The Jungle book, remakes and never forgetting the first time

baloo-and-mowgli

We had been queuing for what felt like hours to a  six year old.

We’d talked about taking me to the ‘pictures’ for a while and finally it was happening.

I held his hand so tight. I was buzzing with excitement.

I didn’t know what I was walking into. I didn’t know the impact it would have.

Doors opened, tickets were punched and the combined smell of fresh and old popcorn wafted past my nose. We sat down the lights dimmed and it started.

A young boy abandoned, raised by wolves, hunted by a tiger and told all about life’s necessities by a singing bear.

I came out enraptured by what I’d seen and asked him immediately when we could go again.

My Dad took me to my first film at the Strand cinema (now Arts Centre) in East Belfast back in the mid eighties and I’ve loved the cinema experience ever since. I hold that memory closely and dearly.*

This weekend sees the release of Jon Favereau’s interpretation of the Kipling/Disney classic and often remakes of films can be questioned by bloggers/critics like myself.

  • Why do we need this?
  • Why can’t Hollywood give us more original output?
  • A perfectly good jungle book already exists etc.

I’m not against remakes completely for one simple reason.

This weekend somewhere a six year old boy will hold his Dad’s hand and walk into his first cinema experience.

He won’t see the visible pencil lines of those animated Disney classics, just clear, polished, computer enhanced ingenuity.

He probably won’t have to queue outside for long. Online booking and other innovations have solved that ‘problem’.

All being well though he will see something amazing.

Something he remembers for a long time.

Something he falls in love with.

Something that makes him ask ‘when can we go again?’

 

*My Dad has since confessed that our cinema trips were a chance for him to spend time with me but also a great opportunity to catch up on some sleep following night shifts.

 

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