Walt Disney Pictures’ beautiful and thrilling live-action/CGI/3-D (whew!) adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s timeless collection of fables about man-cub Mowgli (Sethi) and the furry denizens of his tropical habitat is fast-paced and engaging entertainment, but lacks some of the pathos you might expect. The Jungle Book
is intense, scary, and occasionally brutal, but the film frequently shields its young viewers from the consequences of its dark narrative, as the 10-year-old Mowgli – separated from his devoted protector, the black panther Bagheera (Kingsley) – flees the malevolent tiger Shere Khan (Elba) or encounters the violent demands of the outsize orangutan King Louie (Walken), before meeting the sloth bear Baloo (Murray). The movie is superbly executed in many ways, but what gives? Still, for any baby boomer who danced around the living room singing about the bare/bear necessities of life, the familiar tunes here are bound to summon a smile. Forget about your worries and your strife, indeed. Read a full review of The Jungle Book.