If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you … welcome to Hollywood, where the ego trips are long, the therapist’s couch is never empty, and nobody takes responsibility for anything, unless it leads to box office glory, in which case people will cut their grandmothers’ throats for a producing credit. Director Jon Favreau has seen the highs and lows of the industry, from his indie breakout Swingers to Marvel smash hit Iron Man to horrific dud Cowboys & Aliens, and at this point it’s safe to say Favreau probably has a jaundiced view of Tinseltown. But even he must be happy that before his new movie The Jungle Book opens in theaters, the film is already gaining praise, and has earned recognition as a movie about animals that does no harm to animals whatsoever.
Favreau’s version of Rudyard Kipling’s famous story of a boy raised in the wild contains no actual animals at all. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is giving the Innovation in Film Award to Favreau “for making the compassionate decision to use stunning cruelty-free CGI technology to bring to life a jungle full of realistic animals in The Jungle Book.” The CGI creations are voiced by the likes of Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, and Bill Murray. The Jungle Book brings its anthropomorphic animals to the screen on April 15.