"It's a song about the good life"
A very good and enjoyable movie. While it is not a special/memorable movie, it really is a thoroughly enjoyable film, and it is very well done in a lot of ways. From the CGI, to the voice cast, and even the "politics" (or the theme) of the film. They are very well done, indeed.
Let me start off with the thing that is clear to the eye. The visual effects (CGI) is amazing! You would have been forgiven for thinking that they use real animals when shooting this film. From start to finish, there was not one moment when I stopped to say, "Oh, that was CGI". Although that could be partially due to how immersed I was to the narrative, but everyone who sees it will agree, the visual effects are certainly top notch.
And then there's the excellent cast. Of course, they are mostly voice cast. But I've heard someone say this, and I have to completely agree...Bill Murray as Baloo is as perfect of a fit as a voice cast can ever get. Him and Lupita Nyong'o (as Raksha) are the two standout voices. But with Baloo, its not just about the voice, its the character itself. Baloo is that kind of character that talks a lot and likes to play around...like a playful uncle of a sort. I think if you see the film, you'll know what I meant. And I also have to give credit to Neel Sethi (as Mowgli). He did brilliantly as the only human character in the film.
Oh, but wait. There's one more. The villain. Shere Khan. Firstly, Idris Elba was, similarly, perfect as the voice of Shere Khan. This character is terrifying, charismatic & angry, all at once. And not only that, the way he is portrayed in the film is brilliant. The way he moves, the way he talks...every other animal, justifiably, fears him - you can see that right off the bat with Shere Khan's introduction. He was even given a backstory for us to understand his motivation. I'm not sure who to credit, but Shere Khan is as good as any other human villain I've ever seen in film.
Now, the narrative. The plot in general is just about good enough, but its a pretty straighforward plot, truth be told. There is a sense of adventure that Mowgli undertakes, meeting one character to another - meeting friends, running from enemies. There are some very fun moments, but there also some where I didn't care so much. But let me make this claim: any scene with Baloo is just a joy. I can watch two full hours of just Baloo, Mowgli and the company.
Also, I did say earlier that they are able to tackle the "politics" or the theme of the film very well. Without spoiling anything, let me just say that this is mainly on what differentiates the animals and Mowgli (as a human). Its about the "tricks" that he can do, and also about the Red Flower. You will know it when you see it.
The Jungle Book is a thoroughly enjoyable film, and it is very well done in a lot of ways. It has its fun moments, it has its character moments, and it has Baloo. Not the best of plots, but it is driven by a very human story. A really good time to spend with the families/friends. The other Jungle Book film (by Warner Bros) coming out in 2018 will have to up their game if they are to match this film at all.