Disney (Wednes)Day: The Jungle Book

Next up in line is The Jungle Book, released in 1967 and the last animated theatrical feature length film from the 60s. I know the basic concept of it, but never saw the movie until now. So let’s start, shall we?!

We open a book titled the The Jungle Book, oh this is already so meta in the first 10 seconds, I can hardly take it. This is followed by what seems to be the longest title card sequence in history. (I’m sure they’re all equally long.) We finally cut to a waterfall where a voice over explains us what is going on. We find ourselves in the Indian jungle where a panther turns out to be our voice over. He explains how he found Mowgli as a little boy in a broken down boat in a basket on the river. He considered his options but thought that bringing him to the nearest man village would take to long. Instead, he opted to bring Mowgli into this wolf family since they just had cubs themselves. I guess that’s where the expression ‘raised by wolves’ comes from or not. Probably not but it still fits. The wolf family raises Mowgli like one of their own.

Ten years later, Mowgli is a happy boy only Bagheera (the panther) informs us that the boys days in the jungle are numbered because the tiger, Shere Kahn, is returning to this part and e hates humans. We cut to an emergency eldest meeting of the wolves. They decide to return the boy to the man village where he will be safe from Shere Kahn. It’s Bagheera’s turn to explain the boy what’s going on only he doesn’t understand why he can’t just explain to the tiger that he’s not a threat. Bless his poor little heart.

They settle down for the night and quickly make the acquaintance of  Kaa, a python. The snake’s speciality is hypnotising his prey and that’s what happens to Mowgli. The boy manages to cut himself free last minute though.

In the morning, they are woken up by a group of marching elephants. If you think this is awesome, THEY ALSO SING!!! I can’t even with these elephants!!! They do seem to suffer from a military complex. Not sure what Disney is up to with this because it’s the second time after The Lady and the Tramp that we have animals with a military complex. They have an elephant cub in tow themselves. Mowgli tries marching with them but the Colonel basically tells him to fuck off. Not cool. And here I sang your praise. Pff.

Mowgli and Baheera have a huge fight and B just leaves the boy alone. Only he doesn’t because the panther still keeps an eye on the little man cub.

Enter Baloo!! The bear teaches Mowgli how to fight like a bear and is just adorable and loveable in every single way. Baloo suggests Mowgly can stay with him and then we get the most famous song from this entire movie or at least that’s how I think of it.

I really want to hang out with Baloo, we would have a great lazy time and sing all day long. Perfect fantasy seems perfect. Also, he gives great Life Lessons like this one:

The preciousness is cut short when some stupid monkeys steal Mowgli so Baloo and Bagheera have to go rescue the boy.

Cut to monkey King Louie, who basically wants the boy to teach him how to human. Of course he expresses himself in song, because he knows that’s his obligation as a character in a Disney movie. Bagheera and Baloo have made their way to the monkey lair, they asses the situation quickly and try to come up with a plan. Baloo really digs the King’s jam bad basically says ‘screw planning’ and joins the singing in a horrible but also amazing monkey costume. This whole thing is hilarious! Of course the fun can’t last forever and after some back and forth, Mowgli is back with B&B.

They all rest and Bagheera tries to explain to Baloo why the man cub needs to leave the jungle. Baloo really doesn’t want to let go of his new companion and I think that’s great of you, Baloo, but also listen to Bagheera. Baloo agrees that Bagheera is right though and so he tries to explain to his little buddy what’s going on. Mowgli doesn’t understand this whole being human thing though which reminds me of Peter Pan. Peter doesn’t want to grow up and Mowgli doesn’t want to accept who he is. Anyway. Baloo and Mowgli have a fight, the boy runs away so Baloo calls Bagheera back so they can go look for him.

Cut to Shere Kahn trying to kill a deer. Thankfully he gets interrupted by the marching elephant parade. Bagheera sees the elephants and stops them. The Colonel doesn’t like his commando taken away from him. Bagheera explains the situation with Mowgli and we see Shere Kahn eavesdropping. Great, now the evil tiger knows about the boy. The Colonel doesn’t want to help look for Mowgli but then the little elephant cub’s mom, who is also the Colonel’s wife, joins in and ordered her husband to help look for the kid. Female power, you go, elephant sister!

We cut back to the waterfalls from the beginning where we see Mowgli aimlessly wandering around. He sits down and meets Kaa again. The snake sneakily suggest he can help him and be his friend. At least Mowgli has learned his lesson the first time around, to never look into Kaa’s eyes.

While Kaa sings his song and has Mowgli hypnotised, because duh, the little human couldn’t fight the snake forever, Shere Kahn walks past and wonders who Kaa is singing to. Kaa answers that he is just rehearsing because of his sinuses. Shere Kahn is sceptic and wants to inspect all of the snake but doesn’t find the boy. Good Kaa, I’m glad you didn’t offer Mowgli only a silver platter to the tiger. Spineless creature seems to have some spine. Mowgli manages to break free from Kaa after Shere Kahn leaves.

Cut to some dessert looking part of the jungle where a group of vultures is sitting on a dead tree because it’s stereotype o’clock. They see Mowgli walking by, being all sadz and think this is a good time to have some fun with him. They suggest he could be one of them but Mowgli has had it with all the idiot animals.

Shere Kahn has finally found Mowgli and OH MY GOD! Thankfully Baloo is there to help him but Mowgli can also fight for himself pretty well. When lightning sets one of the dead trees on fire, Mowgli grabs a burning twig and knots Shere Kahn’s tail around it. The tiger didn’t know what hit him. Poor Baloo looks awful and I can only hope he isn’t dead. Whelp, Bagheera holds a elegy for the bear so thanks for giving me ALL THE FEELS!

When Bagheera is finished we see Baloo getting up and demanding more and thank the heavens he is still alive and kicking! Everything seems well until Mowgli catches sight of his first human female. He goes to investigate and falls into insta-love with her.

 

The girl gets her flirt on and Mowgli is basically now a love sick idiot, following here into her village. Baloo, tells him to come back while Bagheera pushes him to follow the girl which he does.

The end.

Adorable movie is adorable even when I find it has lengths toward the second half. And I don’t like how Mowgli falls in insta-love. They could have basically spared themselves a lot of trouble had they introduced him to a girl right in the beginning. Still, thumbs up for a nice story and awesome songs. I loves the elephants because DUH! Elephants. And Baloo, of course. He is awesome.

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  • Vanessa

    Elephants with a military complex, hehe. I can never get behind Mowgli and what’s her face now because looking back on the movie I’m always wanting to yell “You’re like 7, stop it!”

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      That part is so stupid. While insta-love is a common thing in movies and so on, it’s still annoying (see Frozen, Anna and Hans…) but when it’s between kids, it’s just weird.

  • EmilyHornburg

    I haven’t seen this one in ages, but I do remember Baloo and the elephants being completely awesome.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      The elephants and Baloo are really awesome, even though I only knew the Bare Necessities song in German until now.

  • cupitonians

    God I love this movie. Even though now when I look back at it, that girl introduction bit is too much!

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      The girl really is a bit much. I understand they needed a way for him to leave the jungle but eeekk. Not like this.

  • I love the Jungle Book. I think I still remember all the lyrics, too!
    That scene with the girl though- total eyeroll. There’s a whole load of post-colonial deconstruction for this film/book, and especially for the bit with the girl.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      It’s great we all agree that the end with the girl is really tacky. I like the story in itself a lot, just the ending drags a bit for me.