This past Monday I attended a screening of The Jungle Book in 3D. First of all, if you’re going to see it, 3D makes all the difference. I mean, if you don’t like becoming completely immersed in the movie you’re watching then by all means, watch it in plain old 2D. Anyway, to this screening I did not bring my children. I scrutinized the trailers and I thought it would most likely be okay for my 10 and 7 year olds, but I wanted to see it myself first. I’m glad I did. It came out today, so if you’re planning on making a trip to see it part of your weekend, read this first!
This is not The Jungle Book you remember as a kid. While the characters are the same name, there is definitely a darker element at play. Shere Khan is truly a villain, and at times I even jumped when he came on screen. Kaa is not a funny-eyed snake, but rather a seductive storyteller. (Not in a suggestive way, or anything like that. I think Scarlett Johansson’s voice just always does that.) King Louie is also much more frightening than his cartoon counterpart. There is a small amount of death, though no dying is actually shown on camera.
This movie is absolutely family-friendly. There is no swearing, nothing suggestive at all. After all, there is only innocence in a boy who has spent almost his entire life living among animals in jungle, uncorrupted by man. But will it have your little ones hiding behind you?
Maybe. But that’s okay.
There are quite a few potentially scary scenes throughout the movie, but the main themes always shine through. One such theme is the bravery and strength shown by Mowgli and his animal friends. Mowgli is about the same age as my oldest son, but he is so incredibly brave, whether he’s completely alone or his animal friends are standing behind him. Mowgli becomes an incredible role model for kids, whether that was the intention or not.
Another overwhelming theme of the movie is the wolf pack mentality. Multiple times you hear the wolves (and Mowgli) recite the law of the jungle. “The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.” The wolves are more prominent in this movie than they are in the animated film, and I’m so glad because it really adds another dimension to the story.
So, will I take my kids to see The Jungle Book?
Of course I will. I will skip bringing the 2 year old because she won’t sit still or keep 3D glasses on, but I think my boys will enjoy it. They might be scared at certain points, but I really don’t think there is anything truly terrifying that would keep them up at night. The bravery of Mowgli really outshines anything that might be too scary, and might even inspire a little more bravery to happen in our house.
The Jungle Book is out in theaters right now! Are you planning on seeing it? Have you already seen it? I love to hear your thoughts!