‘The Jungle Book’ honors Disney’s legacy, incorporates CGI technology

Jon Favreau is the director of “The Jungle Book,” which opens in theaters April 15. Photo courtesy Getty Images
Jon Favreau is the director of “The Jungle Book,” which opens in theaters April 15. Photo courtesy Getty Images

Walt Disney Pictures is due to release “The Jungle Book,” a hair-raising live-action and computer-generated imagery fantasy-adventure film, on April 15. This remake of the 1967 classic is bound to capture audiences with its vivid pictures and gripping story. The Miami Hurricane spoke with director Jon Favreau during a media conference call in which he explained his work on the film.

Favreau is known for his successful acting career in addition to his past directing jobs on “Elf,” “Iron Man” and “Chef,” but “The Jungle Book” is his first animated project.

The 2016 film is an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s book, “The Jungle Book,” which was originally published in 1894. Walt Disney also produced an animated musical of the same name in 1967. Favreau was a huge fan of the musical and it inspired him on this latest project.

“I knew that I wanted to include the music and the emotion [of the 1967 version] and really pay tribute to the legacy of the film and of Walt Disney,” Favreau said.

Overall, Favreau said he was happy with the animation technology he was able to work with for the film in order to produce the final product.

“It makes for a much more decisive, cleaner, sharper, well-paved story that I’m used to dealing with at this point, so as I watch it, it feels like a lot of care went into polishing this,” Favreau said.

His goal throughout the detailed process of creating visuals was to bring the story to life, Favreau explained.

“This process is all about … tiny, tiny details. It’s about blades of grass; it’s about how many frames you trim,” Favreau said, explaining that the purpose of his job is to make the story flow as smoothly as possible.

“The Jungle Book” tells the classic story of Mowgli (Neel Sethi), a boy raised in the jungle by a pack of wolves, and follows his journey to self-discovery in which he encounters a host of interesting creatures, many of whom don’t have his best interests in mind.

The 2016 film has a star-studded lineup, including Neel Sethi as Mowgli, and it also features the voices of Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Christopher Walken, Giancarlo Esposito, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong’o and Ben Kingsley.