Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is worth watching if:
- You want something that’s family-friendly and appealing to kids.
- You’re a superfan of Disney’s Jungle Book and want to see all the reasons why this is worse.
- You’ll watch talking animals anywhere, anytime.
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is not worth watching if:
- You expect it to live up to the Jungle Book name and charm.
- Child actors need to impress you.
- You anticipate cute references to the source material.
- The voice acting from most of the animals is pretty good.
- Bagheera, the black panther voiced by Christian Bale, is one slick looking CGI jungle cat.
- You can always still go back and watch the original.
- Not particularly funny or interesting. It’s a jungle without life.
- Rohan Chand as young Mowgli comes across as just some dumb angry kid.
- The plot and character development is thinner than Mowgli’s waistline.
score: 45% CHILLIN
One sentence story summary: An orphaned boy raised by animals in the jungle seizes his destiny while confronting a dangerous enemy — and his own human origins.
It’s a smart move for Netflix to try and re-make the beloved Jungle Book. It’s one of Disney’s most cherished classic movies, one that people still regularly watch and sing-along to decades later.
Unfortunately for Netflix, all the charm got left back in 1967.
While the Jungle Book was originally a collection of short stories published in 1894 by Rudyard Kipling, many people know it from Disney’s animated musical adaptation. That is certainly where Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle pulls its inspiration from, as it shares most of the same overarching plot with the hit Disney film.
Unfortunately, you get very little of the humor and likeability from the jungle that brought us the Bear Necessities, replaced instead with generic Hollywood adventure film fodder.
The movie doesn’t include any musical numbers, a fine decision if you’re looking to change up the direction and tone, but it’s not as if this is some super dark and serious Mowgli adventure; it’s still only rated PG-13.
Most of the time it feels like it’s trying to evoke the Disney film without even coming close. While some songs would have certainly helped liven things up, we won’t blame them for wanting to avoid direct comparisons to the Disney classics.
The CGI looks pretty good most of the time, an important aspect since Mowgli is often the only human on screen. But when it’s off, it’s really off.
Unless you love talking animals, there really isn’t much to recommend here. It’s so generic and bleh that unless you’re enjoying it vicariously via your kids, you’ll likely wish that you were the one out in that jungle with the lions and snakes.
It’s not quite terrible, but it’s terribly disappointing.
Looking for something similiar? Check out Okja. It’s less kid-friendly but twice as good.