Come April 8, and we will fall in love with Mowgli, the wolf-raised boy all over again in the latest version in English and Hindi.
Neel Sethi, an adorable ten-year old boy will make his debut as Mowgli in The Jungle Book that hits theatres on April 8. The Hindi version has an impressive voiceover cast with Priyanka Chopraplaying seductive mind games as Kaa, the sly python, Nana Patekar as Sher Khan, Mowgli’s arch enemy, Om Puri as Bagheera, the protective panther, Irrfan Khan as Baloo, the lovable, care-free bear. Its brilliant animation and promising cast for the voiceovers has definitely stirred excitement among The Jungle Book fans.
But did you know, along with the latest version, the story has been re-told several times starting from 1942?
1942 – This first adaptation of the Jungle Book created by two Hungarian Korda brothers. But It had very little to do with Mowgli’s life in the jungle, in fact It was about how Mowgli was captured by greedy villagers who wanted him to guide them to the jungle treasure. It was received well at the box office and won four Academy awards.
1967 – This fun, musical version produced by Walt Disney showcased Mowgli’s life from an infant to a young boy in the jungle. This movie had everything going for it--groovy sound track, incredible comic timing and impressive animation for that time. You can’t help but hum and dance to Baloo’s song ‘ Bare necessities’ and the dialogue exchange between the vultures is not to be missed.
1989 – This version takes us back to the Doordarshan times, when Jungle Book was aired as a series and we fell in love with Mowgli! Even today, ‘Jungle Jungle Baat chali hai’ created for the series triggers childhood memories and brings a smile to our face. This Jungle Book series was actually a Japanese anime cartoon dubbed in Hindi.
1994 – This one was a remake of the 1967 version, directed by Stephen Sommers. In this movie, Mowgli, a full grown adult explores the jungle along with companion. It definitely resembles Jungle Book because of its central character but what good is a movie where the animals do not speak?
2003 – The Jungle Book 2 was a sequel to the 1967 version. It seemed an unnecessary version and wasn’t received well. In fact, one couldn’t distinguish between the original and sequel due to its repetitive plot lines.
With this, looks like Neel Sethi's version will make up for the 2003 debacle due to its promising cast for both languages and its brilliant animation. We bet it’s going to be ‘twice’ as fun! The Jungle Book movie versions don’t end here as yet another version is rolling out in 2017. Although it boasts of an equally intriguing cast, we can’t help think, it might be a tad too much, too soon.
Meanwhile, how excited are you to re-visit your childhood with Mowgli aka Neel Sethi and friends on 8th April? Tell us in the comments section below.
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