The Jungle Book is a 2016 American fantasy adventure film directed by Jon Favre au, written by Justin Marks and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. The film is based on Rudyard Kipling's eponymous collective works, the film is a live-action remake of Walt Disney's 1967 animated film of the same name.
The Jungle Book stars and introduces Neel Sothic as Mowgli, an orphaned human boy who, guided by his animal guardians, sets out on a journey of self-discovery while evading the threatening Sheer Khan.
Favre au, Marks, and producer Brigham Taylor developed the film's story as a balance between Disney's animated adaptation and Kipling's original works, adapting elements from both into the film. Principal photography commenced in 2014, with filming taking place entirely in Los Angeles. The film required extensive use of computer-generated imagery to portray the animals and settings.The Jungle Book was released in North America in Disney Digital 3-D, Real 3D, IMAX 3D, D-Box, as well as premium large formats, on April 15, 2016.
Development and casting
The search for casting Mowgli was extensive, with thousands of children auditioning from the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada. Eventually, newcomer Neel Sothic was confirmed for the role, with casting director Sarah Finn describing him as embodying "the heart, humor, and daring of the character. He’s warm and accessible, yet also has an intelligence well beyond his years and impressed us all with his ability to hold his own in any situation."
Principal photography took place entirely on sound stages at L.A. Center Studios in downtown Los Angeles. The animal characters were created entirely in key frame computer animation, with the assistance of footage of real animal movement, the actors recording their lines, and performance capture for reference. The production team underwent a thorough process to realistically convey the animals' speaking, while still making them perceptually believable to the audience. Favre au researched earlier films featuring anthropomorphic animals—including Walt Disney's animated features, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Bambi, as well as modern films such as Babe—and adopted certain techniques from those films into The Jungle Book.Nearly 70 separate species of native animals are featured in the film, with several species being portrayed as "150% larger" than their actual counterparts. Jim Henson's Creature Shop was brought in to provide animal puppet figures for Sothic to act against, although none appear in the finished film.
The musical score for The Jungle Book was composed by frequent Favre au collaborator John Denney.Though Favre au decided not to make the film a musical, nevertheless, he and Denney incorporated several songs from the 1967 animated film. "The Bare Necessities", written by Terry Gilson, Johansson's rendition of "Trust in Me" was produced by Mark Ransom and appears in the end credits only. Walt Disney Records released the film's soundtrack on April 15, 2016.