AVClub: Special effects take pride of place in Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book, an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s Mowgli stories that is as technically accomplished as it is thinly conceived. A paean to the harmony of nature created almost entirely in digital space, without a single real animal, landscape, or tree, Favreau’s fantasy is hampered by a talent-show moppet Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi) and by difficulties of translation; produced as a remake of Disney’s popular animated musical, it often struggles to make a place of its own amid the callbacks. (“The Bare Necessities,” the earlier film’s best-known song, gets a tossed-off sequence.) Yet as a display of effects know-how, it has undeniable allure. Talking animals have never looked so good, which is a bigger feat than it sounds.