On December 7, 2018, Netflix released a new Jungle Book movie called Mowgli. This is only after two years since Disney released their live action Jungle Book adaptation, which audiences and Rotten Tomatoes liked, but many critics disliked. I can see why people like and don't like the 2016 Jungle Book, and it is kind of a mixed bag for me. When I saw the trailer for the Mowgli movie, I was not at all pleased with the designs of the animals. I preferred Disney's more realistic animals than this one. But I was still interested in seeing it. Director Andy Serkis went out of his way to make this movie as different as Disney's Jungle Book as much as possible. Although rated PG-13, there is no swearing in the movie, but it is bloody.
Animation: The animation on the animals is as good as in the Jungle Book, it is just that the designs are not realistic.
Writing: I have heard complaints that the story is all over the place, but I don't see why. I would have liked to have seen more development with Mowgli's adoptive human mother Messua as opposed to John Lockwood. A few characters are annoying, but in the end, I appreciate that this movie is more akin to Rudyard Kipling's stories as opposed to Disney. There are also some very creepy and suspenseful moments. A complaint lodged against this film is that it is too scary for children. I believe it depends on the kid.
Characters: The cast for this movie was amazing. Rohand Chand was great as Mowgli, and although the designs of the animals is a little off, the characters are still great. Baloo is not the bouncy, singing, lazy friend in Disney's version, he is the sarcastic trainer of the wolf pups. I liked this change, and Andy Serkis played him wonderfully. Bagheera was cool, so were the wolves, and Kaa was amazing. Instead of being a villain, she is a mysterious creature that can see into the past and future. Like in Disney's 2016 Jungle Book, Kaa is a female and is played by Cate Blanchett who did an amazing job. Shere Khan was okay. I thought he was more intimidating in Disney's version, but this version is more book accurate. He has a lame paw and a lackey named Tabaqui played by Tom Hollander. There are some characters that are annoying though. Tabaqui was not that funny and there is a "albino"wolf pup named Bhoot. He wasn't that annoying, but he screams a lot. The hunter John Lockwood and Mowgli's adoptive mother were very underdeveloped.
Music: The music in this film is nice. There are no singing or dancing animals, so most of the music is background. I like the music in the scene where Mowgli goes to speak to Kaa, and the song that plays in the credits is nicely sung, and the theme of the song is heard throughout the film. I still don't know the name of the song though.
Wrap Up: Mowgli is a good movie that I found more intriguing and mature than Disney's version of The Jungle Book. I don't think it is perfect but it does deserve some praise.