It seems like a lot of you went to see The Jungle Book this weekend. Good decision.

My kids were quite taken with it, and when they got to my house on Saturday, they found a copy of The Art Of The Jungle Book on my coffee table. Like I was at his age, Toshi is smitten with behind-the-scenes books and magazines about movies. Insight Editions is one of the companies that consistently produces beautiful, well-written books about the production process. There’s nothing like having an oversized book, allowing you to really take in a piece of production art. And with a film like this, you’re talking about page after page of lush beautiful imagery.

Every time I’ve ever visited a set, and specifically on big-canvass giant-budget studio fantasy movies, one of the best parts of the day is the time I spend in the art department. I love production art. I love looking at the evolution of an idea from the first pass to the final three-dimensional object or character in the film. I know for a fact that Jon Favreau loves that part of the process, too, having spoken to him at length on various sets over the years, and before he started work on The Jungle Book, he was one of the many filmmakers who visited the set of Avatar and watched what it was that James Cameron was doing. Say what you will about the movie, but the way Cameron made that film changed the way people are making movies in general, and he’ll push things forward again on the sequels. That’s just the nature of Cameron and how he does things.

Insight Editions sent us over a few splash pages from the book for you to enjoy, and if you saw the film this weekend, you’ll appreciate how well the final images play with color and texture, and how close they come to the concepts originally presented.

Pages 12-13: Production art depicts Mowgli at play with the monkeys on the branches of one of the jungle's oldest trees.

Pages 14-15: Mowgli and Baloo make their trek across the lush Indian landscape.

Pages 44-45: Mowgli can climb trees and swing from vines with ease, as depicted in this concept illustration.

This is also one of those times where I would genuinely recommend the 3D version of a film over the 2D because it’s such a key piece of Favreau’s tool kit. He knew what he was doing, and it’s a really beautiful, immersive experience as a result.

Here’s the cover of the book.

You can see The Jungle Book in theaters now and find The Art Of The Jungle Book in stores and online.

A respected critic and commentator for fifteen years, Drew McWeeny helped create the online film community as "Moriarty" at Ain't It Cool News, and now proudly leads two budding Film Nerds in their ongoing movie education.