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On location: Fripp Island

A look at the Lowcountry’s starring role in the movies. 

Fripp Island

The Jungle Book (1994)

The cast:

The film stars Jason Scott Lee, Cary Elwes, Lena Headey, Sam Neill, John Cleese and Jason Flemyng in his first theatrical film role. 

Film facts:

  • Unlike most adaptations of Rudyard Kipling’s stories, the animal characters in this film do not speak.
  • The film received generally positive reviews and grossed $43.2 million in theaters against a $30 million budget.
  • In 2016 Disney released another live-action adaptation, The Jungle Book, which was more similar and faithful to both the 1967 animated film and Kipling’s book.

Pivotal scenes shot on Fripp Island:

  • Young Mowgli is carried off in a horse-drawn wagon that catches fire and explodes in the distance, leaving everyone to believe he has died. 
  • A tiger attacks a soldier and runs amok through the camp at night. The soldier was played by one of the tiger’s handlers. 

Details

Even though the storyline of “The Jungle Book” takes place 8,500 miles away in the animal-filled jungles of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, many of the scenes you see in this live-action adventure film were filmed on Fripp Island, which acted as the main location’s stand-in. The wardrobe, makeup and catering headquarters for the movie were stationed near the Fripp Island Marina. Part of the land used in the film was later developed into the Ocean Creek golf course designed by PGA Tour player Davis Love III. 

“They chose to shoot on Fripp Island because we had permission to burn and blow up just about anything, as it was all scheduled to be bulldozed anyway to build the golf course,” said William S. Murray III, who worked on the film.  

Many locals remember all of the exotic animals that were brought in for the film, including elephants and tigers. 

Reviews

“Jungle Book entertains in a way both contemporary and traditional.” — Los Angeles Times

“A full-throttled, technically superb adventure — with more bite than most Disney live-action fare — that offers some winning moments but, ultimately, isn’t as involving as it needs to be.” — Variety

“A chaste teenage love story with an ecological sensibility and some terrific scenery.” — New York Times 

Watch it

  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Disney +