The Jungle Book appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Overall, the image seemed positive.
At virtually all times, the movie gave us a good sense of definition. The elements came across with nice clarity and accuracy. I saw no moiré effects or jagged edges, and I also detected no print flaws.
Book opted for somewhat desaturated hues that varied based on setting. These mixed blues and tans for the most part – with more vivid orange/red when fire appeared - to create a limited but satisfactory presentation of colors.
Blacks seemed deep and dense, while shadows offered appropriate thickness. This turned into a solid image.
Just as pleasing, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack soared. This mix used the channels in an active and engulfing manner, particularly during the many action sequences.
With all the jungle elements, the mix used the speakers to provide nice movement and localization. Animals and natural components featured in appropriate spots and blended together well, with vibrant, engulfing use of the surround channels.
Audio quality also satisfied. Shere Khan’s lines could sound a little metallic, but speech otherwise remained natural and concise.
Music showed warm, lively tones, while effects came across as vibrant and dynamic, with excellent low-end response. The audio added a lot of zest to the film.
The package includes a mix of extras, and these start with an audio commentary from director Jon Favreau. He offers a running, screen-specific look at story/characters and comparisons with prior versions of the tale, cast and performances, animation and effects, music, editing, cinematography and related areas.
Overall, Favreau brings us a nice look at his film. On occasion, he tends to narrate the movie a bit, but those moments don’t dominate. Much of the track focuses on production insights, and those make it worthwhile.
Three featurettes follow, and The Jungle Book Reimagined runs 35 minutes, two seconds. It offers notes from Favreau, producer Brigham Taylor, visual effects supervisor Robert Legato, production designer Christopher Glass, virtual camera layout operator John Brennan, virtual camera layout TD Girish Balakrishan, property master James L. Kroning, composer John Debney, songwriter Richard Sherman,
and actors Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Giancarlo Esposito, Scarlett Johansson, and Christopher Walken.
“Reimagined” discusses sources and adaptation, story/characters, visual and set design, visual effects and the depiction of animals, cinematography and working on soundstages, animation, cast and performances, and music.
Inevitably some material repeats from Favreau’s commentary, but “Reimagined” still develops into a good overview. It gives us a broad look at the production, and the ample use of behind the scenes footage helps turn this into an informative program.
Next comes the eight-minute, 18-second I Am Mowgli. It involves remarks from Favreau, Sethi, Murray and costume designer Laura Jean Shannon as it covers Sethi’s casting and aspects of his performance. Once again, the shots from the set become the major attraction here, as they let us see the challenges involved in this CG-heavy production.
Lastly, King Louie’s Temple: Layer By Layer lasts three minutes, 14 seconds and shows us aspects of that scene’s creation. It mixes live performances, storyboards/pre-vis, and recording studios. This turns into an enjoyable way to see the elements needed to bring together the sequence.
The disc opens with ads for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Beauty and the Beast (2017). No trailer for Book appears here.
A second disc presents a DVD copy of Book. It provides the “Temple” featurette but it lacks all the other extras.
Essentially a remake of the 1967 animated version, 2016’s The Jungle Book delivers a moderately entertaining experience. However, it doesn’t make its own name for itself, as it copies the prior Disney flick too much. The Blu-ray brings excellent picture and audio along with some useful supplements. I find this to be a decent movie but not one that enchants.