The Jungle Book — the classic tale from British author Rudyard Kipling — first appeared in print in serialized form circa 1893. Kipling’s characters of Mowgli and the various creatures he encounters along his path came from Kipling’s experiences living in India as a young boy and later as a young adult who returned to India from England after an absence of a decade.
The powerful fable came to the big screen for the first time in 1967 and was the last animated feature film that Walt Disney put his on imprimatur on. That film was re-released several times over the decades and brought the story of Mowgli the man cub to millions of young moviegoers.
Director Jon Favreau discusses his earliest memories of the original film from Disney
The Jungle Book stars 12-year-old New Yorker Neel Sethi in the role of Mowgli. The cast of stars providing voice overs includes Idris Elba, Bill Murray, Sir Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o, Giancarlo Esposito, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken and the late Garry Shandling. The film is directed by Jon Favreau.
Critics have generally raved about this latest incarnation of the Disney adaptation of Kipling’s tale. RottenTomatoes’ pundits award it a score of 95. Moviegoers are not too far behind at 92. The Jungle Book<,i> took in some 32 million dollars on its opening day at the nation’s theaters. The film is rated PG.