The Jungle Book (2016) – Nostalgia Critic

Critics and audiences seem to love it, but of course the Nostalgia Critic has some problems with it. What could he possibly dislike about the 2016 live action remake of The Jungle Book?

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About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

88 comments

  1. The book version of Khan didn’t exactly follow the Law of The Jungle either.

  2. Not NOSTALGIA critic

    • The Real Silverstar

      He’s reneged on the “no recent movies” dictum dozens of times now, so I’m not sure why folks still get their shorts in a bunch whenever Doug does a NC review of something recent. It’s not like he’ll be indicted by the Internet Police if he goes against a rule that *he* made himself and therefore can toss aside whenever he chooses to. This is a remake of classic movie, if that helps to pluck any ruffled feathers.

    • ThatManWithTheHeadband12

      It’s been more than 5 years since The Review Must Go On, and more than 10 years since he reviewed the first Bayformers film, attended the midnight release of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows book, and the Cloverfield trailer AND movie. He reviewed 2005’s Alone in the Dark and 2007’s TMNT in 2009 when he had a cutoff date of 2000. He continued reviewing the Bayformers films upon release in 2009 and 2011 as NC. He reviewed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Peter Jackson’s King Kong, The Kung Fu Kid, True Grit and The Dark Knight and none of them fell within the cutoff windows he had in place at the time. Top 11 Dumbest Spider-Man Moments was done possibly before his cutoff date was moved to 2002, which means none of the films would be eligible. In 2012 he reviewed Baby Geniuses 2 from 2004 and Ponyo from 2009. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published in 1865, with a 1951 animated Disney film. The Jungle Book was published in 1894 with a beloved Disney animated film released in 1967. The source materials have been around for GENERATIONS. That’s where the nostalgia comes from

  3. I also forgot to mention, there are suppose to be plans for a sequel.

  4. I remember seeing this film when it just came out in theatres. I must admit, I have the Critic’s same feelings, especially after Christopher Walken started singing and I buried my head in shame that it even happened.

  5. Is there any update on the Jungle Book movie that Andy Serkis wanted to do?

  6. Jalen Washington

    Honestly, I’ll probably remember Christopher Walken as King Louie because it’s Christopher Walken… as King Louie.
    The cover of “I Wanna Be Like You” is pretty good in my opinion, especially the full version.

    • I probably was the only person in that theater that laughed when Mowgli picked up that cowbell.

      • I do wished I’d caught that the first time. LOL

        Yeah it’s pretty hard to forget. Though I did wonder if they couldn’t have found a way to make King Louis dance. Walken may not be much of a singer, but he is very good dancing. Yes it’s just a CGI recreation, but if you’re going for absurd similarity than why not go all the way!

        • Actually if you look up Andy Serkis on YouTube for example you can see how they nowadays actually records his moves for his movies.
          So the dancing itself wouldn’t be a recreation, it would be the most realistic thing.
          But yes, I wished they had done that too since it is the only memorable scene anyway, which is because of how absurd it is, so they might as well.

  7. Sorry you didn’t like this movie Critic. I honestly liked this movie, and I don’t really see much of the problems you see.

    Shere Khan doesn’t kill the kid at Peace Rock because it’s the law of the jungle for any creature to kill one another at that watering hole, which includes man apparently, but still. Law of the jungle. And Khan holding the pack hostage to get Mowgli is what it is: get Mowgli. Mowgli sees the wolf pack as his family and the alpha leader as his father figure, and he’d want to get revenge. That’s also why Bageera didn’t want to tell Mowgli either: he should go to the man village because he belongs there, and if his father figure was killed off, he’d say “screw that, I’m going to kill that tiger”

    But now that I think about it, yeah. Mowgli could’ve had went to the village the whole time. I guess you could say he grew up with the jungle too much to go to the village.

    Also, I didn’t mind that Kaa was reduced to a minor role. And as for the hypnosis, implying Mowgli’s dad scarred Khan’s face and he’d want revenge, it makes sense why he’d go after Mowgli. Even though the dad was killed, Khan wants to be sure he’d finish the job because he doesn’t trust man as a whole.

    But seriously, take my opinion with a grain of salt. Besides, I liked Christopher Walken singing that song.

  8. Actually there are plans for a sequel, but there currently put on hold due to production for the Lion King remake.

    I also like to add that Shere Khan didn’t exactly follow the Law of The Jungle either since he did kill during the Water Truce.

  9. Of course I don’t hear Little John when I listen to Baloo; I hear Baloo when I listen to Little John because Baloo came first. And even then, O’Malley was in between.

