Los Angeles: A U/A certificate to Disney’s “The Jungle Book” has raised several eyebrows in India, but the movie’s director Jon Favreau says that while the story is woven with a splash of dark tones, he has ensured that it is child-friendly.
The film, which stars Indian-American actor Neel Sethi, will release in India on Friday, a week before it releases in the US. The movie has also been given a PG (under parental guidance) certification in the US, and India’s Central Board of Film Certification chief Pahlaj Nihalani gave the film a U/A certificate saying that it is scary.
When an IANS correspondent, who had met Favreau on a special visit earlier this year, had asked the filmmaker about infusing shades of darkness in the storyline, he commented that “the bad guy has to bad”.
“Yes, there are dark tones to the film. A lot of clues came from looking at how Walt Disney would do it, especially with his early animation. It was not made for kids. We are trying to show it something like that.
“I am a dad of three kids and I want to make sure that it is something that my kids would be comfortable in seeing,” said Favreau.
The director added “but that doesn’t mean you can’t scare them sometimes a little bit. You know what I mean …the bad guy has to bad”.
Built on the structure of Rudyard Kipling’s timeless classic and the power of the 1967 animation film, Favreau has re-imagined the world of an enchanting Indian jungle for “The Jungle Book”.
It showcases Mowgli’s journey of self-discovery when he is forced to abandon his home in the forest, and all the creatures he meets during his journey.
The “Iron Man” fame director also shared: “Death is a real thing in Disney movies, but to have everything dark doesn’t mean that you cannot have humour and emotions.
“What I remember most from ‘Jungle Book’ is music, humour but most importantly the emotional connection between characters and that was the part I wanted to make sure that we include.”
The film is supported by a stellar cast including Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson and Christopher Walken. And its Hindi dubbed version for the Indian audience, is voiced by a string of popular Bollywood stars, including names like Priyanka Chopra and Irrfan Khan.