I'm going to call it now; I think Disney's The Jungle Book will be this year's Life of Pi. Not in that it will win a bunch of Oscars, except for maybe on the technical side, but for appealing to our love of an emotional story about the bond between man and animal. That the special effects are comparatively breath-taking, and that it also features a central human performance from a newcomer among a sea of CGI portrayals is just another way these two movies tread similar ground.
Disney has released some new clips from the Jon Favreau-directed adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's book, and they run the full gamut of emotions of here. The first centers on a tearful farewell between Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi) and the wolves Raksha (Lupita Nyong'o) and Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) into the care of panther Baheera (Ben Kingsley) in order to take him back to civilization. The reason is the continued threats by the villainous tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba), seen in another clip. And finally a light-hearted scene features Bill Murray as the voice Baloo the bear as he prepares for a hibernation he doesn't actually need.
The Jungle Book hits theaters on April 15th.