Jungle Book (1942)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Family  |  3 April 1942 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 2,630 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 17 critic

A boy raised by wolves tries to adapt to human village life.



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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »



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Bagheera the Panther and Baloo the Bear have a difficult time trying to convince a boy to leave the jungle for human civilization.

Director: Wolfgang Reitherman
Stars: Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, Louis Prima


Complete credited cast:
Frank Puglia ...
The Pundit
Rosemary DeCamp ...
Messua (as Rosemary De Camp)
Patricia O'Rourke ...
John Mather ...
Faith Brook ...
English Girl
Noble Johnson ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bagheera ...
The Panther


Teenaged Mowgli, who was raised by wolves, appears in a village in India and is adopted by Messua. Mowgli learns human language and some human ways quickly, though keeping jungle ideas. Influential Merchant Buldeo is bigoted against 'beasts' including Mowgli; not so Buldeo's pretty daughter, whom Mowgli takes on a jungle tour where they find a treasure, setting the evil of human greed in motion. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


I'll show you the mysteries--the wonders of the jungle's savage heart! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

3 April 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (restored)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was the first film for which original soundtrack recordings were issued. Previously, when record companies released music from a film, they had insisted on re-recording the music in their own studios with their own equipment. The "Jungle Book" records were taken from the same recordings used for the film's soundtrack, and their commercial success paved the way for more original-soundtrack albums. See more »


Two scenes with the black panther were obviously shot with the panther behind a glass screen, likely as a safeguard to protect the actors. In both scenes, showing close-ups of the panther, debris is seen adhering to the glass. See more »


Version of The Jungle Book (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Best Version of Kipling Tale Put To Film.
4 January 2007 | by (Newfoundland, Canada) – See all my reviews

A young child wanders off into the woods and is lost. With the dangerous, bloodthirsty tiger Shere Khan lurking about, the little boy is adopted by wolves and raised in the jungle. Later embroiled in a jungle feud with Shere Khan, the partly grown boy is driven out of the jungle back into the world of man where he seeks a tooth (a knife) with which he can once and for all strike down his arch nemesis. However the world of man offers many unseen dangers and man isn't inclined to follow those laws of the jungle to which the animals abide.

Personally I feel this is the best adaptation of the "Jungle Book" Rudyard Kipling story put to film. I prefer this over the Disney versions because it never fully loses sight of its overall message, doesn't fail to show the key differences between man and beast, and isn't bogged down by comedy or musical distraction. It's also fun and adventurous, boasts real animals in the familiar roles who give surprisingly believable performances. Lead Sabu as Mowgli is a natural to the role while character actor Joseph Calleia does quite well as lead villain Buldeo. Calleia made quite a career out of playing such roles. By far the silliest moments here have got to be the result of the talking snakes with the human voices. They are the only critters in the film to talk in such a fashion. While the information they relay is vital to the plot of the movie, I'm not sure we really needed to actually hear it spoken aloud. Also the romantic subplot doesn't quite fit in the story either and that it's introduced and never resolved is somewhat disappointing. Still at the end of the day, you want jungle adventure excitement done right, you won't go wrong with 1942's Jungle Book.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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