Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book takes the popular 1967 Disney cartoon (and Rudyard Kipling’s novel) and turns it into a visually impressive live action feature which is stacked with an A-list voice cast that includes Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyongo, Christopher Walken, Iris Elba and the late Gary Shandling. The Art of The Jungle Book delves behind the scenes of Favreau’s movie, showing the luscious production design and giving detail on how the boundary pushing special effects brought the likes of Baloo and Shere Khan to the screen.
Favreau penned the foreword of the book and he explains how he decided to take on the challenge of bringing the classic animated film to the screen after seeing photorealistic creature effects in Avatar, The Life of Pie and the recent Planet of the Apes movies. Creating a film like The Jungle Book would have been impossible a few years ago and even CGI cynics will marvel at the imagery that shows how the film’s animals are brought to life.The tremendous artwork on display within Ellen Wolff’s book shows good old fashioned artwork also played a large part in the film’s look.
The Art of The Jungle Book doesn’t just deal with the film’s visuals. The book also features segments which deals with the film’s all-important music. It discusses how Favreau enabled the help of original songwriter Richard Sherman to update the lyrics of I Wanna Be Like You and how he travelled to New Orleans with Christopher Walken and Bill Murray to work with Dr John.
An impressive behind-the-scenes look at this 21st Century live update of the classic Disney animated film, The Art of The Jungle Book offers fans a great insight into the making of this special effects heavy adventure. It might be a bit light on text, but the artwork more than makes up for this shortcoming.