Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: Justin Marks (screenplay), Rudyard Kipling (book)
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, Bill Murray, Lupita Nyong’o
Runtime: 105 min
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family
Released: 15 Apr 2016
Synopsis: The man-cub Mowgli flees The jungle after a threat from the Tiger Shere Khan. Guided by Bagheera the panther and the bear Baloo, Mowgli embarks on a journey of self-discovery, though he also meets creatures who don’t have his best interests at heart.
Living among the wolves in the jungle, young man cub Mowgli quickly learns to live life among his wolf pack and all the animals that inhabit the jungle. But when the villainous tiger Shere Khan threatens Mowgli’s life, black Panther Bagheera offers to take Mowgli to a nearby man village where he will be safe from the tiger’s wrath. But along the way, Mowgli gets tangled up in a series of encounters with a sly snake named Kaa, a swimmingly ruthless gigant opithecus named King Louie and a lazy bear named Baloo who quickly becomes his guide to the ‘bear necessities’ of life.
The panther Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley) opens the film by saying that there are many stories in the jungle, but none quite like that of the man-cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi). Mowgli is seen running through the jungle above the trees with his wolf brothers. Since he was a baby, Mowgli has grown up with the wolf pack, raised by Raksha (voice of Lupita Nyong’o).
The jungle experiences a very dry season, so the animals come together by the Peace Rock to form a truce and drink water from there. Mowgli uses the shell of a fruit to grab water for himself, which makes the other animals see him oddly. The wolf pack leader Akela (voice of Giancarlo Esposito) tells Mowgli not to use his man tricks in front of the other animals. The crows then begin to caw, signaling the arrival of the fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba). He is aware of Mowgli’s presence, and he considers man to be forbidden in the jungle. Akela covers Mowgli and tells Shere Khan he cannot have the boy. Shere Khan vows to come for Mowgli once the rivers run again.
Knowing the jungle isn’t safe for Mowgli anymore, Akela and the other wolves discuss his future there. Bagheera volunteers to take him back to the man village, despite Raksha’s protests. The others agree it’s for the best, and Mowgli shares a goodbye with Raksha, who says he will always be her son.
Bagheera guides Mowgli toward the village, but once they come across a field of buffaloes, they are ambushed by Shere Khan. Bagheera holds the tiger off for Mowgli to run. Mowgli runs down a hill as the buffaloes stampede. Shere Khan tries to spot Mowgli, but the boy escapes.
Shere Khan returns to the Peace Rock to confront the wolves. He mauls Akela and throws him off the cliff. The tiger then assumes leadership over the other animals and awaits for Mowgli to return.