I don’t pay close attention to the user ratings on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) or Rotten Tomatoes, even but sometimes the disparity between the two does offer me minor amusement. For example, my favourite 2012 release, thus far – The Deep Blue Sea earns a mere 6.2 rating on IMDB but an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The disparity there is not as pronounced as that which befalls the 1994 live action incarnation of Mowgli and friends – officially titled Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book which measures in at an impressive 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and an average 5.8 on IMDB. If pushed, I’d wager that the poor showing on IMDB has something to do with the way that this incarnation of Kipling’s tale seemed to have faded out of existence, or at least memory.
Still, that didn’t stop it from being on TV this past week (dug up from where, I don’t know) and I couldn’t help but watch it because it’s one of the films which reminds me so potently of childhood. The title itself is somewhat erroneous since only a sliver of Kipling’s actual tale is present in this manifestation. Like the legend Mowgli grows up with the animals, but the crux of the story happens after when Colonel Brydon and his daughter journey back to India and happen upon the fully grown Mowgli who they attempt to civilise. Therein the film presents us with a cross between an action film, a fantasy quasi-epic and a love story with the requisite questions raised about the legitimacy of “civilisation”.
Lena Headey (generally): B+
Lena Headey in The Jungle Book: B-
(Lena Headey in Game of Thrones: A-)
The Jungle Book: B