Articles: Fun Facts about ‘The Jungle Book’




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By Samantha Ofole-Prince/Photos courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

As “The Jungle Book” roared to number one at the box office with an estimated $103 million debut this weekend, Blackflix critic-at-large Samantha Ofole-Prince shares several fun facts on the live action remake of the 1967 animated feature.

Twelve-year-old newcomer Neel Sethi who stars as the film’s only human character, Mowgli, was selected from thousands of hopefuls who auditioned as part of an extensive worldwide search.

At full stretch, the free-spirited bear Baloo (voiced by Bull Murray) can reach nearly 15 feet high and the iconic song “The Bare Necessities,” written by Terry Gilkyson, was nominated for an Academy Award in 1968.

Mother wolf Raksha (voiced by Academy Award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o) is aptly named. In Hindi, Raksha means protector.

The visual effects company, Moving Picture Company (MPC) was responsible for animating more than 70 species, crafting 100 million leaves and simulating earth, fire and water. A team of more than 800 computer graphics artists spent more than a year on the project.

Artists digitally built most of the jungle environment that appears in the film, creating moss, bark, rock, water, grass, trees, leaves that were all inspired by their real-life counterparts in India.

Filmmakers utilized motion capture technology to help them visualize the entire film prior to live-action production kicking off. The process involves special body suits adorned with dots that translate into the computer. Even director Jon Favreau suited up for select scenes.

Disney’s 1967 animated film, “The Jungle Book,” was the last film that Walt Disney oversaw. He passed away in 1966, the year before the film’s release.

With an all-star cast that includes the voices of Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson and Giancarlo Esposito “The Jungle Book” is out in theaters.

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