Jungle Book : 40th Anniversary Edition (Limited Edition 2 Disc Collector's Gift Set) [DVD]
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Fun-packed adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli stories. After being abandoned as a child, young Mowgli (voiced by Bruce Reitherman) is brought up in the jungle by wolves. However, when the news arrives that murderous, man-hating tiger Shere Khan (George Sanders) has returned, Mowgli's friends Bagheera (Sebastian Cabot) and Baloo (Phil Harris) set out to return the reluctant mancub to the humans' village. Their task is not made any easier when Mowgli is kidnapped at the behest of monkey ruler King Louie (Louis Prima), who wishes to learn the secret of man's power - fire! Disney Studios' nineteenth animated feature was the last to be overseen by founder Walt before his death, and won an Academy Award nomination for the song 'Bare Necessities'.
One of the very best animated films that the Walt Disney Studio has ever released (and the last to be produced by Walt Disney himself), and as downright brilliant as it was on its debut in 1967, The Jungle Book makes a very welcome return to DVD in this excellent 40th anniversary double-disc set.
Based loosely on the Rudyard Kiplings book of the same name, the film tells the story of man-cub Mowgli, and the friends he makes in the jungle. And its these friends who ignite the film, with some of the most memorable characters and songs that Disney has ever put on the screen. Kings of The Jungle Book are the likes of Baloo the Bear, King Louie the villainous Shere Khan the Tiger, while supporting characters such as Colonel Hathi are just as memorable. Its astonishing that it packs so much and so many into its relatively short running time.
Its an amazing achievement too that The Jungle Book bristles with such energy and fun, and that its just as likely to enthral the current generation of youngsters as well as those of us who saw it first time round. And when those songs start playing--from Bare Necessities through to I Wanna Be Like You--it'll take some effort to not start tapping your feet. A brilliant, brilliant film, and as vintage as the Disney back catalogue gets. --Simon Brew
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