With the help of a smooth talking tomcat, a family of Parisian felines set to inherit a fortune from their owner try to make it back home after a jealous butler kidnaps them and leaves them in the country.
Abandoned after an accident, baby Mowgli is taken and raised by a family of panthers. As the boy grows older, the wise panther Bagheera realizes he must be returned to his own kind in the nearby man-village. Baloo the bear however thinks differently taking the young Mowgli under his wing and teaching that living in the jungle is the best life there is. Bagheera realizes that Mowgli is in danger, particularly from Shere Khan the tiger who hates all people. When Baloo finally comes around, Mowgli runs off into the jungle where he survives a second encounter with Kaa the snake and finally, with Shere Khan. It's the sight of a pretty girl however that gets Mowgli to go the nearby man-village. Written by
Many cultural scholars (including Anthony Edward Schiappa and Susan Miller & Greg Rode) have singled out the King Louie character as a particularly offensive racial stereotype, for appearing to be "African American". Especially given the political and civil rights climates in America during the time The Jungle Book (1967) was released. However, he spoke in Louis Prima's normal voice, Prima being a white man of Italian descent. See more »
When Baloo and Bagheera enter the ruined city to rescue Mowgli, Baloo opens a door which hits Bagheera in the face, giving him a black eye (we see it a couple of shots later when he looks out from behind the door). Moments after that when Bagheera physically tries to retrieve Mowgli, the black eye is gone, only to reappear after all three of them have escaped the city. See more »
Many strange legends are told of these jungles of India, but none so strange as the story of a small boy named Mowgli. It all began when the silence of the jungle was broken by an unfamiliar sound.
[Sound of baby crying]
It was a sound like one never heard before in this part of the jungle. It was a man cub! Had I known how deeply I was to be involved, I would've obeyed my first impulse and walked away.
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There is a reprise of "The Bear Necessities" at the very end of the film. See more »
The Jungle Book is one of Disney's most memorable animated movies. It's based on the "Mowgli" stories by Rudyard Kipling (who also wrote the famous Just So Stories). Like in most Disney films, Mowgli is an orphan. Bagheera the panther find him and he is raised by a family of wolves. That is until Shere Khan the tiger comes back to the jungle...
One thing I love about The Jungle Book is the villains. In most Disney movies you have one villain, sometimes with stupid and funny sidekicks who get bossed around all the time. But The Jungle Book offers three villains all who want Mowgli all for themselves. There is King Louie the king of the monkeys. He kidnaps Mowgli but doesn't really want to harm him, which perhaps makes him the least cruelest of the three. All he wants is to be like man as he puts it in the wonderful song that will want to make you get up and dance: "I Wanna Be Like You". More specifically he wants to know the secret on how to make fire. Then there's Shere Khan, the tiger who comes back to the jungle and is the reason that Bagheera and the wolves (and eventually Baloo) want to take him back to the "man village". Shere Khan is very swift and cruel but also very calm about his cruelty and not the least bit temperamental. However his characteristics do change at his last screen appearance, and frankly I'd be freaking out to if I had a burning branch stuck to my tail (heck I'd freak out if I just had a tail). Shere Khan hates mankind and of course Mowgli is man. Last but definitely not least (my favorite of the three)- Kaa, the snake, and a very big one I might add. See- King Louie wants to be like Mowgli, Shere Khan wants to kill Mowgli and Kaa wants to... eat Mowgli. He has a very big mouth which would enable him to eat Mowgli but it does him bad too- he talks to much and then never gets the chance to eat Mowgli.
Other than these three memorable villains there's Mowgli himself, the man-cub (who by the way was voiced by Bruce Reitherman, son of the director of this film- and many other Disney greats: Wolfgang Reitherman). There's the elephants, the vultures (who are actually nice and quite humorous too), Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther. Songs include King Louie's (who was voiced by Louie Parma) "I Wanna Be Like You". Kaa's "Trust in Me" (which no one should... trust in Kaa that is). And of course Baloo's "The Bare Necessities".
As for the racist overtone- that's one of the silliest things I've heard. The Jungle Book can be enjoyed by anyone of any age (...and any race).
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