In 1967, another Walt Disney movie would hit the big screens. This movie, based loosely on the book of the same title, was called The Jungle Book.
Fifty-six years ago, this movie premiered in Los Angeles, and it was a huge success. Being the last feature film personally overseen by Walt Disney himself, this movie captivated audiences with its lovely hand-drawn style of animation and its musical numbers.
One such song that can be heard in the movie, The Bare Necessities, is considered to be, in terms of numbers, one of Disney’s most enduring songs. The song won an Academy Award nomination for its charming nature and catchy tune.
This movie follows the life of an Indian boy named Mowgli. When he was an infant, he was found by a black panther named Bagheera. Bagheera takes Mowgli to a pack of wolves, where he is raised for ten years. However, the return of a vicious tiger named Shere Khan threatens the life of this boy, and so the wolves send him away with Bagheera to return to the human world. On their journey to the village, they run into a colorful cast of characters. These characters range from an easygoing bear named Baloo to a sinister snake by the name of Kaa.
Throughout the film, Mowgli is hesitant to return to the human world and would rather stay living in the Indian jungle. However, Shere Khan is never far behind him. At the end of the movie, Mowgli accepts his human roots and returns to be among his kind.
It’s obvious to see how this movie was a huge hit back then. The premise itself is very interesting, and the characters Bagheera and Mowgli encounter make for a fun watch. With the looming threat of Shere Khan, it makes for an engaging film with high stakes–those stakes being Mowgli’s own life.
The source material for The Jungle Book was said to be ‘too dark’ to be fully used in the film. Because of that, this rendition of the story is only loosely based on the book. The book itself, written by Rudyard Kipling, was published in 1894, a whole seventy-three years before the movie’s release.
Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, The Jungle Book is considered a classic among Disney movies, and it’s easy to see why. With it being Walt Disney’s final overseen movie before his death in 1966, it has aged just fine and is still an enjoyable movie to this day.
Image credit: Kodimarto (DeviantArt)