Sunday, April 24, 2011

Disn-A-Thon: The Jungle Book (1967)

Disney animation inspired by Rudyard Kiplings "Mowgli" story. Mowgli is a boy who has been raised by wolves in the Indian jungle. When the wolves hear that the fierce tiger, Shere Kahn, is nearby, they decide to send Mowgli to a local "man tribe". On his way to the village, Mowgli meets many animal characters in this musical tale. When Shere Kahn learns of Mowgli's presence, he tracks him down. [imdb]
Yet another that earned its title as a "classic", The Jungle Book is just about perfect. Quite odd to say that considering the history behind the scenes.

Disney's head and default story man Bill Peet wrote up a storyboard for an entire movie, very close to the original source material, and Walt didn't like it... In fact, he didn't like it so much that Peet left the studio for good over the argument.  Walt passed the story on to one of his other main guys and told everyone strictly to not read the book and laid out what he felt the story should be.

So they set to work, and mid-production, Walt died.  That's right... died.  But did this keep the movie from being made?  Nope.  Everyone cowboyed up... cowboy upped?  Whatever, everyone pulled their shit together and gave the world Walt's final film, just the way he wanted it.

I really honestly would like to see the Peet version of the film, and maybe someday someone will put it together (aside from the storyboard re-enactment of the story).  They threw some of the original songs recorded for the darker toned film, and I actually really enjoyed them a lot.  They're obviously not as fun and upbeat as the Sherman Brothers' songs, but they're all still great.

Anyways, there's a lot of great backstory to the film, and it's all there on the DVD set... I could have done without the Jonas Brothers pop-rock rendition of "I Wanna Be Like You" though.

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