The Jungle Book (1967)

Remember when I said that I wasn’t brough up on Disney films?? Yeah, I may have been wrong…This is the only Disney film that I remember watching as a kid, the Jungle Book.

The film revolves around the man-cub Mowgli as the panther Bagheera tries to get him out of the jungle before the tiger Shere Khan kinds and kills the boy. Along the way Mowgli meets the bear Baloo, the snake Kaa and the ape King Louie.

Recently I watched a review of the Jungle book by Doug Walker (Nostalgia Critic) and he raised some points. In short he said he didn’t like the animation because it was sketchy, the characters were alright, the songs were good but the villain was awesome, specifically his voice. After watching both the review and the film, I found that I disagreed with Doug. Firstly the characters are great, really memorable. Bagheera is strict but still very loving and almost fatherly, Mowgli’s ok, he’s likable enough, a little annoying at times but he’s supposed to be, he’s a kid. All in all, he’s an ok lead…apart from when he sings…that’s just painful. Baloo is just perfect, one of my favourite Disney characters so far, he’s funny, kind, lovable, fatherly, protective and he has one of the best songs in the film (We’ll get to that later). King Louie is also pretty great, he’s a lot of fun and, once again, he has a great song. The vultures are nice and funny, I like the way that they’re based on the Beatles and it is a shame that they could’nt get them to do the voices. The elephants are great, really funny and the baby is pretty damn cute, what with that messy clump of hair. Now the villains. Kaa is memorable enough and has some funny moments, it is nice to see two villians in a Disney movie, not working together or ev en against each other, it’s something Disney hadn’t done before and has rarely done since. Now or the big one, Shere Khan. Doug loves him. I…think he’s good. The buildup is done brilliantly. We feel the fear, he’s a renowned character, everyone knows him. So naturally when we think of him, before we see him, we think of a violent killer, an animal that wants to brutally rip a pre-teen boy apart. Then we see him, he’s polite, charming, intelligent, he oozes charisma, he knows he’s badass, dangerous and his ego and pride show it, for me he was always like a great white hunter (almost certainly intentional) and in all fairness it’s done very well. Personally though, I would’ve liked to see a mental breakdown. Ok fine, Khan can be a gentlemanly killer but the voice barely matches with the design, in fact it contrasts (and yes I know that was probably the point) but what would’ve made the character for me is if the entire the was just an act. All that pride and ego just collapses into brutality towards the end of the film and once again it sort of does, but it should’ve been done with more gusto, they should’ve gone overboard with it. Whilst I like Khan, it feels like a good opportunity to set up a brilliant finale. The animation IS sketchy but I like that, it’s like a drawing or a postcard, I really do like it. The songs are brilliant. I have never seen a film where I’ve loved the soundtrack so much. Every single song is perfect. Bear necessities, I wanna be like you, the elephant song, the thing the vultures thing, all of them are perfect, some of the best songs in Disney history, no complaints whatsoever. The humour is great, I laughed a good bit when I was watching this film. I have only a handful of problems with the film and most of those revolve around Shere Khan, which I’ve already covered. I suppose at times the film can be a little boring but these scenes only last for a few seconds and there not that damaging overall. There is one other thing though. The opening with Bagheera finding the baby. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED!!?? We see Bagheera find Mowgli in a broken boat, how did it get there?, who were the people?, Mowgli’s parents? What is the story behind this? I would love to know what happened! Now, this is not a compliant with the film, I never really expected to get an answer from it, the story doesn’t warrant it and Mowgli never would’ve really had a need to ask who his parents were, he was raised with the wolves. It’s not really a complain in itself but it is a question to which I would like to have answered, it really is compelling.

A fantastic film, good villains, good characters, good animation, FUCKING INCREDIBLE SONGS.



2 thoughts on “The Jungle Book (1967)

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