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Parents' Guide to

The Jungle Book (2016)

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Fangs and fur fly in visually dazzling but intense update.

Movie PG 2016 105 minutes
The Jungle Book (2016) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 30 parent reviews

age 9+

Beautiful but intense take on a classic.

This was intense so I would wait until kids are at least 9 or 10 . Me and my almost-10 year were a little stressed at times :) Both boys liked it a lot and so did I. Beautiful take on a classic. CGI was amazing - it's not a cartoon and it's not for young ones, the trailer should make that obvious. It's nuanced. Good for teaching empathy but there are a few deaths. Tastefully done battle scenes (no blood), no extraneous violence. No swearing or annoying characters!!) And Christopher Walken, Ben Kinglsey and Idris Elba too.
age 4+

Action packed family favorite

My family loved this movie. It is not your average, feel good Disney movie. There is action for pretty much the entire movie. There are realistic animals in a realistic jungle. Therefore, there will be fighting and violence. It comes with the territory, and it’s what I told my kids. There were deaths in the movie. They weren’t gory. There were a few scenes that jumped out. That startled the kids, but they were fine. The movie was a little loud for them, so I had to turn the volume down to not scare the little kids. This movie was nothing like the cartoon, but my suggestion is to go into it with an open mind. I think when people go into these remakes expecting the old movie, they get disappointed when it’s not like the old cartoon. Go into it like you would a brand new movie. We really enjoyed it. There was nothing in this movie I was upset about my kids seeing- no sex, no adult humor, no inappropriate words. The only negative thing was my little one was scared of the orangutan, King Louie. Other than that, we loved this movie and will probably purchase it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (30 ):
Kids say (102 ):

Visually stunning and expertly acted, this retelling of a classic pays tribute to the original adventure while erasing the insensitivity of parts of Disney's '60s version. Sethi is a compelling young lead, making viewers really care about a boy who has only known the jungle and doesn't understand why he's being hunted. Elba is pitch perfect as the villainous Shere Khan, who in a misguided way makes sense -- man does cause destruction in the jungle -- but is so blinded by vengeance that he can't be made to see that Mowgli truly loves the jungle. All of the supporting actors are strong as their animal counterparts, and (with the exception of Murray and Christopher Walken, whose voices are too iconic to forget who they are) they don't come off as mere A-list cameos. With her husky purr, Scarlett Johansson is very well cast as giant python Kaa, who hypnotizes Mowgli with the tale of the boy's own origins.

There are only a few musical numbers in The Jungle Book, all of which are rearranged from the original: Kaa's transfixing "Trust in Me" (which really doesn't show up until the credits), Baloo's "Bare Necessities," and "I Wanna Be Like You," which Walken sings as the ambitious Gigantopithecus (an extinct giant orangutan) King Louie. That character's portrayal was problematic in the original Disney film, prompting criticism for being racist, and it's wonderful that director Jon Favreau's interpretation of the story isn't culturally insensitive (just scary -- Louie is huge!). The pacing can be leisurely, but there are also plenty of heart-stopping thrills and action sequences to keep audiences riveted -- and, in a few cases, jumping out of their seats.

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