Walt Disney’s movie The Jungle Book, inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s collection of stories, will release in India on April 8. And Indians couldn’t be more excited. One of our most loved and adored book characters of all times, Mowgli, is coming back on screen. The nostalgia, the memories and the excitement – it’s all in the air.
Here are 5 ways in which the upcoming movie has a connection with India:
1. Rudyard Kipling and his years in India:
Rudyard Kipling was born on December 30, 1865 in Bombay. His father, John Lockwood Kipling, was the then head of J. J. School of Arts. Rudyard Kipling spent the first six years of his life in India and then returned after living in London for 10 years. From 1883-1889, he worked for local newspapers such as the Civil and Military Gazette in Lahore and The Pioneer in Allahabad. The Jungle Book, his collection of short stories, was first published in magazines in 1893–94. Some of the illustrations in the original publication were made by his father.
2. The new Mowgli is an Indian American boy:
Neel Sethi, an Indian American boy with no acting experience, has been cast as Mowgli in the upcoming movie. The team behind the movie conducted several auditions in many countries before they found 12-year-old Neel. According to director Jon Favreau, Sethi’s portrayal of Mowgli is like a flashback tour to his own childhood memories around the animated character.
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3. The look and feel of India in the jungle locations:
While the principal photography for the movie took place entirely in Los Angeles, some remote jungle locations in India were photographed and used as reference during post-production of the movie.
4. The Hindi version:
A Hindi version of the film is also set to release in India on April 8. The Hindi movie will have Nana Patekar giving the voice for Shere Khan, Priyanka Chopra as Kaa, Irrfan Khan as Baloo and Om Puri as Bagheera. The dialogue for the Hindi version has been written by Mayur Puri.
5. The nostalgic song – Jungle Jungle baat chali hai pata chala hai..
The Hindi version will also help fans take a trip down the memory lane with the new version of the classic Jungle Book song. The song was featured in the animated series The Jungle Book, which was aired in Doordarshan in the 90s. The Indian TV series was the dubbed version of a Japanese series called Jungle Book Shonen Mowgli. The lyrics for the song were written by Gulzar and Vishal Bhardwaj composed the music.