Disney’s 'The Jungle Book' resurrects giant extinct ape | Science News

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Disney’s 'The Jungle Book' resurrects giant extinct ape

In remake, King Louie character is a Gigantopithecus, not an orangutan

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7:00am, April 3, 2016
Gigantopithecus in The Jungle Book

GREAT APE  In Disney's new The Jungle Book, King Louie is a Gigantopithecus, an ancient relative of orangutans.

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In the 1967 animated Disney film The Jungle Book, the feral boy Mowgli encounters a jazz-singing orangutan named King Louie, who implores Mowgli to teach him the secret of fire. King Louie presented a challenge for the producers of Disney’s live-action, CGI-enhanced remake of the film, opening April 15. “We had this notion that we would be as authentic as we could be to the region,” says producer Brigham Taylor. The problem: Orangutans are not native to India.

In fact, King Louie himself is not native to Rudyard Kipling’s original stories. But instead of scrapping the character, the filmmakers got creative. While researching India’s wildlife, the film’s art department learned that a colossal ape named Gigantopithecus once roamed the

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