I love The Jungle Book. To me, this Disney film is the definitive version fro me, I won't watch any other version than this one. It's in my top 10 Disney films. I think whoever watches this Disney classic, and it is a classic need to know that this contains a lot positive messages for children about friendship and finding family in unexpected places. However, that being said, in contrast to that there are also some scary and/or upsetting scenes, such as the final battle between Baloo and Shere Khan, Shere Khan is very scary. but there's also lots of humor on the funny side and catchy songs to pass the time as well.
Based on Rudyard Kipling's story, the film tells the tale of Mowgli, the "man cub" found by benevolent panther Bagheera, who tucks the baby boy safely away with a family of wolves. Mowgli grows up happily, living in the jungles of India.
But as he grows up, Bageera realises that the jungle won't be safest place for him anymore, because the tiger Shere Khan returns to the jungle, and learns of Mowgli's egistance. It is from there on in, there is this growing, awful terrible realisation from the other characters in the film, that if Shere Khan finds Mowgli he will kill him, he will stop at nothing and that he is determined to kill Mowgli and all who try to protect him.
So it is therefore a wise decision from Bagheera (voiced by Sebastian Cabot) to lead Mowgli out of the jungle and towards a new step, civilization, whether he wants to go or not. Along the way the pair encounter the sly, devious and hypnotic snake Kaa (Sterling Holloway), an army of elephants, and, much to Bagheera's dismay, Baloo the bear (Phil Harris), a lovable "jungle bum" who temps Mowgli with his laid back, care free "Bare Necessities" of life, to stay here in the jungle.
But when the two of them ditch Bagheera, life isn't all fun and games. Crazy monkeys kidnap Mowgli so Baloo and Bagera have to go and rescue him. But not only that, Shere Khan is hot on his trail. It's down to the responsibility of the unlikely team of Bagheera and Baloo to keep Mowgli safe.
Here's a clip.
Kipling's classic story has been thoroughly Disney fied, but to this day, I still can't believe that it remains to be a lively and engrossing adventure with jaunty animation and delightful jazz-inspired songs. The very catchy tunes and expert voice cast deliver lots of laughs, lots of distinctive merits, and lots of engagement with the audience.
The voice cast, many of whom were 1960s stars, are superb. They all add considerably to the overall enjoyment of the whole film for me. I mean George Saunders as 'Shere Khan' (Who sadly is no longer with us) he has a very deep voice which is very suttle and contained, and very profound. He's extremely polite for a vicious killer, achieving pure wickedness with niceties and charm only to break out of that and turn into a raging killer, it's brilliantly contained and the animation matches that.
Also it offers family discussion to talk about points such as :
- The music. What was your favorite song? What do Baloo's
"Bare Necessities" song and "Hakuna Matata" from The Lion King have in common?
- How does Baloo's love of good music get him into trouble?
- Why does Bagheera worry when he finds out Baloo and Mowgli have teamed up?
These are all just many things that can be taken into consideration whilst watching this film. It's splendid fun and definitely one of my favouirtes. 9/10.
NEXT : A Christmas Carol