Monday, March 28, 2011

473. The Jungle Book (1967)

Running Time: 78 minutes
Directed By: Wolfgang Reitherman
Written By: Larry Clemons, Ralph Wright, Ken Anderson, Vance Gerry, from novel by Rudyard Kipling
Main Cast: (voices): Bruce Reitherman, Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, Louis Prima, George Sanders

"LOOK FOR THE BARE NECESSITIES..."

I wanted to get this one watched before Disney decided to vault it and thus make my time finding it much more difficult.

Based on the Rudyard Kipling novel, "The Jungle Book" is an animated re-telling of the story of Mowgli, the boy who was raised by wolves in the middle of the jungle. He is originally found by Bagheera, the panther, and taken to the wolves for safe keeping. Years later, when it is announced that the feared tiger, Shere Khan is returning to the jungle, Bagheera knows that Mowgli must be taken to the man village, where he will be safe. Surely if he stays in the jungle, Shere Khan, hater of all men, will kill him. Bagheera and Mowgli begin to trek through the jungle, on their way to the man village. Along the way they come across a wide array of characters, including elephants that resemble soldiers, a snake named Kaa and the bone headed bear, Baloo. Mowgli and Baloo hit it off and Baloo decides that taking Mowgli back to the man village would only ruin him and that he should stay in the jungle. Bagheera washes his hands of the mess and only returns when Mowgli gets into trouble. Ultimately Shere Khan returns, signaling a spike in danger for the "man cub" and Bagheera and Baloo, along with some other creatures, shuffle to keep Mowgli safe and get him out of the jungle.

Since I'm coming off the heels of some pretty lengthy reviews, I'll probably use that as an excuse to keep this one short. Honestly, when it comes to Disney movies in the "1001..." book, my expectations are never high and to be even more honest, I'm just not all that into them. Sometimes they can be a lot of fun (IE. Pinocchio), but for the most part I'm just watching them as an effort to further my progress in the book and really don't hold out too much hope that they will greatly impress me or anything like that. "The Jungle Book" was really no exception. Sure it was fun and I was bopping my head during "The Bear Necessities" and "I Wanna' Be Like You", but in the end, it was just another Disney flick and something that I just can't see appealing to too many adults.

Actually, I do wish the ending would have been a little different though and if I'm thinking like that, then surely there was some appeal there. To me, the ending was very anti-climactic. Shere Khan finally gets his sights on the boy and Mowgli is saved by a pack of vultures (who resembled The Beatles immensely) and Baloo. In the end, Mowgli, Baloo and the vultures get the best of Shere Khan and he is sent running with his tail between his legs. That's the end, pretty much. I would have liked to have seen a big battle (IE. Scar and Simba in "The Lion King") between Shere Khan and Bagheera, as they were obviously the intelligent characters of the film. Sorry, I just don't buy a singing and dancing, semi-moronic bear getting the best of a wily tiger. I know I'm putting way too much thought into "The Jungle Book", so lets just call that a wrap.

RATING: 5.5/10 If you like Disney films, then I'm sure you'll have fun with it. I just can't get into them anymore, unless they're extraordinary. Pinocchio still holds up as the best Disney flick from the book, by the way (and that's not counting Pixar's "Toy Story").

MOVIES WATCHED: 239
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 762

March 28, 2011 2:16pm

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