D23 Rollout of ‘Jungle Book’ Features High Tech and a Classic Song

Disney rolled out the live-action remake of the animated classic “Jungle Book” at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, Calif. on Saturday morning. Sean Bailey, president of production for Disney, called the film “one of the most technologically advanced movies ever made.”

Director Jon Favreau then took the D23 stage and talked about the unique production process on the remake of the 1967 film, saying the 21st century version was first animated and then shot in live action, before the two versions were melded together.

But the emotional high point of the presentation for 7,500 fans at the fan expo came with the first look at footage from the film and, particularly, Bill Murray’s turn as Baloo the Bear. The crowd at the Anaheim Convention Center whooped with delight as the Murray character broke into “Bear Necessities” as he taught Mowgli what a song is.

Murray was not present, but Neel Sethi, the newcomer who plays Mowgli, charmed the crowd. Setti said he had never been to Disneyland or the Expo. “It was just, like, so fun, so overwhelming,” he said of making the film. “I can’t even talk about it, it was so crazy.”

Also appearing onstage with Favreau and Bailey were Ben Kingsley, who plays Bagheera and Lupita Nyong’o, who plays Raksha, Mowgli’s adoptive mother wolf.

All of the panelists talked about the thrill and the responsibility of remaking the film based on Rudyard Kipling’s book. “We know what we are taking on when we take on these well-known and well-loved stories,” said Bailey. “We don’t take this responsibility lightly.”

A new poster (below) for the pic was also unveiled.

Jungle Book” opens April 15, 2016.

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