During my trip to Los Angeles, we had the opportunity to get a deeper look into Disney’s The Jungle Book, which is on Digital HD today and DVD/Blu-Ray August 30. As an extra special treat, we interviewed The Jungle Book‘s Producer Brigham Taylor and Visual Effect Supervisor Rob Legato to get some insights as to their experience making the film.
Disclosure: I was invited on a press trip for Disney Entertainment. My travel and accommodations were provided by Disney. All opinions are my own unless noted otherwise. No further compensation was received.
Call me weird but I’ve always absolutely loved watching the Bonus features on a Blu-Ray disc. I admire the work and production that goes into making a film and to sit back and watch how the magic came together is just mind-blowing to me. It’s even better when I can see it then, hear it first hand from the filmmakers themselves. I was over the moon excited to speak to the producer and visual supervisor for The Jungle Book because if you’ve seen the film then you know that the visuals are breathtaking.
Rob and Brigham are just two of over 2,000 people that worked on the film over the course of 2 1/2 years. That’s a lot of crew including musicians, visual effect, actors, set designers, puppeteers, etc. Can you imagine having to handle that?
There’s a reason why this re-telling of a boy, Mowgli, in the woods and his uncommon friends, Bagheera and Baloo, enchanted audiences worldwide, coming in at $949 million at the global box office to date. So how did it all come together?
Since Neel Sethi (Mowgli) had never acted before Disney wanted to make sure they got the right expression and feeling from him so they didn’t use a tennis ball like typically you do in a CGI film.
I thought it was a brilliant idea that you have somebody that will capture his imagination with small little things, you just take, put little knuckles, eyeballs on them, and they did that and they would, you know, adlib a couple of things that were not in the movie but his reaction would be of that is in the movie.The Jungle Book
The puppeteers also brought a human element performance onstage. These guys were very used to working that way but also were just great at feeding these lines and giving the performances so that was vital, something that Jon paid a lot of attention to because he knew how important Neel’s performance was. – Brigham Taylor on the puppeteer work for The Jungle Book
I think we can all tell that boundaries were pushed with this film. The animals look so extremely lifelike and real. We asked if there was anything that they couldn’t do that they wanted to.
The cool thing is there isn’t anything that we wanted to do that we couldn’t do technically. There was a discussion about well I’d rather not do something if we can’t do it well, and it turns out that everything, you know, the only restrictions were self-imposed. There was nothing to my recollection that we set out to do that we didn’t accomplish and that was really neat. – Brigham Taylor on visuals of the film
I think we can all agree that visually the film was stunning but we cannot forget about the original animated version. No one working on the film wanted to forget that either so they came up with a brilliant idea.
As a sort of homage to Disney, the very opening piece which was there is a very slick animated CGI opening to all Disney movies now and they take advantage of everything, and there is something very charming about the brilliant idea that they had with the multiplane camera and all that, so how do we subtly create a homage that makes you feel comfortable, like you’re watching an old Disney film. Rob Legato on the camera work in The Jungle Book
So as we all wait for the Blu-Ray/DVD to be released on the 30th, it makes you wonder just how they decide on what to include for all of us.
The trick is you try to capture everything. Seasoned filmmakers like we had on this film, Jon included, brought in a crew very early on because we felt this was going to be an interesting process and project. We were capturing stuff at every key point throughout so that we would have options and you kind of get it all. Brigham Taylor on the bonus material in The Jungle Book
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