Posted on Internet Movie Database regarding the 2016 live-action Disney film of The Jungle Book.
It is not absolutely necessary to see the original Disney version of The Jungle Book or read the book before seeing the new live action film, but I would recommend both. Below is a comparison review I wrote for my sister who has never seen either for reasons which are mentioned. I never saw the original movie in its entirety until 1998 when our other sister had a VHS tape of it for her kids. A couple of minor spoilers for those who have seen the old movie and want to be surprised by the new one.
Mom violently objected to the 1967 Disney cartoon as an insult to Kipling's noble characters, an abomination of his poetic prose, and an outrage to the dignity of great literature. In both films she seems to have objected most to the famous King Louie sequence with the song "I Wan'na Be Like You" but it was the whole tone and attitude of the animated film, with the characters dancing around and acting silly pretty much all through--for instance, Baloo the Bear calling Bagheera the panther "Baggy-baby" and such, she found absolutely appalling.
The new film was a genius work--by far the best CGI I've ever seen--which walked a fine line between adapting the Kipling classic and remaking the 1967 animation. The scriptwriters did refer back to the book rather than simply copying the cartoon in live action, but left in enough of the best elements of the cartoon for it to be a genuine remake and not an entirely new movie based on the same material. I found the result quite brilliant. My only quibble with the entire film worth mentioning was the use of American slang terms such as "okay" and "cool," apparently in an attempt to make it more relatable to contemporary young people. As for how young, it might be inappropriate for children under ten but would depend on the individual child.
Naturally, people would expect the most famous and memorable songs from the original to be included and these did not disappoint. All I remembered was the original had more songs than the remake but could not name them all so here is a rundown from the original soundtrack noting what I remember from viewing the film once eighteen years ago and hearing the songs on a few other occasions.
All songs written and composed by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, except where noted.
1. "Trust in Me" Character: Kaa the Python. Original actor: Sterling Holloway, who also voiced Winnie-the-Pooh. New actor: Scarlett Johansson.
This sequence with the song I recalled well from the original. In the book and cartoon, the python is a male, in the live action movie, female. Like the rest of the live action movie, this sequence is much darker and more sinister than in the cartoon. The song itself appears only during the closing titles, not in the film.
2. "Colonel Hathi's March" Characters: Elephant herd. Original actors: J. Pat O'Malley and Verna Felton, chorus ("pachyderm chorus").
To me this was one of the most notable differences--no voice credits for the elephants as they did not speak! The herd of elephants including the cute baby do appear, but moving with tremendous dignity, very different than the lighthearted march in the cartoon.
3. "The Bare Necessities" Composer: Terry Gilkyson. Original actors: Phil Harris and Bruce Reitherman.
By far the most famous song from The Jungle Book, and I found the live action version very appropriate and delightfully done.
4. "I Wan'na Be like You" Characters: King Louie, leader of the monkeys. Original actors: Louis Prima and Phil Harris.
Second most famous song in the film, and again a huge change from the cartoon. The lightness of the music as Mowgli enters the foreboding gloom of the ancient temple would be surprising to anyone not aware that this song was coming up but amusing to those who do. In the temple in the live action movie, as in the book, are a lot of metal treasures. Mowgli picks up a cowbell, an in joke noticed by only certain people--Christopher Walken, who voiced King Louie, was in some Saturday Night Live sketch involving a cowbell which I now gotta look up. In the cartoon King Louie was an orangutan which don't live in India, in the live action he was a Gigantopithicus, which are extinct and even when they existed probably weren't that big; take your choice of which is sillier. I don't know what size the largest ape living in India is, but obviously not big enough for Disney!
Changes in the lyrics were noticeable, and another version played during the closing credits which may have been closer to the original, but I knew the original only well enough to note that there were differences, not to be able to say word for word what those were without consulting both sets of lyrics.
5. "Colonel Hathi's March (reprise)" J. Pat O' Malley, Verna Felton and chorus.
As in the original, the elephants appear several times.
6. "That's What Friends Are For (The Vulture Song)" J. Pat O'Malley, Chad Stuart, Lord Tim Hudson, Leo De Lyon, Bruce Reitherman, and Bill Lee.
This song and sequence I did not recall at all. The only reason I even remembered there were vultures in the cartoon is that this was the last animated feature with which Walt Disney had direct involvement and there was a story about him acting out the movements of the vultures. The live action movie does show vultures, which only devour carrion. No talking or barbershop quartet singing vultures. I checked the song on YouTube to confirm it was not the famous "That's What Friends Are For" composed by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager and covered by everybody.
7. "My Own Home" Character: Human girl. Original actress: Darlene Carr.
I recalled this sequence, from the end of the cartoon, quite well. It does not appear in the live action movie at all and everyone who remarked on this can only surmise this scene is being saved for the sequel.
8. "The Bare Necessities (reprise)" Composer: Terry Gilkyson. Original actors: Phil Harris and Sebastian Cabot.
As for other music in the movie it was pretty standard action movie stuff. It might have been nice to hear either genuine Indian, or Indian-influenced, western music but perhaps they felt it wouldn't go. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone.