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Jungle Book 2016: Did they get the habitats right?

Discussion in 'Zoo Cafe' started by DavidBrown, 15 May 2016.

  1. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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    I finally saw the 2016 live action Jungle Book and enjoyed it as a fun movie and amazing technical achievement.

    I was wondering if they managed to get the jungle and savanna habitats mostly correct in terms of look, feel, plant composition, etc. Does anyone who has been to the habitats where these animals live have an opinion about this?

    Do habitats like the ones in the movie exist that one can visit in protected nature areas?

    Obviously there were several liberties taken with the animal characters like turning the "sloth bear" Baloo into a brown bear, female Asian elephants with tusks, size differences (e.g., giant python), etc.
     
  2. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    In short - very wrong.

    Original Jungle Book is set in Seoni (Seeonee) area in central India, around today Pench Tiger Reserve. The habitat there is mostly dry forest, that is a 'jungle' in Indian meaning of the word (thicket, any wild area). This is reflected in book's stories, for example the chapter about the extreme drought which dries all the waters except the main river. There are no sky-high cliffs and so on.

    The movie also has animals living in different parts of India, like Western Ghats (lion-tailed macaques) or Assam (golden langurs, indian rhinos).

    Google 'Pench Tiger reserve' for pictures of a real setting of Kipling stories.

    To sum up, 'Jungle Book' movie is as good as if Disney Pocahontas showed polar bears, mountain goats, redwoods, geysers and saguaro deserts, because they all exist in America. ;)
     
  3. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the interesting and informative response, Jurek. And for the funny and no doubt accurate analogy.
     
  4. Swampy

    Swampy Well-Known Member

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    Correct me if i'm wrong, but i'm sure Baloo is referred to as a brown bear in the original Kipling story?
     
  5. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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    That may well be, but in the movie he specifically is referred to as a sloth bear.
     
  6. Loxodonta Cobra

    Loxodonta Cobra Well-Known Member

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    Yes he is. In-fact throughout the book, Baloo is described as the "Sleepy Brown Bear". However Robert Armitage Sterndale who was the man Rudyard Kipling got most of his knowledge about the animals of India from, used "Bhalu" (The hindi word for bear, and Baloo's namesake) to describe several different species of bears. Baloo's diet which in the book and the new movie is mostly honey, would be much closer to a sun, black, or even brown bear compared to the insectivorous sloth bear that naturally occurs Madhya Pradesh.
     
  7. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    Pocahontas had a number of wildlife/geography inaccuracies too, though admittedly not so egregious, ha ha. Side note, that makes me wonder if there are a lot of movies made outside of the US but taking place in the US that make similar errors.
     
  8. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Did you see "Tiger: spy in the jungle"? It is chronicle of a tigress and four cubs filmed in Pench National Park. One of best documentaries ever, because they filmed in between real wild tigers, sloth bears, pangolins etc with robotic cameras and cameras carried by trained elephants. Scenes at waterhole are like Jungle Book in real life. Narrated by David Attenborough. I think it is at Youtube.