Look For The Bare Necessities
The Jungle Book is a movie based on the original books by Rudyard Kipling, depicting the trials and tribulations of a young boy called Mowgli.
If you’ve finished streaming this one on Disney+ and are looking for alternatives – fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle with our top picks for alternate viewing.
So without further ado, we present 10 movies to check out when you’ve finished watching the original Jungle Book.
The Jungle Book (2016)
Out of all the Disney live-action remakes, The Jungle Book remains one of the better entries in that constantly growing catalogue. This movie is packed full of stunningly detailed backdrops, coupled with memorable characters and a story that sticks very closely to the original.
For those who need a brief refresher, the plot here follows a young boy called Mowgli. Raised by animals in the jungle, a monstrous man-hating tiger called Shere Khan forces Mowgli to flee into the jungle, where he embarks on a journey of self-discovery and meets a host of diverse and colourful characters along the way.
Rendered with exquisite detail and chock full of lovely set-pieces, the 2016 remake of Jungle Book is certainly worth a watch.
The Lion King (1994)
The Lion King is a classic Disney tale, one that hones in on ideas of friendship, facing your fears and not running away from your problems. All of this is then wrapped up in a story that borrows heavily from Hamlet and Kimba the White Lion. The result is one of Disney’s most prolific films, packed full of excellent musical numbers and a bright, vibrant colour palette.
The story here revolves around Simba, a young lion who just can’t wait to be King. When tragedy strikes, his Uncle Scar encourages the young Lion to flee from his home, Pride Rock. Disgraced in exile, Simba eventually learns to let go of his insecurities and worries, until a face from the past convinces him to return.
Well written, emotionally engaging and inspiring, The Lion King is a wonderful animated tale and a must-watch.
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
If you’re looking for something more gritty and closer to the original ideas Kipling conjured up, Mowgli is certainly worth a watch. It’s much sharper around the edges than Disney’s version; if you go in with expectations of a cutesy, fun-loving movie you’re going to be disappointed.
Directed by Andy Serkhis, Mowgli feels like the meaner outcast of the Jungle Book family but it packs one heck of an emotional punch. The movie follows the basic structure of the Disney version but with a few distinct differences. Most notably is that of the animals themselves, who appear to have far more disdain and impatience for Mowgli, giving the jungle a much harsher feel to it.
The film is packed with an outstanding voice cast too, and the talent on display here oozes through every part of the production.
James and the Giant Peach
James and the Giant Peach is one of Road Dahl’s most prolific tales, and this movie adaptation boasts a gorgeously rendered stop-motion/live action hybrid.
The story sees young James’ happy life come crashing down when his parents are killed by a rhinoceros. This forces him to live with his two horrid Aunts. Daringly saving the life of a spider, James witnesses an enormous peach growing in the garden. Venturing inside, he meets a number of new friends alongside that very same spider. Together, they set out to help him return to New York.
In terms of basic story structure, there’s definitely some similarities to Jungle Book and the movie has some wonderfully imaginative moments throughout. This is the sort of film that feels like it was cooked up on acid but the ensuing result is one hedonistic trip well worth taking.
No list about a young boy growing up in the jungle with animals all around him would be complete without Tarzan being mentioned. Naturally, this is another classic tale that Disney grabbed hold of.
The story here is pretty basic and revolves around a man called Tarzan who’s raised by gorillas in the jungle. As he gets older though, he’s forced to decide where he really belongs when he discovers he’s not actually an ape but actually a human.
This is one of the final movies Disney produced before the new Millennium and it’s a pretty good one to end on too.
The story of Robin’s Hood’s “take from the rich to give to the poor” idea has been echoed through generations. It’s no surprise then that Disney’s animation department, known for spinning folklore tales into rich, vibrant stories, would get their hands on this one. The result is one of the better retellings of Robin Hood.
Using numerous different animals as characters, this imaginative interpretation sees fun and romance collide as our swashbuckling hero of Sherwood forest is depicted as a cunning fox. He joins forces with a host of colourful characters in a bid to outwit and outsmart the greedy Prince John (who’s depicted as a Lion here.)
It’s a fun, vibrant romp that uses its themes of power and hierarchical rule to good use.
The Fox and the Hound
“We’ll always be best friends forever…won’t we?” This seemingly innocent piece of dialogue comes from the mouth of a little fox named Tod who happens to grow up around a hound puppy called Copper. As Copper grows into an adult hunting dog their unconventional friendship faces its stiffest test yet and it’s one that pushes both of them to the brink.
What’s particularly impressive with The Fox and the Hound is the way it plays on these juxtapositions between their fates of these two animals and yet continues to keep their friendship a central point of the plot.
Copper’s owner is a mean, bitter man who pushes his dog to become a cold, heartless killing machine while Tod’s sweet owner is the exact opposite. Yet, through it all the bonds of friendship are never broken completely between the pair and it’s something that really helps this film stand out.
Life of Pi
Life of Pi is a wonderful movie that backs up some solid storytelling with a keen eye for visual flair. This movie is a real looker too and some of the scenes out at sea are absolutely stunning.
The story here revolves around an Indian storyteller called Pi Patel. When he’s interviewed by an aspiring Canadian Author, Pi recounts his life’s story, including a failing family business and an unforgettable sea voyage to Canada in a bid to start a new life. One thing leads to another and Pi is forced to team up with a host of zoo animals – including a menacing Bengal Tiger.
Although a survival movie at heart, Life of Pi has some solid themes around friendship, hope, faith and comradeship that certainly make this a really good film.
George of the Jungle
Watch out for that tree! 1997’s George of the Jungle is utterly ridiculous. It’s a movie packed full of goofy gags and some eye-rolling moments that border on cringe-inducing. And yet the film is a real guilty pleasure and bound to put a smile on your face if you’re in the mood for something silly.
The story revolves around George, who’s raised by apes in the jungle. Alongside an elephant that thinks it’s a dog and a highly intelligent ape, George comes across a US noble woman named Ursula Stanhope. He takes her with him to live in the jungle, and through her slowly learns the rules of human relationships. At the same time though, Ursula’s lover, Lyle, is out looking for her.
With an inspiring Brendan Frasier in the driving seat, this comedy is likely to appeal to kids more than adults but it’s still a solid watch.
Forget monopoly or Trivial Pursuit, Jumanji is the definitive board game to cause family feuds. This gem from the late 90’s was absolutely torn apart by critics at the time but it remains one of those cultural classics that definitely stands the test of time. It even sparked several remakes!
The original film revolves around a young child called Alan Parrish who uncovers a magical board game. Playing with his friend and childhood crush Sarah, Alan is sucked into the board game. Fast forward several decades later and the mystery of Alan Parrish remains an urban legend. That is, until Judy and Peter pick up the board game and start playing again.
What follows is a magical adventure packed full of special effects and some wonderfully imaginative rolls of the dice. This movie is a real gem and if you haven’t seen it, you should definitely take some time to check it out.
So there we have it, our 10 Movie picks to keep you busy after watching The Jungle Book.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!