Why The World Doesn’t Need Andy Serkis’ CGI “Jungle Book” Movie

Matthew Loffhagen
Disney
(Photo: Disney)

Hey, did you hear about the CGI “Jungle Book” movie? The one that has a human kid as Mowgli, but a fully animated cast of characters voiced by popular celebrities?

No, not Disney’s “The Jungle Book”, the Jon Favreau movie that came out in 2016. This is another, different movie titled “Mowgli”, which is being overseen by Andy Serkis.

Because, yeah, there’s another one of these films coming out, from a different studio. Such is the problem when a notable novel exists in the public domain, as any fan of Sherlock Holmes will attest.

Footage for “Mowgli” has been shown off for the first time since the movie started production. The trailer was shown in a presentation at CinemaCon (which is why the images in this article come from the Disney movie instead). According to those in attendance, the big difference between “Mowgli” and the already released “The Jungle Book” is that this new movie isn’t cute and fun.

The bear doesn’t dance and sing. We’re in grimdark territory here.

Jungle Book Kaa
Source: Disney

So here’s the question: do we really need this movie? Isn’t one modern adaptation of “The Jungle Book” enough?

Heck, did we even need the first movie, considering that it basically exists as a demo reel so that Jon Favreau can do the same thing with “The Lion King”?

The Serkis Baby

I really feel like this movie ought to have been scrapped, and I can only assume that its continued existence is solely down to Andy Serkis strong-arming the movie into production.

This I can respect – Serkis has a goal, and he’s going to push to achieve it even if someone else has already stolen his thunder.

That said, I can’t imagine that the movie is going to receive the warm reception that Warner Bros is hoping for. Put simply, between this and “Tarzan” I feel like the Wild Man King of the Jungle story is a little oversaturated. All we’re missing is a gritty “George of the Jungle” reboot to complete the set.

Andy Serkis Mowgli
Source: Warner Bros

Ultimately, I suppose none of this really matters. There’s nothing to be lost from the release of another “Jungle Book” adaptation, because it’s already very clear that audiences will, by and large, entirely ignore this movie.

Who cares if Warner Bros wants to throw away a lot of good money on letting Andy Serkis play with some motion capture tools yet again? If the studio wants to invest in an obvious dud, that’s nobody’s business but their own.