When we talk about people, especially celebrities, taking selfies with wild animals, it’s usually not a good thing. Lately, it seems there is a new report each week of people putting animals in danger, or even causing their death, all for five minutes of fame and a shot of oneself with an exotic animal. However, one group of celebrities has found a new way to take photos with wild animals, and it’s totally upping the selfie game.

In Disney’s promotional ads for the upcoming film, “The Jungle Book,” the cast, including Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken, Giancarlo Esposito, and Sir Ben Kingsley, posed with their animal casting partners – who are all computer generated. The photos look just like the real deal, but in fact, all of the film’s scenes were shot in downtown L.A. using computer generated imagery (CGI). With this technology, Hollywood stars can headline in movies with some of the most incredible species on Earth – without having to take them from the wild or subjecting them to cruel treatment, and that’s an awesome thing. Just look at how real they look!


Lupita Nyong’o poses with her character Raksha, the mother wolf who takes young Mowgli in to raise him as her own.

Scarlett Johansson plays Kaa, the sly python.

Christopher Walken plays King Louie, who desperately wants to learn how to become more human. 



With all of the incredible technology we have at our fingertips, there is no reason at all to subject animals to such treatment all for entertainment. CGI animation is amazingly realistic and with it, filmmakers can create some of the most awe-inspiring visuals, without any suffering. For example, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” wowed movie-goers without using any live animals. Since the film brought in $100 million during opening weekend in the U.S. alone, we think audiences and producers would agree that live animals in films just aren’t necessary.

Director Jon Favreau’s move to use completely CGI animation is a trend we hope will continue in films. After all, not only are animals in the entertainment industry taken from the wild where they belong, they are also subject to cruel forms of training. Considering “The Jungle Book,” highlights the friendship between a boy and his animal family, we’re thrilled to see that no actual four-legged friends were harmed in its making.


All image source: Disney