It is 1967, classics like "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Cinderella", and "Peter Pan" (to name a few) were things of the past. For it's time, grossing over 205 million dollars at the worldwide box office, this was a major success for Disney Studios, and for good reason. "The Jungle Book" (1967) is a delightful tale for all ages about a little boy named Mowgli who has been raised since birth by animals in the jungle. Growing up and learning about the world surrounding him, he learns that there are other humans out there like him, but is reluctant to see, due to the fact that he has come to love and adore his jungle friends/family. The core of the story falls into this portion, giving it quite the emotional impact for it's viewers.
Now, at the time, Disney made safe films for kids to not have to think too hard about, and while "The Jungle Book" (1967) does play it safe in some regards, the harsh fight sequences and undertones of race really does come through for older viewers and may have kids hiding their eyes every once in a while. Sure the animation was a standard for Disney between the 1940's and 1970's, where you can see certain characters move in the same way as other characters from earlier or later films, but that was solely due to the limitations in the animation room at the time. Keep in mind, this was ground breaking stuff at the time.
The music in this film is something you will never forget once you have seen it from beginning to end. The classic song still sung today by kids young and old (ie. The Bare Necessities), definitely sheds light on life's issues and that sometimes we just need to unwind and not stress over such little things. This equally has fun and smart moments for kids to enjoy and be schooled from. I still love this film to this day and I recommend it to anyone with kids or to someone who wants to watch a great story that doesn't care if it is in the form of a 60's Disney cartoon.
"The Jungle Book" (1967) has always had a place in my heart, as does it to many people, but if I were to mention one big flaw about the film, it would be the conclusion. As this film never really spawned a sequel, until the random Disney Channel film in 2003 (almost 40 years later), this ending left a lot to be desired.
Mowgli leaves the Jungle, along with his friends and family once he finds the humans he has heard about. Now, while I enjoy this aspect, it truly does not have any closure to the characters in the Jungle and everyone kind of accepts it, moves on, and the movie ends. I wish they film was extended about 5-10 minutes to have another scene or two in order to wrap things up a little better.
I love everything about this film that is present, even though I believe that ending could use a few adjustments. To this day I continue to re-watch this film. "The Jungle Book" (1967) is the definition of classic Disney animation and it is one of my favourites. Highly recommended to those whom have not seen it.
Review By: KJ Proulx