The Jungle Book (2016) Parent Guide

Assuming your kids are old enough to not be too frightened, there are some great messages about the strength of working together despite differences.

Overall B+

Disney's version of The Jungle Book comes to the big screen as a live-action movie. Once again you may follow the story of Mowgli (Neel Sethi), a boy adopted by a wolves, and his unusual journey to manhood.

Release date April 17, 2016

Violence C+
Sexual Content A
Profanity A
Substance Use A

Why is The Jungle Book (2016) rated PG? The MPAA rated The Jungle Book (2016) PG for some sequences of scary action and peril.

Run Time: 106 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

For a second time Disney tackles the task of adapting Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel The Jungle Book for the big screen. In their 1967 version the studio used brightly colored animation and snappy tunes to tell the tale of a young orphan found alone in the jungle, rescued by a concerned panther and raised by a pack of wolves. This time around the story is being presented in live-action, with Neel Sethi playing the man-cub Mowgli, and a herd of humans using their best technical wizardry to bring to life a plethora of wild creatures. Their creative efforts are nothing short of spectacular!

Partly because of the realism, and also thanks to a more action packed script, this 2016 production hits the ground running and seldom stops to catch its breath between scenes of peril.

The biggest reason Mowgli is in constant danger is Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba). This vengeful tiger informs the wolves that he will no longer tolerate the boy’s presence amongst the beasts and threatens to kill members of the pack if they will not surrender him. Realizing the only way to keep the man-cub safe is to return him to his own kind, the fatherly panther Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley) offers to escort the youngster to the closest man village. So after a tearful goodbye to his adaptive mother (voice of Lupita Nyong’o) the two begin their dangerous journey.

Mowgli encounters many challenges along the way, such as separation from his protector, stampeding buffalo, the deadly embrace of Kaa the python (voice of Scarlett Johansson), kidnapping by monkeys and threats from an orangutan (voice of Christopher Walken) who calls himself King Louie, but behaves more like a mafia boss. He also faces some natural disasters (drought, floods, mudslides) and manmade hazards (a forest fire). Although moments of humor are included, like an opportunist bear named Baloo (voice of Bill Murray) who befriends the tike for his usefulness in getting honey, the life-endangering sequences will likely be too intense for little ones.

If that describes your cubs, you may want to stick to the classic Disney cartoon until they are a bit older. For more mature audiences, who hopefully won’t be terrified by the scary characters and depictions of fighting, injury, and implied deaths, there are some great messages about the strength of working together despite differences. And thanks again to those amazing visual effects, this will be a thrill-filled rollercoaster jungle ride.

Directed by Jon Favreau. Starring Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson. Running time: 106 minutes. Theatrical release April 17, 2016. Updated

The Jungle Book (2016)
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Jungle Book (2016) rated PG? The Jungle Book (2016) is rated PG by the MPAA for some sequences of scary action and peril.

Violence: Characters are constantly in peril, from other species, drought and famine, natural disasters and forest fires. Some of theses portrayals are quite intense and frightening. Verbal threats are uttered, especially by a tiger who wants revenge on a young boy and is willing to kill anything that gets in his way. Animals fight one another and bite, slash, toss and crush each other. Some bloody injuries are shown. Violent deaths are implied, but details are obscured or not shown on screen. Monkeys kidnap a boy and a large orangutan threatens and chases him. A building collapses and crushes the creatures inside. A snake coils around its prey and prepares to swallow it. A character is stung by bees and nearly trampled by stampeding animals. Characters run for their lives. A baby animal’s life is at risk and the adults in its herd are grief-stricken.

Sexual Content: A boy is scantily clad.

Language: Mild name-calling.

Alcohol / Drug Use: None-noted.

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More parents' guide for The Jungle Book (2016) after the break...

The Jungle Book (2016) Parents' Guide

The lead wolf reminds the pack that: “The strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack.” How does this relate to human relationships? How can the individual strengths of each member of a family or community contribute to the greater strength of the group?

Why does Baloo try to talk Mowgli into bending the rules? Why is Bagheera such a stickler for following them exactly? What are the pros and cons of their varying attitudes? Which advice has Mowgli’s best interests at heart?

Because he is human, Mowgli often has trouble doing things the way his adopted family does does them. Is it fair to expect him to be just like a wolf? What happens when each of the creatures learns to use their individual talents? How does this improve their contributions to the team effort?

How did you feel about the way this version of The Jungle Book used the music from the familiar 1967 cartoon? Do you think they used too much of it, or that they should have used more? Do you feel the songs add or detract from this new envisioning of Kipling’s story?

News About "The Jungle Book (2016)"

This movie is based on Rudyard Kipling's classic novel The Jungle Book.

Home Video

The most recent home video release of The Jungle Book (2016) movie is August 30, 2016. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: The Jungle Book (2016)
Release Date: 30 August 2016
Disney's live action version of The Jungle Book releases to home video with the following extras:

- King Louie’s Temple: Layer by Layer
So, exactly how do you create a musical number featuring one man-cub, a massive, legendary ape and an army of wild and wily monkeys in the Seeonee jungle? Viewers are granted rare and unique access to the development of the “I Wan’na Be Like You” sequence in which King Louie attempts to coerce Mowgli into giving up Man’s deadly “red flower” (fire). A fast-moving musical progression reel showcases storyboards, animatics, Christopher Walken’s recording session and visual effects layers, which ultimately merge to form one of the film’s most memorable scenes.

Exclusive HD Content

- “The Jungle Book” Reimagined
Favreau sits down with producer Brigham Taylor and visual effects supervisor Robert Legato to discuss “The Jungle Book” and reflect on the years they devoted to the reimagining of this timeless tale. Discover how Rudyard Kipling’s original stories and the classic animated film influenced their unique approach, witness the technical wizardry that enabled the team to create a believable and thrilling movie-going experience, and learn how they borrowed a page from Walt Disney’s innovation playbook to make it all happen. Lastly, meet the all-star voice cast who help bring the film’s colorful characters to life, as well as the musicians who accent the adventure with a majestic music score.

- I Am Mowgli
Follow the extraordinary journey of 12-year-old Neel Sethi, who was selected from thousands of hopefuls worldwide to play Mowgli “alongside” some of today’s biggest movie stars. Get a glimpse of Neel’s life before Hollywood came calling, check out his audition that sealed the deal, and see how a close-working relationship with Favreau brought out his best. Plus, Neel shares how filming “The Jungle Book” was one wild ride, from working alongside imaginary animals to performing some super-fun stunts.

- Audio Commentary
Favreau delivers his scene-by-scene perspective on the live-action adventure “The Jungle Book” with all the candor and humor you’d expect from this multi-talented actor-writer-director-producer.

Related home video titles:

This movie is based on the Disney animation, The Jungle Book. There are at least two other live-action versions of this classic tale, based on the writings of Rudyard Kipling. One is the 1994 version and the other is The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Story. In 2017, Warner Brothers is also releasing an adaptation of the story as Jungle Book - Origins. Tarzan is another human raised in the jungle.

Other classic animations to be turned into alive-action movies include Beauty and the Beast and Dumbo.

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