Netflix and Andy Serkis try to outdo Disney in first trailer for The Jungle Book


It’s not really fair to compare a film to something as good as Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book, but obviously, Mowgli, the new film from director Andy Serkis, is going to draw them. The two actually started production around the same time, but this one took a bit longer to make. It’s not clear why, since from the first trailer it looks nowhere near as good, which is an issue since the Disney version is not only still fresh enough in people’s minds, but was on Netflix itself for a good chunk of time.

Netflix is touting this as a reimagining of the story, but it sure doesn’t look like it. In fact, it looks like a high-end, direct-to-video knock-off of Disney’s technologically stunning film. Honestly, this CGI is not up to snuff at all so having the greatest motion caption actor working on it doesn’t really give it all that much of a boon. The trailer also feels replete with cliches, something one would think a reimagining would avoid as much as possible.

Maybe this is some attempt to fill in blank spots by Netflix once Disney movies leave the service since the streaming company scooped it up from WB. That actually makes some sense, but what doesn’t is that the movie is getting a theatrical release, which is strange considering Netflix is only doing that for films it thinks are award contenders. Maybe they’re trying to net some special effects awards, but again, the effects don’t look that special. 

Whatever the reason for that, the film will debut in LA, New York, San Francisco, and London on November 29 before coming to Netflix on December 7.

Matthew Razak
Matthew Razak is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Flixist. He has worked as a critic for more than a decade, reviewing and talking about movies, TV shows, and videogames. He will talk your ear off about James Bond movies, Doctor Who, Zelda, and Star Trek.