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The Jungle Book: Bare necessities for a great movie

By Damon Smith

The Jungle Book is a technically dazzling romp through the stories of Rudyard Kipling, which retains the wide-eyed charm of the 1967 Disney animation including three songs and comic relief from Murray's rascally bear.

Jon Favreau's film flexes its digital muscles in every impeccably crafted frame, festooning the screen with a menagerie of anthropomorphised critters that are just as realistic as the shipwrecked tiger in Life Of Pi.

Vibrant colour radiates off the screen and gooey sentimentality oozes like sap during the rousing final act, but scriptwriter Justin Marks isn't afraid to hack into darker territory. The bare necessities of life are sometimes extremely painful.

A two-disc set comprising the 1967 animation and the live action Jungle Book is also available now.

Four stars

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