Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book Reviews
The grown Mowgli performs like a trained parrot with a fondness for kicking a certain sergeant in 'the sweets'--this is a children's show, and a smart aleck mentality. Cary Elwes plays his villain's role with malicious delight.
I have decided it's about time I read the original.
How ever I do not recommend this to children till they're older.
The rest of the cast is good as well. You have Lena Headley (Game of Thrones) as Mowgli's childhood friend Kitty before he disappeared in the jungle. Carey Elwes (The Princess Bride) as Kitty's jerk soldier boyfriend who wants to use Mowgli to show him where to find a treasure that only Mowgli knows to find. Also John Cleese (A Fish Called Wanda) as a doctor who teachers Mowgli how to speak English and Sam Neil as Kitty's Colonel father.
I loved this film as a kid and it still works to this day as one of the better live action Jungle Book adaptations. Just expect that it feels more like Tarzan than the Jungle Book. If you like adventures with real animals and no CGI; then I also strongly recommend this film.
The Jungle, the animals themselves, all spectacular. Other marvels here: Cary Elwes is shown to be an actual actor, turning British military decorum and reserve into chilling menace. It is a distillation of the British Imperial outlook, uniformly expressed towards nature, the people of India, even his prospective bride. All exist for the man at the top of the food chain to use and abuse. Nature is full of terrifying savagery, embodied in this movie by the tiger king Shere Khan. Yet however scary Shere Khan is, the tiger does not possess the uniquely human capacity for evil. It is this wild purity, the capacity for emotional attachment along with incapacity for evil, which casts Mowgli's animal friends as heroes. The scene where all the animals attack to save the caravan was the definition of thrilling to me, possibly my favorite scene in any film as a preteen.
The rest of the cast is strong. These days it is hard to imagine Lena Headey as the innocent heroine, but even in this movie she has fire, bitterness and pluck. John Cleese and Sam Neill are, as always, very welcome presences. Just one of the best action/adventure films for kids ever, although as with many more recent action films, it is far more violent than its rating would suggest, so not for small children in the least, but very enjoyable for anyone who loves a terrific adventure.