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Blu-ray Review: The Jungle Book

August 30, 2016

By John Corrado

The Jungle Book Blu-rayOne of the best cases yet for Disney’s choice to give live action upgrades to their library of animated classics, The Jungle Book uses breathtaking visual effects to retell Rudyard Kipling’s story of man cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi), who is raised by animals in the jungle.

This is not only a stunning technical achievement, but also an absorbing family adventure that stays true to the spirit of its 1967 animated counterpart, with an excellent cast helping bring it all to life.  Bill Murray’s voice work as Baloo, a digital creation who has been animated to share the actor’s mannerisms, is pure magic.  For more on the film itself, you can read our three views right here.

The Blu-ray includes a commentary track with director Jon Favreau, as well as the extended featurette The Jungle Book Reimagined, which takes us through the production and shows how the remarkable, photorealistic visuals and animal characters that make up the film were created using a mix of green screen sets and motion capture.  There’s also a short featurette focusing on Neel Sethi, from how he was cast to his experience acting alongside puppets on sound stages, and a look at the layer by layer progression of the King Louie musical sequence from early effects to finished product.

These bonus features do a good job of showing the amount of work that went into the groundbreaking visual effects behind the film, and help us further appreciate just how seamlessly everything came together.  For fans of The Jungle Book, the Blu-ray is well worth checking out.

The Jungle Book is a Walt Disney Home Entertainment release.  It’s 106 minutes and rated PG.

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