This year’s holiday movie season is not limited to the big screen, with anticipated movies from acclaimed filmmakers arriving on Netflix over the next couple of months as well. Among those films is Andy Serkis’ Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, which will offer up a different take on Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale. The new trailer for the movie teases an epic and intense story that is different from what we’ve seen before. Check it out.
It is a pity that Mowgli will only be playing in select theaters and most people will see it on their TVs, because this trailer shows it to have a truly epic and big feel that you would want to enjoy on the largest screen possible. The scale of the narrative seems larger than Disney’s adaptations and the story appears to have much higher stakes due to the increased human element in the film.
The presence of humans and guns raises the stakes and adds a level of intensity to this trailer and makes the threats to Mowgli, the jungle and its inhabitants much more grave. Shere Khan is a physical threat, but humans are an existential one. That comes through in this trailer and I’m guessing this movie will have some intense moments because of it.
This movie has been pitched as a darker telling of Rudyard Kipling’s story, and that definitely comes through in this trailer. There are a couple of light-hearted moments, but overall this footage is pitching a movie that is about struggle, both internal and external. Mowgli is PG-13 and it looks like it will earn that rating with darker themes, more frightening moments and more violence.
The lush environments and colors really pop in this Mowgli trailer, and I’m guessing that Andy Serkis’ has created a visual feast. Like Disney’s The Jungle Book before it, Mowgli also uses CGI for the jungle’s speaking inhabitants– although they look very different than those in the Disney film.
The talking and facial movements of Bagheera, Baloo and the like are much more human and emotive, displaying more of the actor’s performances, but it took me a little bit to get used to it. Although I’m not sure that would have been the case had the Disney version not come out first.
It’s unfortunate that those comparisons have to be drawn, but that’s the reality with two movie adaptations of the same story. But the trailer highlights that while the characters and the source material might be the same, in tone, story and style, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle looks to be a very different film than The Jungle Book. And that’s exactly what makes it so interesting.
While this trailer really made me want to see Mowgli on the big screen, I think that the move to Netflix was a smart one. Audiences may have avoided a new theatrical Jungle Book movie due to its proximity to the last one which came with the powerful Disney branding. But Netflix requires no financial investment on the part of existing subscribers. So hopefully that results in more people checking it out what Andy Serkis has made.