Bill Murray will be the voice of Baloo in ‘The Jungle Book’

bill murray baloo disney

bill-murray-baloo-disneyNow here’s a decently good way to get me a bit more excited about this project. Up until now, I can’t say I cared much about Jon Favreau‘s upcoming live action remake of The Jungle Book. I like Favreau’s films, but this wasn’t a flick I was too interested in seeing, despite the decent voice cast being assembled. Well, now that we know that Bill Murray will be playing Baloo the Bear, my interest has been a bit piqued. I still think it’s on the unnecessary side, but Murray’s about as good a choice for this part as it gets. The movie comes out next year, so it’s still got a ways to go, but you can see more about the flick’s casting below. The Jungle Book is coming, one way or another, so hopefully Murray will be a highlight.

Here’s the story from Variety:

Bill Murray has joined the cast of Disney’s “The Jungle Book” as the voice of Baloo the Bear.

Previously announced cast include Christopher Walken as King Louie, Giancarlo Esposito as Akela, Ben Kingsley and Lupita Nyong’o as Bagheera and Raksha, respectively; Idris Elba as Shere Khan; Scarlett Johansson as Kaa; and newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli.

“The Jungle Book” will combine live-action and animation with Jon Favreau directing from a script by Justin Marks. The film will be released in 3D and open on Oct. 9, 2015.

In Rudyard Kipling’s original book, Baloo and the panther Bagheera teach the law of the jungle to the boy Mowgli — and save him from Shere Khan the tiger.

Baloo’s character was popularized in Disney’s animated 1967 cartoon, thanks to the song “The Bare Necessities,” sung by Phil Harris.

Disney announced Murray’s casting Friday, a few hours after Warner Bros. announced that it had dated its rival project “Jungle Book: Origins” for Oct. 21, 2016. Kipling’s book is in the public domain.

Thoughts? Discuss in the comments!

What do you think?

393 points
Upvote Downvote

Written by Joey Magidson

When he’s not obsessing over new Oscar predictions on a weekly basis, Joey is seeing between 300 and 350 movies a year. He views the best in order to properly analyze the awards race/season each year, but he also watches the worst for reasons he mostly sums up as "so you all don't have to". In his spare time, you can usually find him complaining about the Jets or the Mets. Still, he lives and dies by film. Joey's a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Anthony Moseley

Just hearing Bill Murray sing “The Bare Necessities” will make this completely worth seeing.


Studio Ghibli Logo Totoro

Studio Ghibli may be on the verge of shutting down

What If

What If (★★★½)