I have recently watched The Jungle Book for the second time. As I have mentioned in a previous post(Here) what stood out to me in this movie was the amazing animation. This movie is in the era of some of my favorite Disney animated films: 101 Dalmatians through The Fox and the Hound. It is bright and colorful, and it pairs wonderfully with the music set to it.
While the animation is great, the storyline is also one of Disney’s best. The storyline of the movie is that a small boy is found stranded in the jungle. A kind panther named Bagheera rescues him and takes him to a family of wolves which has recently had a litter of baby wolves. The boy, whose name is Mowgli, grows up with them but has to leave due to a human-hating tiger named Sher-Khan returning to the jungle. Bagheera volunteers to take him back to the man-village but is stopped by a friendly bear named Baloo. Baloo adopts Mowgli and teaches him how to be a bear. They get in trouble when Mowgli is taken by a strange Orangutan king named King Louie. Bagheera and Baloo rescue Mowgli from King Louie. Bagheera convinces Baloo that with Sher-Khan coming, the jungle is not a safe place for Mowgli. Mowgli, who does not want to go to the man-village, runs away from them and gets in yet more trouble, but I will give no more of the plot away.
There are many recognizable voices in the Jungle Book. The voice of Mowgli is also the voice of Christopher Robin; Winnie the Pooh’s good friend. Speaking of Winnie the Pooh, Sterling Hollaway(Read more about him here), who does Pooh’s voice, also does the voice of Kaa the snake in this movie. He has also done the voice of Mr. Stork, from Dumbo; Roquefort, from the Aristocats; and the Cheshire Cat, from Alice in Wonderland. Another voice which you may recognize is that of Baloo, who is voiced by Phil Harris. Phil Harris does the voice of Abraham Delacey Giuseppe Casey Thomas O’malley the alley cat, from The Aristocats; and Little John from Robin Hood. See more about Disney voices here.
The Jungle Book has some of the best song of any Disney movie(See the best list here). Baloo’s song, “The Bear Necessities” is one of the best Disney songs of all time. King Louie’s “I Wanna Be Like You” is also one of Disney’s better songs. And who can forget Kaa’s song, “Trust in Me”? Finally, the song “That’s What Friends are For” is good, though not quite as good as the others.
In my opinion, The Jungle Book should be in any Disney fan’s top 20. Wonderful animation, excellent songs, great music, and some of the best characters put this in my top 10.