Book Review: The Art of the Jungle Book

{Editor’s Note: As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below. All opinions are my own. ~ Mike}

Jungle Book

Book Review: The Art of the Jungle Book

Post written by Mike Ellis.

Book written by Ellen Wolff

Forward by Jon Favreau

Disney’s The Jungle Book. A Classic movie originally released October 18, 1967, and a live featured film released April 4, 2016 (at the El Capitan Theater) and April 15, 2016 (everywhere else).  The movies are incredible in their own right, but today’s post is about a new book that I received a copy of to review.  Further on, I’ll also provide details about a giveaway that you can enter to win your own copy of this incredible book.

For that’s exactly what it is — and absolutely incredible book!  This coffee table style book, measuring 10″ x 11″, and containing 156 incredible pages, is the perfect addition for any Disney enthusiast!  What follows in these pages is a journey — a journey of discovery that delves into many of the aspects of what the Jungle Book movies are all about.

The book is divided into the following chapters, which take the reader along the journey into what it takes to create a movie of this magnitude.

  • Forward
  • Chapter 1 – A Return to Kipling’s Jungle
  • Chapter 2 – Assembling the Team
  • Chapter 3 – Characters and Locations
  • Chapter 4 – Exploring the Technology
  • Chapter 5 – Animating Realism
  • Chapter 6 – Putting it all Together
  • Conclusion

The beauty of this book isn’t in just the artwork that is depicted in it’s incredible pages; the beauty extends beyond that, and shows us the thousands of details that director Jon Favreau goes into in creating the Jungle Book movie.  It’s not just a recreation of the original story of the Rudyard Kipling’s novel; it’s a detailed and inspiring look at the role that actors, technology, and vision play in creating what may be the best version of this movie yet.

I think for me what I like best about the behind the scenes look at the movie is the incredible thought process that each of the actors takes in learning their role.  For example, actress Lupita Nyong’o, who portrays Raksha in the movie, prepared for her first ever voice-over role by studying the behavior of wolves and learning how their social hierarchy works.  For Christopher Walken, the man behind King Louie, he appreciated the role so much that he likened the process as less about making a movie and more about making music.  Those are just two examples are of what makes this movie special in my eyes.

Binding it all together though is the directorial genius of Jon Favreau.  This director knew what he wanted in the film, and searched long and hard to find the exact pieces to complete his puzzle.  For example, the actor who plays the role of Mowgli, Neel Sethi, was discovered among hundreds of auditions in cities across the country. At only ten years old, this was Neel Sethi’s first movie, and the role he played was perfect.

If you are interested in acquiring your own copy of this book, you may visit the Insight Editions or Amazon websites (list price $45.00); however, My Dreams of Disney has been selected to give away a copy of the book!  To enter to win, subscribe to the Insight Editions mailing list by clicking the link.  The link will be active from today, June 15, 2016, until 11:59PM on Friday, July 1, 2016.  After that time, Insight Editions will select a winner from those that entered. Good luck!