The Making of THE JUNGLE BOOK (Video)
Disney and director Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book utilizes the latest advancements in photorealistic rendering, CGI, and motion capture technologies to bring a jungle to life, with Weta Digital (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit franchises) and Moving Picture Company (Life of Pi, Guardians of the Galaxy) applying the same kind of visual effects artistry that won the company Academy Awards for Ang Lee’s Life of Pi and James Cameron’s Avatar.
In an all too brief official featurette, take a fascinating look at the way in which the jungle and its inhabitants were digitally realized – all within the confines of a studio in downtown Los Angeles.
The Jungle Book holds the second highest April opening ever, and has currently grossed more than half a billion dollars worldwide – a feat accomplished not only because of its groundbreaking visual effects, but Favreau’s commitment to telling an emotionally grounded tale with a focus on story and character. While Disney has signed Favreau and screenwriter Justin Marks for The Jungle Book 2, online commentary has pointed to the possibility of the studio campaigning for an Academy Award – for Best Visual Effects, naturally, but a submission in the Best Animated Feature category isn’t out of the question.
“An animated feature film is defined as a motion picture with a running time of more than 40 minutes, in which movement and characters’ performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique,” reads the Academy’s official rules and regulations. “Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique. In addition, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s running time.”
Aside from the most minimalist of physical sets, the live-action Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi) and a brief appearance of unnamed human extras, nearly the entirety of The Jungle Book is created through the use of computer animation. While Disney could submit The Jungle Book as an animated feature, it seems unlikely as the studio would just be competing against its own Walt Disney Animation Studios productions Zootopia and Moana. Disney will also release Pixar’s Finding Dory in the coming months, likely another contender for the award, though the socially relevant and overwhelmingly positively received Zootopia will most probably stand as the clear frontrunner.
The Jungle Book is now playing.