When we first heard that Disney was going to do a live action remake of The Jungle Book and Bill Murray was going to star as Baloo, responses were mixed. Some seemed happy to see a film where Murray and Christopher Walken voiced talking animals while others were a little reluctant to see Phil Harris get replaced as THE Baloo. That was all before the D23 expo and The Jungle Book’s great showing at the event. There they revealed a trailer (which we won’t see, but has been described elsewhere) and showed off their poster:
Mashable and many others were at the event, where Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o, Jon Favreau, and Neel Sethi who plays Mowgli in the film. But it’s the voice cast that seemed to garner the most praise, especially Murray:
We saw and heard the ferocious tiger Shere Khan (voiced by Idris Elba); Ben Kingsley as the father-figure panther Bagheera; Scarlett Johansson as the giant python Kaa; and Christopher Walken as the towering orangutan King Louie. Walken was nearly the best thing about it, but …
No one brought the cheers quite like Bill Murray as Baloo, the benevolent bear.
From the moment they saw the bear’s nose sniffing through the bars of a cage, the crowd knew it was coming — and as soon as they heard that reassuring, everything-is-cool voice, they went wild. Murray and Baloo couldn’t be more perfectly matched, that easy mix of insouciance and subtle swagger.
Then the trailer featured Murray singing the classic song “The Bare Necessities” and people apparently lost it. All I know is it better be a step up from Garfield or I’m not going to be impressed. Not to mention it has some big shoes to fill. Still, should be interesting to hear.