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‘The Jungle Book’ stunning visuals brings animals to life

Promotional photo from official Facebook page.

Promotional photo from official Facebook page.

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My dad would have taken me to a lot more kids movies when I was growing up if they were made like the newest version of “The Jungle Book.”

Disney’s remake of its own cartoon classic was visually stunning. The CGI animation made you feel like you were actually running alongside a pack of buffalo through the mud or slithering through the trees with an anaconda.

The animals looked so real that I felt like I was at a zoo, not sitting in a movie theater with poorly made, yet effective, 3-D glasses.

From jungle fires to collapsing temple ruins, the amazing computer work easily earned an A-plus in my book.

To back up this sensational imagery was an equally great cast.

Being a sucker for Bill Murray, I thought he played the perfect Baloo. A lazy, sarcastic and fun-loving bear, he did a great job bringing the character to life as well as a decent rendition of “The Bare Necessities.”

Other stars such as Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley and Christopher Walken rounded out the star-filled cast of voices. Each actor and actress gave their animals personalities as they all had a part in Mogli’s journey.

Mogli was played by a newcomer, 12-year-old Neel Sethi. While most of the cast was warm and cozy in a recording studio, Sethi had to battle every weather condition imaginable. From floating down the river to climbing up a tree while being chased by a tiger, he channeled the right amount of emotions during some intense situations.

As good as he was with the physical aspect of the job, his actual acting was pretty OK. It seemed like he tried too hard to be everything Mogli was in the cartoon version of the film.

Aiming for a family demographic, no one had to try hard to follow the plot. Being more of a “Toy Story” kid, “The Jungle Book” was not my favorite growing up so forgetting the plot helped me enjoy the movie a little bit more.

The typical Disney story where the good guy triumphs was predictable, yet enjoyable. I felt the movie paid enough homage to the older version and the unforgettable tunes “The Bare Necessities” and “I Wan’na Be Like You,” but still separated itself to be its own movie.

It’s a great couple hours to relax and be amazed at how far computer animation has come without needing to try very hard to follow what’s happening in the movie.

For all those wondering, my dad did enjoy the movie as well.

How could I tell? Well, he only fell asleep once.

Nick Martinez-Esquibel can be reached at [email protected] or @THENickMartinez on Twitter.

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‘The Jungle Book’ stunning visuals brings animals to life