Oscar Watch: The Jungle Book

Disney has been on a binge remaking their animated classics as of late with 2014’s Maleficent and 2015’s Cinderella. Both were huge hits. This looks to extend to 2016 when Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book opens Friday.

That this remake of the 1967 animated tale and Rudyard Kipling’s written works is headed for box office domination isn’t so surprising. What is a bit surprising is the rapturous critical reaction Jungle has garnered. It sits at 91% on Rotten Tomatoes at press time.

This begs the question: could The Jungle Book swing its way into the hearts of Oscar voters? It’s only April, but the overall gushing reaction can’t hurt. Obviously we’re early in the Academy season to say the least. And truth be told, Book probably won’t find itself among the five to ten pics recognized.

Where might it get more attention for a gold statue nod? Well, critics have been over the moon on its visual effects. While plenty more summer blockbusters and some fall releases will be strong contenders in that race, early Jungle notices could make it hard to ignore.

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