MOVIE NEWS – Over the decades, perhaps, not another company has been able to build its fan base to the scale that Disney has. They’ve been operating for an extreme amount of generations now so older people who became fans as children became adults and become filmmakers themselves. Jon Favreau is one of them. When he decided to make the live-action adaptation of Disney’s The Jungle Book in addition he wanted those who have seen the 1967 animated classic to get some extra levels of entertainment. The new film is a real fan service: it’s actually packed with references to its predecessor.
The most common use of homage in the film is when Jon Favreau directed scenes that were straightforwardly taken from the animated version. Yahoo Movies shows several of them like:
Mowgli (Neel Sethi) howling with his fellow Cubs in the wolf pack
Mowgli transfixed by Kaa the python (Scarlett Johansson)
Mowgli and Baloo the sloth bear (Bill Murray) floating down the river while humming “The Bare Necessities.”
And Mowgli and Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) strolling by a waterfall.
You might have to be an animated Disney expert, or have lately rewatched the animated version, to find these moments while watching the live action film, but it’s clear that Favreau desired that the fans would be reminded of the original film.
The shots aren’t the only Jungle Book references. Yes, the most obvious callback to the last film is the inclusion of some of the songs, but another reference is incredibly obscure because it never actually appeared in the original film. Rocky the Rhino was a character who was supposed to appear in the film’s finale, alongside some Fab 4-inspired vultures. According to Yahoo:
In the end the filmmakers decided that having four vultures and a rhino was just too much and poor Rocky hit the cutting-room floor. But Favreau has put the character for the film, giving him a bit of screen time and the voice of comedian Russell Peters.