“Oobee doo! I wanna be like you! I wanna walk like you, talk like you, too. You’ll see it’s true—an ape like me can learn to be human too!”

While some of the story has been changed or updated since the 60s, one thing you absolutely can look forward to in the new Jungle Book is a snazzy rendition of the song, “I Wanna Be Like You,” sung by King Louie, the ape who wants to be human. Where in the old movie King Louie was an orangutan, in the new one he takes on the form of a Gigantopithecus, a massive orangutan-looking ape that went extinct thousands of years ago. Voiced by Christopher Walken, the new King Louie is also more sinister than the bubbly, occasionally inconsiderate Louie of old. Still, the key points of interest remain: Louie, who wants to be a human, reminds us of our unending desire to be better, or different, than we are.

I wonder if it ever goes away — the untiring hunch that we have not fully become who we are meant to be, and that we can control how we get there. Comparison — which also seems inevitable — doesn’t help. Ranking jobs, spouses, alma maters. The little question, “What do you do?” so often translates to “What is your value, in relation to mine?”

Measuring up, we look for people we can beat, and thrive off the affirmation that in certain areas we rank higher than others. But sooner or later, as we stack our chips, we find others who stack them higher.

In The Jungle Book, this is where we find King Louie. In the old version, he sings, “Oh, I’m the king of swingers, the jungle VIP. I’ve reached the top and had to stop, and that’s what’s bothering me. I wanna be a man…” King Louie feels he has maxed out his potential and that with enough effort, he will evolve “up.” Thinking like this, we get moody or desperate and irrational. Louie kidnaps Mowgli, thinking the “mancub” might help his cause.

King Louie’s kingdom is ruled by, in Augustine’s words, the “lust of rule.” Lurking in the ruins of an old human temple, he desires total mastery, which turns him into a villain. The trick of this controlling impulse is that it backfires — he is controlled by the desire to control.

He buys into a two-pronged delusion. First, that, as a monkey, he can also be human. Second, that possessing a thing (in his case, the “red flower”—fire) will help him achieve this. We tend to think that objects, or more generally third parties, can unlock the impossible. We may think that once we finally get around to buying a gym membership, it will be easier than ever to get fit. At the end of the day, though, fire or no fire, King Louie will still be a Gigantopithecus, not a human, and we will still be humans.

One response to the Louie dilemma is a secular one: Louie should sit back and tell himself, “I’m a monkey, and I’m proud of it!” But Christianity offers relief from the idea that we need to tell ourselves that we are one way when we know that we are not. Grace relieves us of trying to convince ourselves of untruths. What we’re offered, instead, is an external voice who says that we are loved when we feel unlovable, perfect when all we see is imperfection.

Jon Favreau (director of the new Jungle Book) explained that the new Louie was born out of limitations: knowing that a successful movie would have to be as realistic as possible, and also knowing that orangutans don’t exist in the Indian jungles, they transformed Louie into the intimidating Gigantopithecus in order to continue the legacy. Favreau explained at EW: “It was one of those things where me creating limitations and actually wanting to deviate from the original opened up the opportunity to allow all these other artists — musical and visual, character designers and WETA — to pull this stuff all together to make this sequence that is now an exhilarating action set piece at the heart of the film.”

For Christians, the cross is the ultimate limitation, where Christ was restrained by nails and left to die. Christianity doesn’t tell us to get better; rather, it tells the story of a God who succumbs to limitations and proclaims, “It is finished.” The story has ended, The Jungle Book closes. We are no longer writing our stories, because the story has been written. Now it’s time to monkey around.