It happens to us all: We crib, subconsciously, from the books and movies and shows and plays and such that make up our creative genetic material, whether when we’re writing our own books or movies or whatever, or writing about others’ books or movies or whatever. In the case of Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, that mental bleed wound up making a proper gauge of the film’s merits somewhat a challenge. I think, coming out the other side of it, that Mowgli is not a particularly good movie, Lord of the Rings influence aside, but that influence is incredibly distracting, which I guess is a knock against its merits in the long run.
What surprises me more than anything else is that as much as everyone is careful to note Serkis’ work in the Rings trilogy, nobody’s really caught on to just how much Serkis borrowed from those films for this one. It’s kind of bizarre! (Both that he borrowed so much and that no one seems to have noticed, whether on the front or back end.)