We took our kids to see the new Jungle Book Movie this past weekend. On one hand I was excited because the previews looked amazing, so I knew visually it would be a great movie, but I was not sure it would have the same feel as the original that I loved so much! You can get a copy of the original Disney version or rent it to watch at home, if you want to watch it before you see the new one.
It definitely lived up to my expectations visually as it was truly stunning to watch, but it exceeded my expectations with its message. I missed some of the music from Disney’s original version, the iconic songs were there, but in shorter muted versions. Don’t miss the extended version of “I Wanna Be Like You” that Christopher Walken does as the credits roll… it’s worth the movie price!
I also appreciated the elements from the original book by Kipling that were added. Although, it stuck really close to the original storyline, I felt this version definitely highlighted some of the main themes that run through the movie. I walked away with some powerful parenting lessons, which I wasn’t expecting! I’ll list them in a general way as to not spoil anything for those of you who have yet to see the movie.
If you’ve seen the movie, then click the plus sign for more…
1. It takes a Village... there's strength in numbers!
Bagheera the black panther decided early on to enlist a pack of wolves to help raise Mowgli. Many times throughout the film, you see the idea of “it takes a village to raise a child” play out. As Mowgli is in danger throughout the movie, there are many animals that jump in to protect and guide him along the way.
Isn’t this so true in our own parenting? We need other adults in our children’s lives to help protect and guide them along their paths. This is why involvement on teams with good coaches or in a children’s ministry, youth group or a program such as Young Life is so important for our kids. They need other Godly influences in their lives beyond their parents. Seek out ways that you can find other adults to speak into the lives of your kids. Ask God to show you some people in your circle that you can ask to pour into your kids’ in certain areas.
2. His Power comes in our Weakness
There is a powerful moment in the movie when Mowgli finally stands up to Shere Khan & tells him “I’m not afraid of you.” I started to cry after he said that because I thought… that’s true strength when you can boldly stand up to your enemy. It reminded me that I have to face my fears head on and not let Satan get the best of me. It is only by drawing our power from the Holy Spirit that we can do anything good… especially raise children. This parenting thing is hard! Many days we feel weak, but that’s when we have to call on Him for our strength.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – II Corinthians 12:9
3. Nurture Your Child's Gifts... don't discourage them
Whoa, this one was convicting for me….
Mowgli brings his “human” gifts and talents into the jungle world. Bagheera & Raksha, his “jungle parents”, tend to discourage him from using those gifts to help others. Later in the movie, Mowgli uses one of his “human” creations to help lift a baby elephant out of danger. It was a great reminder to me that I shouldn’t discourage my children as they see ways to serve others with their gifts and talents.
We have great power as parents to sway what our children believe about themselves & their abilities. As they see ways to use their gifts to serve others, let us not be a hinderance, but let’s strive to spur them on to use those gifts for good.
4. It's important for kids to see us help others
Just as many of Mowgli’s jungle mentors discouraged his gifts, they also discouraged him from hanging out with certain animals, namely the elephants. They were “dangerous”, they were “messy”, they are “not like us”, so Mowgli was told to stay away. Mowgli didn’t listen and as I said earlier he helped the elephants in their time of need. He had a healthy appreciation for staying away from dangerous situations, but Mowgli loved those elephants as Jesus would have loved them. It was a beautiful picture! At the end of the movie, the elephants returned the love and mercy shown to them, when they diverted the river to put out the fire that Mowgli had caused.
It can be easy for us as parents to overlook those who seem “messy” or “not like us”. When we do this, we give our kids the impression that those who are “messy” or “not like us” aren’t worthy of our love, mercy and kindness. We do it without even meaning to as we rush through our days. I encourage you to slow down and create margin to look people in the eye, so you can truly see when they are in need. As our kids see us help others in need, it’s a powerful lesson for them to see us love like Jesus.
5. Even despite our best efforts, we can't protect our kids from evil.
Despite the best efforts of Bagheera, Raksha, & Baloo, they couldn’t keep Mowgli from encountering evil & danger. Mowgli faced envy, jealousy, physical threat, evil and more through his encounters with Shere Khan, Kaa & King Louie. But I truly believe as “jungle parents” they did one thing very right!
They equipped Mowgli with the tools to protect himself. That is our job as parents, right? We can’t always be there when they encounter evil, so our best method is to equip them with wisdom.
One of the best tools we can give them is the Armor of God!
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” – Ephesians 6:10:18
Check out this post on arming your children to conquer fears at bedtime.
I think this is a great movie for you to see with your kids… I will say that it might be a little too intense or scary for the under 8 crowd. Check out this Mom’s Movie Minute, it might help you decide if your child can handle it.
If you’ve already seen the movie and can’t wait to own it, you can pre-order your digital copy of The Jungle Book today on FandangoNOW or pre-order a physical copy on Amazon.
If you haven’t seen it yet, The Jungle Book is out NOW. Purchase your tickets in advance from Fandango before you go.
Have you seen the new Jungle book? If so what did you think? Share in the comments below!
Founder of The Praying Mom
This website was birthed out of Christy's passion to see women become intentional in their lives. She is passionate about helping moms discover their purpose in their homes, churches, communities & world! Follow more of her journey HERE