Story

The Jungle Book is a movie based on the short stories by Rudyard Kipling, as well as the Disney animated classic of the same title. It features a mixture of live action and CGI. The movie follows Mowgli (Neel Sethi), an orphan boy who is raised in the jungle by a pack of animals. Although most of the animals treat Mowgli as one of their own, a tiger named Shere Khan (Idris Elba) does not share their view. Having been hurt and scarred by humans in the past, Shere wants to seek revenge by destroying Mowgli.

Shere tries repeatedly to hurt the young boy, so Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) and Raksha (Lupita Nyong’O) decide that Mowgli must be taken to a human village in order to protect him and ensure his safety. Mowgli sets out on a journey of self-discovery as a result, and attempts to evade Shere Khan’s attacks as he proceeds along the wild path to human civilisation. He meets many other animals along the way – some of them help him but others have their own malicious intentions. 

Themes

Family and friendship; good versus evil; the animal kingdom; revenge

Violence

The Jungle Book contains some mild threat and violence. For example:

  • There are some scenes where a young boy is chased by wild animals including a black panther. It is shown that the two are in fact friends, and the animal is teaching the boy that ‘if you can’t run with the pack, one day you’ll be someone’s dinner’. 
  • There are scenes where animals fight – they bite and scratch, but no blood is shown.
  • A young boy is forced to jump off the edge of a cliff in order to escape from an aggressive tiger that is chasing him. 

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
The Jungle Book has many scenes that could scare or disturb children under the age of five. Some of the animals look quite scary, and there are several animal fights and chase sequences. Shere Khan is a scary character. There is no graphic content or blood shown. 

From 5-8
Children in this age group may also find scenes of scary animals and fights and chases disturbing.

From 8-13
Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Over 13
Nothing of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

None of concern

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Jungle Book is the latest version of an inspiring story based on the work of Rudyard Kipling. The realistic scenes of wild animals might be too scary for children under 8 years and we recommend parental guidance for children aged 8-10 years.

The movie talks about the strength of family and friendship bonds. But family is presented as a collection of individuals who want to protect and nurture each other, not necessarily a biological family. Audiences go on an adventure where they must determine, alongside Mowgli, who is worth trusting and who is not. The movie demonstrates the consequences of revenge-seeking behaviour, with Shere remaining alone and unhappy at the end.