The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Chef), premiered on Friday to glowing reviews from top film critics.

Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book, inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s book of the same name, stars young actor Neel Sethi as boy-cub Mowgli. While Sethi is the only actor seen on screen, big names round out the animals of the jungle. Bill Murray is Baloo the bear, Christopher Walken is King Louie the orangutan, Ben Kingsley is panther Bagheera, Scarlett Johansson is the slithering snake Kaa, Idris Elba is Tiger Shere Khan, Lupita Nyong’o is wolf mother Raksha and Giancarlo Esposito is Akela.

The Jungle Book Review Roundup

Critics have little else but praise for Favreau’s take on The Jungle Book and the work that he and cinematographer Bill Pope have done to create the stunning look of the larger-than-life Indian jungle. The all-star cast has been lauded for giving vitality to their CGI-created characters, and Sethi has been touted as a young talent of which to keep watch.

“The new Disney version of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is what this franchise-tentpole-universe-theme-park factory does best. The film is a triumph of technology and safe “family” storytelling. It’s dazzling — almost no one will dislike it. Its director, Jon Favreau, knows his audience, and he has enough skill and honest enthusiasm to win over all but the most determined skeptics.” – David Edelstein, New York Magazine

“Director Jon Favreau conjures up a magical place to get lost in. And that’s just one of the dazzling delights in The Jungle Book, a visual marvel that cuts a direct path to the heart. Favreau, the director of films as diverse as Elf, Iron Man and Chef, has managed to blend what’s best in the jungle stories of Rudyard Kipling and the 1967 animated Disney version into something unique and unforgettable. See it in reach-out-and-touch 3D if you can, and prepare to be wowed.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“It’s hard not to think of The Jungle Book remake as a feast. It is a banquet of storytelling delicacy, exciting light drama, athletic action and computer-generated imagery that is more hyper-real than real. After every delicious scene, I wanted seconds. Based on the 1967 animated musical, the last feature created under Walt Disney’s guidance, this re-creation is a case of a studio honoring its artistic legacy with consummate care while moving it in a new direction. An established classic tale has been lifted to an even greater level, toning down the jokes and ramping up the excitement. This version will carry those who have never encountered Rudyard Kipling’s tales or the original film as high as the most devoted fans.” – Colin Covert,  Minneapolis Star Tribune

The Jungle Book is not just another cash grab lifted off of Hollywood’s assembly line where everything old becomes new again. This thoughtful, considered live action remake of Disney’s 1967 animated classic nails the spirit of the original and gives it a fresh update for modern audiences. And it creates a magnificent living, breathing world that fills every inch of the frame with a sense of wonder.” – Adam Graham, Detroit News

The Jungle Book is currently in theaters.

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