The recently rebooted Disney’s The Jungle Book takes audiences on an amazing journey through the jungle along side talking animals and breath taking visuals. Amazingly, almost everything we see surrounding Mowgli isn’t real. From the talking animals to the jungles and scenery, just about everything you see on the big screen isn’t real.
We we’re completely blown away to learn just how many digital effects were used in the making of this film. Check out a quick overview of some of the amazing tricks and behind the scenes magic that went into making The Jungle Book one of our new favorite Disney films!
Other than the adorable Mowgli and the ground he’s standing / climbing / sitting on, there isn’t much that’s real about this new wild movie. Filming of The Jungle book relied heavily on the masterful art of CGI, and it’s pulled off remarkably well. Each animal is so perfectly realistic and detailed it’s hard to believe they aren’t real or some clever camera trick with trained or domesticated creatures.
Bringing the animals to life inside the world of the film wasn’t an easy task. It would be difficult for the actor portraying Mowgli to interact with invisible animals that weren’t there or couldn’t be touched so the team reached out to the Jim Henson Creature shop. Life sized doubles for each animal’s head were built and then puppeteered on set to give a realism for every scene.
Almost every scene was filmed in front of giant blue screens, and through the wonders of technology the crew was able to watch and track Mowgli as he interacted with the roughly constructed digital sets. Puppeteers traveled along the blue screened set to provide Neel Sethi (Mowgli) with a reference point to look and talk to.
In large crowd scenes, teams of skilled puppeteers would move giant animal cut outs and stand ins to give Mowgli a real feeling of a crowded set. All the large scenes were perfectly timed and rehearsed with preliminary animation and art work, integrating Mowgli into an already mostly real and rendered world.
If you’re a member of D23, head over to the official site for more details on how The Jungle Book keeps Walt’s legacy of innovation alive!
Check out this great behind the scenes video compilation to see some of the tricky camera work in action!