    Also, doesn’t Khan want Mowgli for the Red Flower?

    • I must that while I enjoyed this version when I saw it, of all the recent Disney remakes so far it’s probably the one I enjoyed the least. I think the biggest problem is that Shere Khan was never quite the villain he could’ve been.

      He’s actions just seems timed for plot convenience and it’s seem kind of bizarre that after killing Akela the rest of the wolf pack doesn’t try to kill him. With The Lion King it made sense that Scar would be next in line there were no other adult male lions to challenge him? Patriarical perhaps, but it least Nala does go looking for someone better (and resists him more overly in the Broadway play).

      But here, I mean he’s not even one of your pack! Shouldn’t the law of the jungle included some kind of ascension process where YOU all decide you new leader? Instead, it’s just “I’m in charge now. Nothing you could do about. Least wait and get that man-cub.” Strange.

      Oddly enough despite not being a big fan of that Jungle Book spin-off series Tale Spin, I think that Shere Khan was convincing at talking big about law even with the didn’t exactly followed it. This could’ve used more conning to match the characters strength.

    • Opps That first comment wasn’t meat to response to Maarons. My mistake.

      Actually it was King Louis who wanted the Red Flower. Shere Khan was afraid of it. I’m pretty sure that’s constant with book the book and the Disney animated version.

      • No prob on the misresponse.

        Yeah, I couldn’t remember who it was but there was someone going on about it. But either way, the Red Flower does play into Khan’s motivations about Mowgli.

        As for Doug’s criticism about Louie singing, Kaa gets Trust in Me, Baloo got Bear Necessities, and so why shouldn’t Louie get I Wanna Be Like You? The only songs missing were the Col. Hathy March and the village girl singing to herself. Neither character showed up but you still 60% of the songs from the film this is trying to ape from and is calling itself a remake.

        • I think what he meant was the it felt more like a musical performance that stood outside from the story, were as Bear Necessities feels (in this version) more like just one character teaching a song to another so it’s a little more seamless. I don’t remember: did they actually have Kaa doing Trust in Me this time? Her screen time was so brief it was hard to tell.

          • Well I can definitely say that Scar-Jo did record a version of the song that was actually kinda interesting. How it was used in the film, not sure. However, Disney films skirting the reality of people breaking into songs vs musical logic isn’t unprecedented. Even the animated one it seems the elephants are actually singing and Baloo goes in and out of his song.

            Maybe the film could have structured things better and had a little more fun rather than dramatic.

    • “Also, doesn’t Khan want Mowgli for the Red Flower?”

      No, Shere Khan wants to kill Mowgli before he grows into a man and kills him.

      • Yeah, no shit. Shere Khan understands that Mowgli is gonna grow up into a man, come back, and kill him. Mowgli escaping is the precise worst thing that could happen for Khan, by a mile. Thats why he completely loses it after that person and starts lashing out violently.

  10. Hmmm… anyone wants to guess next week’s movie?

    – Cinderella? Doubt it, because he already made an Old vs New video comparing both the live-action movie with the animated one.

    – Pete’s Dragon? I don’t think it would even qualify for a “Disney Live-Action Remake”… whne the original was already a live-action movie with an animated dragon, and the remake is… another live-action movie, but with a CGI dragon 😛

    – Beauty & the Beast? Ooooooh… this one has a lot of potential. Doug completely ripped it to shred during a Sibling Rivalry video XDD

    • Since its the last week of Disney Remake month he’ll probably do Beauty and the Beast as its the most recent and it wasn’t as well received as Jungle Book

      I do really want to see First Viewings of all of these though

    • Yes I’ve been expecting Beauty & the Beast from the time I heard this month was happening and frankly I’ll be happy to finally get it over with, because I’ve been readying my defense from the start.
      Here I’d come to the movie with no great expectations. Thinking I’ve probably enjoy it, but not a lot. Left the theater feeling blown away, over-joyed, and really impressed…and than I came home and find Doug and Rob ranting about how awful it was! Couldn’t remember when I’d disagreed with them more.

      I can respect some of the reasons that other people don’t like it, but not the suggestion that the only people who do believe “the mouse can do no wrong.” I’ve long resented the suggestion that millions of people must be unthinking sheep for enjoying something (though I doubt that suggestion was intended).

      I’ve rewatched it twice since than (even rewatched the original for comparison) and while certain flaws are more apparent, my feelings remains the same. There were enough differences to find parts that I liked more in both versions without prefering either. Actually watching them side by side over two nights made it easier to appriciate those differences. I still think the new version is a genuinely good movie and true to the spirit of the original.

