The first footage of Jon Favreau’s remake of the Disney classic, The Jungle Book played to a mesmerized audience at the D23 Expo 2015. Neither an animation nor a live-action feature, Favreau’s The Jungle Book blends elements of live-action and photo-realistic CGI, drawing comparison with James Cameron’s groundbreaking 2009 blockbuster Avatar.
The trailer showcased the many talents involved in the film including Scarlet Johansson, who voices Kaa (the infamous python for those who can’t put a face to the name), opening the trailer with a cool line about the complex relationship between humans and the wilderness. Yet many hearts stopped when the trailer drew to a close and Christopher Walken announced “I am the King. Call me Louie”.
I must admit that despite enjoying Kenneth Branagh’s live-action adaption of Cinderella which was released in March of this year, I am nervous about what cinema’s current trend of remaking animated Disney classics will do to my childhood memories. However, judging from the standing ovation the D23 Expo audience awarded to The Jungle Book, I am hopeful about its prospects. The Jungle Book also stars Idris Elba, Bill Murray, Lupita Nyong’o, Ben Kingsley and newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli. It is set for release in April 2016.