REVIEW: The Jungle Book 2016

Answering the True Call of the Wild (Non-Spoiler Version)

The pulse of jungle shifts in tandem with the needs of its inhabitants, striking a fair balance in everything, season in and season out… There lingers a ‘wilderness’ inside every one of us that needs to be stilled…

 Chapter One: A Tattered Tome from Memories Past

I recall when salesmen in the 80’s would waltz around town in old Penang town with thick colouring books, movie adaptation of the evergreen 1967 animated movie which itself was a cinematic adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book. Those activity books were so thick, I could hardly lift them as a child, let alone spend hundreds of hours completing each page with colour!


“That ridiculously thick colouring based 19th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series was a ‘wild’ book alright – but is the image of the ‘Jungle Book’ that sticks to my mind to this very day! Or is it…”

It’s funny what you remember from childhood. As silly as memories may be, they can create an impact in one’s life, perhaps even affecting the trajectory of one’s life path. And speaking of impact, the 2016 reiteration of the timeless classic has its own share of ‘impact’ for ‘children of all ages’ today…

(Now hold your breath…)

Chapter Two: Rustling that is Not the Song of Leaves

In today’s day and age, when the once great call of the wild has become shadowed by the humdrum of bustling technology, when the very light of the stars have been stolen by electric dreams from the neon of digital advertisement boards and when organic jungles have been swallowed whole by concrete ones, and the song of nature muffled by the raging traffic, who has time to look back at our origins and once great dependence on the forests and the wilderness?

“I seek to look at the stars on a clear night, but amidst the chokingly hazy skies and hot perspiring nights, my streamlined digital TV screen located indoors where the eco-navi air conditioner is blowing cooling air akin to perpetual kisses seems more appeasing to this pampered being of the post-Millennial era.”



There are very few things in the present world that allow us to take a step back from the overall thrust of the momentum of this age and simply be. Yes, the art of being oneself, I mean truly be as nature intended, not in the present envelope of existence. Such are the orbiting thoughts that haunted my mind as I breached the hall with the silver screen. But what followed is something no being, human, animal, or otherwise, should ever miss…

Chapter Three: Organic Pages from Flaming Papyrus

Explosive! A gathering of beasts, fowls and critters unlike any other, orchestrated by the most sacred of ancient traditions, woven by the most entrenched of laws – a true sight to behold! Forgotten ruins of enigma… Sordid power struggles… Archaic territorial squabbles for elemental needs, basic wants and vengeful desires. The plot is oozing in every way… ‘Colourful’ as the most adorned of feathers and more vibrant than the most resonant of mating calls…


“If rules aren’t meant to be broken, can they at least be flexible enough to be bent a little?”

And amidst all this drama, the law of the jungle rings true…To the point where some may even call it ‘propaganda’… But the primeval customs of the virgin lands holds water (quite literally, I might add) even until the fiery end…

(Will the burning desires of man ever be satiated? Will he ever be at peace with his surround? Will man be humble enough to bow down before grand creatures of old who can turn the tide of this world for the better?)

Chapter Four: The Legendary Book Comes Alive!

Ironically, the best way to really immerse yourself in this evergreen throwback is by having a mind that’s like an open book (pun intended)! The wonders of nature come alive in a way that reminds us of an evocative and prospective life of order and purpose. I begin to see one who hides his true self, even his talents, just so he can belong to a ‘people’… I begin to see the truth in how everyday life reverberates from this movie… Oh, if only I could say more (without ruining the surprise that’s in store for many)!


Not intending to pose any ‘spoilers’ for those who have not been so blessed as to indulge in one of the very finest on-screen masterworks of the human civilization (or any civilization for that matter), let me plainly say that each scene is laid out majestically, unfolding beautifully, layer upon layer like poetry, with uplifting execution matched only by the flawlessness of contemporary digital magic clad in primordial organic spirit. There are moments in this show that will tear you one the inside, synchronized only by moments so equally monumental that they will mend the brokenness within… And amidst all this intense chain of events, the essence of the original animated musical comedy film is immaculately preserved. Wow!

Will one ever see humankind living so harmoniously with nature as the ‘human cub’ played by Mowgli; he who walks on two legs amidst multifarious creatures of the jungle that move in a myriad of ways? One must first find his true self within… And let one’s natural instincts take control… And truly flow with it…

Personal Opinion: Not to be missed! Graphically enticing, spiritually rousing, intellectually refreshing; possibly the most meaningful cinematic indulgence of the year!

And remember, the only ‘Bare Necessities’ you will need are: A mind like an open book, a heart like a blank page, and a spirit that is as free as a feral boy left alone in the wild to fend for himself – running with a wolf pack, climbing with a panther and swimming with a brown bear!

The art of being oneself, I mean truly as nature intended, not in the present envelope of existence.


Memorize the contemporary law of the ‘jungle’: Pocket tissue – don’t leave home without it!



Brand SpeaksUncategorized
No Comment

Leave a Reply



Latest Articles