The Jungle Book (2016)

As always, there will be spoilers, though if you're of any of the same age as me, you know how the story finishes.Starring:  Scarlett Johansson, Bill murray, Neel Sethi, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken, Idris ElbaDirected by Jon Favreau, this real life retelling of the 1967 Disney classic was fine.  Before I get into anything about this movie, I want it known that the original was an amazing movie with phenomenal undertones, good music placement and very solid voice acting.  This movie tried its very best to be that movie and may have come short.It wasn't bad by any means, was a fun movie that brought back a lot of fun childhood memories.  I'm just doing my best to figure out a way to have people see this movie instead of the cartoon, which is very difficult.I suppose I can start with the positives of the movie, work through the negatives and let you guys make your own decision.  So the positives are many, I'll give it that.  The voice acting was done really well, all casting was great even though I could have used more Kaa the snake (Johansson has a super sexy voice to me), but Elba as Shere Khan and Kingsley as Bagheera were great.  I am not a huge Bill Murray fan, but he fit the role of Baloo the bear quite well. Christopher Walken plays King Louie quite well, though the character is a Gigantopithecus and not an Orangutan (it's because the latter doesn't exist in India, so this extinct species was more believable I suppose).I also legitimately enjoy Jon Favreau movies, I think he's great and makes sure that the actors aren't phoning it in, or chewing too much scenery (that's a term used for when people over act and are really melodramatic when it isn't called for).Mowgli was troublesome for me.  Neel Sethi played his role pretty well, having to act propped up against a green screen the entire time, his spacial awareness was pretty good and he was a decently likeable character, which will bring me to my negatives.While Sethi did a really good job, I always thought of Mowgli as a not very likeable character in the Disney cartoon.  He was a little shit who caused more difficulty than good and while he redeems himself at the end by saving the jungle and himself from Shere Khan he's constantly at strife with his friends.  I understand he was a child and children are decently stubborn, but he needed to realize that the animals he cared about were literally trying to save his life as he was going to be eaten by a tiger.  So having Sethi be not that and a helpful little boy who mostly listens to his elders was a bit of a struggle more me.I'm pretty positive Shere Khan dies at the end of this movie, but in the cartoon he doesn't.  He's merely scared away from that part of the jungle when Mowgli ties a branch that's on fire to his tail.  Elba was also not really given too much to do in this. In the cartoon he was a lot more a dapper tiger who, while "evil", was more seen as playing with his food before he eats it, where as in this he is very up front and, at the same time, kind of sits there a lot. He tells Raksha (Mowgli's wolf mother) that he wants Mowgli dead, literally says that term to her.  I understand that he's a tiger and wants to kill and eat the human, but to say that seems excessive to me.  Also, he kills Akeela (the wolf pack leader, not Kevin Nash to all you wrestling fans), which was pretty bold to me as the wolves are almost a non entity in the cartoon.The singing in Disney movies is so important and fun, often times going over 4 minutes for a song that is worthwhile.  The singing in this was lacklustre.  "I wanna be like you" and "The bear Necessities" are the two songs we all wanted, but they were in it about 3 minutes combined.  That's a buzz kill to me.The vultures weren't really in this at all, they were more of a foretelling that Khan was coming, which is fine, but it leads into my next quarrel with the movie.  Mowgli can talk to the animals, which is fine, but if we are supposed to suspend belief for it, does he learn a different language for all animals, or is there a single language (outside of English obviously) that all animals know?  Furthermore, there are multiple animals that cannot speak.  The vultures are some of them, they don't speak and merely screech at others.  There's a group of red foxes (or some sort of jungle canine) that can't speak and most confusingly, the monkeys that mancubnap (I made up that term, it's mine!) Mowgli to bring him to Louie cannot speak, despite the fact that Louie speaks almost over eloquently as Walken enunciates like non other. So is there a higher language that some animals have, but others don't?  I'm not sure, but am intrigued.The last part of the movie that I was not a fan of, the part that is the BIGGEST SPOILER OF THEM ALL for people is that Mowgli doesn't go to the man village after Khan is dead.  The entire point of the movie was to show Mowgli that the jungle is no place for a man, let alone a boy to survive.  He always got eaten by a giant boa constrictor, attacked and clawed by a tiger, exists in a lion king-esque stampede of wildebeests.  That's not even talking about the poisonous animals, bugs and plants in the jungle, or the thousands of ways he could gets sick and die, or anything.  The only danger in this entire movie and for his entire life is Shere Khan, but he kills him and now can easily exist in the jungle, praying to Jungle Jesus that no one rolls 5 or 8?  Come on, that's rough.Overall, it was a fine movie.  I just had difficulty with it keeping pace to the cartoon that I hold so near and dear.  So if you wanna take your kids to see this because you don't have access to the 1967 cartoon, that's cool, but you should really own the cartoon at this point.