  11. Good review, but I was wondering, have you ever seen the anime version? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungle_Book_Sh%C5%8Dnen_Mowgli

  12. I completely agree, I don’t love the animated version but I’ll watch it. This just seemed really confused, the way they told the story was really bizarre and the ending was just lazy. What confused me is here they tried to completely rewrite the story whereas Beauty and the Beast is practically a shot for shot retelling with just a few changes to follow the original fairytale but they didn’t distract from the plot at all.

    I don’t know why they decided to take a relatively simple tale and turn it into this big epic, I’m ok with them doing that IF they spend time on the characters. When Akela was killed I was shocked and sad but not because of this film because of how he was in the animated version because for some reason they thought a bunch of exposition would make the audience really care about this wolf who tolerates Mowgli

  13. i tried to watch this… i thought it was boring… I don’t really understand why people like this.

  14. I’ve never read the book. I hated the original Disney movie and I never heard of that other one you were showing. Yeah, I thought Shere Khan hated Mogli because the father burned his face. In this one, he ended up in the jungle because he liked it better, I think.

    • By default, this is my favorite one.

      • So you prefer the version of the story with no lesson whatsoever?

        • The lesson is to choose where you belong and not let that be dictated by something as arbitrary as race, that character and not genetics defines us! How exactly did you miss that? That’s why he had to stay in the jugnle, leaving it is an inherent admission that the segregtion between these groups is not only natural but preferable, and that a human does not belong among the animals.

    • The other Jungle Book adaptation that Doug showed was Mowgli’s Brothers, a TV special that aired on CBS in 1976. It was directed by Chuck Jones and featured the voice of Roddy MacDowell. It was a more faithful adaptation to Rudyard Kipling’s book than Disney’s version was. You’re probably just too young to have ever seen it. I saw it wen it originally aired because I’m 200 years old.

      • Thank you so much! I’ve been looking through all the comments and could not find anything in the video description which I actually hated. Why show clips from a movie that is not well known without giving it credit? I really wanted to watch this so now I am able to do so. Thank you again.

  15. Doug, you like the writings of man who wrote The White Mans Burden?

    You seriously wanted other people to know this?

    • That’s like impugning someone liking Hamlet simply because Shakespeare wrote Merchant of Venice and Taming of the Shrew…

      • Or it would be, if Hamlet were expressing the same exact viewpoints and feelings on inherent superiority and racial heirarchy as the others. So, if Hamlet had just included a character who is obviously meant to show Shakespeares feelings on jews.

        • You were saying him liking the Jungle Book is bad because Kipling wrote something racist and thus all Kipling’s writings should be shunned and people shouldn’t profess to like someone with a bad story under their credit.

          Merchant of Venice has Jew-hating the way Shylock is treated and Taming of the Shrew treats Katherine like shit and most of the guys are just trying to get pretty tail. Therefore, by your logic, no one should like any of Shakespeare’s writing because then the writer of 2 bad stories gets some kind of support.

          • No, its racist because its racist, in the exact same way that White Mans Burden was. That’s why I said its like if Hamlet included the exact same Jew vilifying shit as Merchant of Venice.

            Its about placing Mowgli as not belonging among these animals because of how superior he is to them, and how it is a mistake for him to live among the animals. Something that Doug seems to feel its a bad thing that this version excludes.

            Or do you believe that Animal Farm is just a story about a bunch of funny talking animals on a farm?

    • That comment makes about as much sense as Shere Khan’s motivation in this movie, or why Baloo chose to lie to Mowgli. Well done.

    • Lots of people like Ruyard Kipling. Why? Because he was a phenomenal writer. You can disapprove of his feelings of white superiority and still appreciate other works which don’t reflect that view. As someone pointed out earlier, Shakespeare wrote taming of the shrew, which is an extremely misogynistic play (although I don’t know if merchant of Venice is a good example, as there are are arguments that Shylock is a sympthetic character), but Shakespeare’s other works are still celebrated. So yes, I and many others would be happy to admit I like the works of Kipling.

      • “You can disapprove of his feelings of white superiority and still appreciate other works which don’t reflect that view.”

        If he had one. Problem is the undercurrent of eurocentric patronising racism runs as a constant through his work, even if you try to pretend its not there.

        For fucks sake, Kipling was born and raised in India. He then writes a story about a boy who is raised in a land filled with filthy savage animals who aren’t anywhere close to as intelligent as man is, but are jealous of mans knowledge and power. They fear man, because they know they are inferior. They are also silly and superstitutious. Gee, I wonder if he could POSSIBLY be using a metaphor?

