Jungle Music

Today I thought I would use my abilities to indulge my secondary interest in filmmaking, which is film music. I enjoy film music so much that there is a whole category for it here on the ol’ blog.

I saw Disney’s new version of The Jungle Book on its opening weekend three weeks ago and was completely mesmerized. It has to be a pretty tough gig to take a beloved Disney animated feature, and create a new version of it that is live action, er, animated as well. Director Jon Favreau did a fantastic job of making something old new again not only with the story, but with the eye-popping visuals.

Aiding the visuals in a huge way was the music by veteran composer John Debney. The original Jungle Book was charming in large part because of the music that aided the storytellers. John skillfully wrote a beautiful jungle score of his own that immediately captures your attention, and then audibly gives the audience a nostalgic thrill by weaving in some of the well-loved songs from the original movie. It was enchanting.

It struck me that this was the fourth feature film collaboration between director and composer. Jon Favreau and John Debney first worked together on 2003’s Elf (a personal favorite Christmas movie), 2005’s Zathura, Iron Man 2 in 2010, and now The Jungle Book. Each outing has proven that they make beautiful music together.

I was so enamored with their latest collaboration that I felt compelled to get it down on paper. Ironically, I celebrate their digital masterpiece by using the traditional art tools of watercolor, gouache, and colored pencils. May I present to you, The Two Jons/Johns:


Jon Favreau as King Louie dancing in the jungle with frequent collaborator John Debney as Baloo.
Jon Favreau as King Louie dancing in the jungle with frequent musical collaborator John Debney as Baloo.


I for one can’t wait to see what their next project together will yield, but you can be sure it will be a swingin’ good time!

Oh, by the way, this is the second time I have illustrated John Debney. The first time was when he worked on one of Jon Favreau’s earlier films Iron Man 2. If you’d like to see that painting, CLICK HERE!