The Jungle Book is a movie based on the original books by Rudyard Kipling, describing the adventures of a young boy named Mowgli.
If you’ve run out of Disney+ shows and are looking for alternatives, don’t worry! We’ve combed through the archives with a fine-tooth comb and saved you all the hassle by offering you our best selections for alternative viewing.
So, without further ado, we present to you 10 movies to watch if you have had enough of the original Jungle Book.
1. The Jungle Book (2016)
Of all the Disney remakes, The Jungle Book remains one of the best in this constantly evolving catalog. This film is filled with amazingly detailed backgrounds, memorable characters, and a plot closely following the original.
For those who need a little refreshment, the plot here follows a little boy named Mowgli. Raised by animals in the jungle, a monstrous and spiteful tiger named Shere Khan forces Mowgli to flee into the jungle. So he embarks on a journey of self-discovery, meeting many diverse and colorful characters along the way.
The 2016 remake of The Jungle Book, faithfully restored, is definitely worth checking out.
2. The Lion King (1994)
The Lion King is a classic Disney story that revisits the ideas of friendship, confronting your fears, and not running away from your problems. The whole thing then culminates in a story that borrows heavily from Hamlet and Kimba, the white lion. The result is one of Disney’s most prolific films, filled with great musical numbers and a palette of bright, vibrant colors.
The story here revolves around Simba, a young lion who can’t wait to become king. But, when tragedy strikes, his uncle Scar encourages young Leo to flee his home in Pride Rock. Burned into exile, Simba eventually learns to let go of his insecurities and worries until a face from the past persuades him to return.
Well written, emotionally compelling, and inspiring: The Lion King is a beautifully animated fairy tale and a must-see.
3. Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
If you’re looking for something gritty that comes close to Kipling’s original ideas, Mowgli is definitely worth a look. It’s much bolder than the Disney version; if you’re expecting a cute and funny movie, you’ll be disappointed.
Directed by Andy Serkhis, Mowgli feels like the angriest outsider in the Jungle Book family, but he has a great emotional impact. The film follows the basic structure of the Disney version, but with some differences. This is especially true of the animals themselves, who seem to treat Mowgli with much more disdain and impatience, making the jungle look much more rugged.
The film also has an exceptional cast, and the talent on display here permeates every part of the production.
4. James and the Giant Peach
James and the Giant Peach is one of Dahl’s most prolific stories, and this film adaptation features a beautifully executed stop-motion/live-action hybrid.
The story goes that young James’ happy life is ruined when a rhino kills his parents. She forces him to live with his two horrible aunts. While bravely saving the spider’s life, James witnesses the growth of a giant peach in the garden. Once inside, he meets his new friends next to the same spider. Together they decided to help him get back to New York.
In terms of the basic plot structure, there are certainly similarities to The Jungle Book, and the film has some surprisingly fantastic moments. It’s the kind of movie that makes you feel acid-boiled, but the result is a hedonistic journey worth taking.
No list about a little boy growing up in the jungle with animals all around him would be complete without mentioning Tarzan. But, of course, it’s another classic Disney fairy tale that Disney took over.
The story here is pretty simple and revolves around a man named Tarzan, who gorillas raise in the jungle. But as he grows older, he must determine his true place when he discovers that he is not really a monkey but a human.
It’s one of the last Disney films from before the turn of the millennium, and it’s also a good one to end with.
6. Robin Hood
The story of Robin Hood stealing from the rich to give to the poor has been told for generations. So not surprisingly, Disney’s animation department, known for turning folk tales into rich and vivid stories, put their own spin on it. The result is one of Robin Hood’s best readings.
This creative interpretation makes for fun, and romantic encounters with many different animals as characters, as our Sherwood Forest hero, is portrayed as a wily fox. He joins forces with a bevy of colorful characters to thwart and outwit the greed of Prince John (represented here in the form of a lion).
It’s a fun and lively pastime that makes good use of its power themes and hierarchical rules.
7. Fox and Hound
We’ll always be best friends, forever and ever, right? This seemingly innocent dialogue comes from the mouth of a little fox named Todd, who happens to grow up with a puppy named Copper. However, when Copper becomes an adult hunting dog, their unconventional friendship is tested, bringing them both to the brink of disaster.
What is particularly impressive in Fox and the Hound is how he plays with these contradictions between the fates of the two animals while keeping their friendship at the center of the story.
Copper’s owner is a bitter and angry man who turns his dog into a cold and heartless killing machine, while Tod’s gentle owner is the exact opposite. But because of that, the bond of friendship between the two is never completely broken, which really makes this film special.
8. Life of Pi
The Life of Pi is a great film that would support a strong story with a keen eye for visual talent. This movie looks real too, and some of the scenes at sea are breathtaking.
The story here revolves around an Indian storyteller named Pi Patel. In an interview with a budding Canadian writer, P. recounts his life, including the failure of the family business and a memorable sea voyage to Canada while trying to start a new life. One thing leads to another, and Pi is forced to team up with several animals from the zoo – including a menacing Bengal tiger.
Although the film is essentially about survival, The Life of Pi has strong themes of friendship, hope, faith, and camaraderie that certainly make it a very good film.
9. George of The Jungle
Watch the tree! George of the Jungle 1997 is absolutely ridiculous. It’s a film full of stupid jokes and moments that border on disgust. And yet, the movie is a real guilty pleasure and will definitely make you smile if you’re in the mood to do something stupid.
The story revolves around George, who monkeys raise in the jungle. In the company of an elephant who thinks he is a dog and a very intelligent monkey, George meets an American nobleman named Ursula Stanhope. He takes her to the jungle and slowly learns the rules of human relationships through her. At the same time, Lyle, Ursula’s lover, is looking for her.
This comedy will probably appeal to more kids than adults with an inspiring Brendan Fraser, but it’s still a solid film.
Forget Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit; Jumanji is the ultimate board game to start a family feud. The critics absolutely shredded this gem from the late nineties at the time, but it remains one of those cultural classics that definitely stand the test of time. This has even led to a few remakes!
The original film revolves around a young child named Alan Parrish who discovers a magical board game. While playing with his girlfriend, with whom he was in love as a child, Alan gets involved in a board game. Decades later, the mystery of Alan Parrish remains an urban legend. That is until Judy and Peter go back to playing a board game and start over.
What follows is a magical adventure full of special effects and surprisingly fantastic dice. This movie is a gem, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you should definitely take the time to watch it.
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