  16. Blaze The Movie Fan

    I personally love this movie, but I respect your opinion.

  17. My biggest beef with the movie was the casting of Baloo’s CGI model. He’s a Sloth Bear, not a grizzly damn it. There are plenty of big film roles for grizzlies, but when a role for a sloth bear comes up a grizzly gets it? Speciesism at its most blatant.

  18. I think this is like videogame movies, you know. I mean, by comparison to all the bs made in the same spectrum (all the shitty videogame movies or in this case all the shitty live action adaptations of classic children’s movies) anything that is above passable is considered great.

  19. I’m with you, I never liked this. At least, the effects were pretty good.

  20. I’d probably let it go if he didn’t harp so much on it but how do you miss the entire point of that opening and then claim it had no baring on the rest of the film. How? It’s setting up the one of the more pivotal growth and emotional beats of the climax. Sher Khan dies making the same mistake Mogali made at the beginning with the dead tree – a mistake Mogali learns from and exploits with his ingenuity, showing his growth from the beginning of the story until now. It’s basically the ‘you never learned to mind your surroundings’ moment from the Batman Begins. It’s fine to not like the opening or the movie as a whole, but claiming that opening has no bearing on the rest of the movie is objectively wrong and I don’t know how you can miss it.

  21. The Legend of Tarzan came out the same year as this. They were both crappy movies, but at least Tarzan had a couple exciting actions scenes.

  22. You have a movie with Christopher Walken I think it is in his contract that he has to dance.

  23. What is the book version of The Jungle Book called? is it just ‘The Jungle’?

    Why is it even called ‘The Jungle Book’? Was there a book about the jungle that played a prominent role in the plot?

    • Dude, for your own sake, take a comedy class. Find a mentor or somebody to teach you how to tell a freaking joke. You’re pitiful attempts at humor are painful. I might have a modicum of respect for your nonsense if you were at least funny, but it’s just one half-ass bomb after another. If you must be a troll, at the very least be a funny troll.

  24. DCEU films are awesome.

  25. I have the original book but haven’t read it yet. I’ve watched the 67 version growing up (of course), and loved it, and I saw the animated short that you recommended, Doug, although I ended up disliking it (will watch it again though because I may have watched it with the wrong mindset). With this version, I enjoyed it quite a bit, but I do see where you’re coming from.

    I do agree that Louie’s breakout into song was definitely tonal whiplash, and Baloo’s lying to Mowgli scene didn’t feel very earned or satisfying. Overall, I thought when the film tried to do its own thing (like the absolutely wonderful scene where Mowgli and Raksha say goodbye to each other) then the film worked really well. When it tried to adhere to the 67 movie, however, that’s where things fell apart.

    So far, I’d rank this pretty high on the live action remakes that I’ve seen so far and would love to watch it again, but like I said, I definitely understand where you’re coming from. I’ll definitely read the original stories first chance I get and I’m a bit curious as to what Andy Serkis’s version is going to be like as well.

    P.S. I still enjoy the Stephen Sommers version pretty well also. You’re free to scorn me for that but I love a lot of Sommers’ movies because he has a great sense of style, tone, and a flavor for old-fashioned Victorian style adventures like The Jungle Book, The Mummy, and Van Helsing.

  26. Dear Doug: Like you, I also don’t get how this film got the critical and audience response it got, since I also thought it was confused about its tone and its desire to be something more “grown up” and a remake of the original animated film. However, there is a point you don’t address that was the part that bothered me the most about this film, which is that the film present Mowgli as a Messiah of the Jungle. I kept seeing so many scenes that framed as some form of Chosen One or Savior of the Jungle, which maybe wouldn’t bother me so much if it weren’t for Man’s (shall we say, complicated?) relationship to nature. I don’t know about you, but that made me very uncomfortable…

  27. thatchickwithlonghair

    I’m with you, Doug. F*ck this lazy movie. And props for using clips from the short directed by Chuck Jones; that guy was a great guy and he knew what he was doing. (my favorite from him is Rikki Tikki Tavi which Kipling also wrote)

    I loved the animated Disney one as a child but when I watched it as an adult, Mowgli really pisses me off now. XD Bratty little shit can’t take care of himself at all. The banter between Baloo and Bageera are the best parts. Bageera’s snarky personality made him my favorite. lol

  28. I liked the film but what really got me was how at the end Mogli ends up proving Khan completely right. He was dangerous and didn’t belong in the jungle.

    Yeah if you really think about it Mogli defeats him by proving his fears about him were justified.

  29. Am I the only one who watched and loved this version of The Jungle Book?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jungle_Book:_Mowgli%27s_Story

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