technically, “Jungle Book” is an encyclopedia of wonders, from the dazzling scenery (shot largely in Jodhpur, India), cinematography, costumes and sets, to the animals, who frequently out-emote their two-legged counterparts. Even so, “Book” may have been more effective had its story stayed on one page." Rita Kempley from The Washington Post was more favorable, stating that "the narrative shifts from romance to adventure the way Cheetah used to hop from foot to foot, but Sommers nevertheless delivers a bully family picture."
The film was nominated for Excellence in Media's 1994 Golden Angel Award for best motion picture.
The film was adapted into a 1996 game, which includes clips from the film, while providing an original story and new characters.
The game follows the player in his/her quest to save the jungle. Soldiers have stolen King Louie's crown and the player must recover it to prevent the jungle from losing its magic. The player is aided by a Scotsman named Ilgwom ("Mowgli" spelled backwards) and his chimpanzee, Lahtee, while also guided by a spirit made from Mowgli's memories.
As of 2014, Disney is working on another live action Jungle Book film with Justin Marks writing the script and Jon Favreau attached to direct, though Ron Howard had previously been involved. In addition, Idris Elba has been cast as the voice of Shere Khan. The film is set for release in 2015.
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- New York Times
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- Nibley, Alexander (1997-05-26). "Are Films Using Names in Vain?". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-22.
- Bates, James (1994-12-23). "Company Town : The Civilizing Force Behind Disney's New 'Jungle' Movie". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-22.
- Fleishman, Rick (1994-12-22). "Jungle Goes Back to Drawing Board : Movies: Disney's live-action version of the Kipling tale has the same basic story as the animated hit. But unlike that one, this film has real animals and a balance-of-nature message.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-22.
- "Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book". Variety.[dead link]
- "The Jungle Book Review". Chicago Sun Times.
- "Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book review". The Washington Post. December 25, 1994. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
- Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book at Rotten Tomatoes Retrieved June 25, 2013
- 5 MOS. "'Jungle Book' Live-Action Reboot in the Works at Disney (Exclusive)". Hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- Fleming, Mike. "Jon Favreau In Talks To Helm New Disney Adaptation Of Kipling's 'The Jungle Book'". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book at the Internet Movie Database
- Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book at Rotten Tomatoes
- Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book at Box Office Mojo