The Jungle Book from first glance is just a continuation of Disney's line of live action fairy tales. Just another classic story brought to life in a realistic setting. But there is so much more to this movie and it operates on so many different levels.
The first thing you might notice about The Jungle Book, is how amazing it looks. The animals, the forest, everything pops out and sucks you into this incredibly realized world. You forget, or keep reminding yourself, that 98% of everything on screen is CGI. Very similarly to how Avatar was shot, there was a heavy use of computer graphics and it blows people away. The only thing not CGI is Mowgli (played by Neel Sethi) and he does an incredible job. Its a compliment to compare an actor's capability to give a convincing performance alongside no other humans at such a young age to those who have done it before. Much older and seasoned actors have tried the same thing with a lesser degree of success, so to provide praise for this young actor is truly a feat to remember.
Not only was the acting superb, but the voice work was fantastic as well. The many people who voiced characters including Bill Murray (portraying Baloo), Ben Kingsley (portraying Bagheera), and Idris Elba (Shere Khan) to name a few. These characters filled their roles and then some, providing a world so convincing that you would have never guessed it was all made in a computer.
As a movie it was great fun to watch, and as a film it was an amazing one to spectate. There was a common complaint though for some viewers that cannot go unnoticed. Some miss the iconic ending of the original film and wish it had been in the movie. I understand that for some that was the defining version of the movie, but there was a reason not to include it. To be able to start building a brand for this live action franchise, there had to be some deviances from the original. You do not see Disney making a Cinderella 2, but do however see them working on a Malificent 2 and fast tracking a Jungle Book 2. The reason for this stems from that both the movies getting sequels expand on what the original brought to the table when those stories were first told.
All in all, I would be surprised if this movie was not part of the higher portion of my top 10 movies of the year list.