(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from The Jungle Book. The opening theme of the movie is played throughout in the original video. In the 2017 re-upload on YouTube, Doug re-reads the script and the video has a royalty free music track playing throughout it because of an audio claim)
Doug (vo): The Jungle Book was the last animated film that was made while Disney was alive, which is interesting, because the two films that would follow would steal such an unbelievable amount of animation from it. And as Disney films go, this is another one that I’d probably just place in the "OK" category. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the more sketchy style of Disney animation, at least not around this time period. They always sort of looked like the pencil sketches that were painted over, it never quite looked finished to me. If you’re a fan of it, great, it just doesn’t do much for me.
Doug (vo): But, to each their own. How’s the story? (2017 YouTube video: "So, how's the story?") Well, based off of Rudyard Kipling’s book, (2017 YouTube video: "...based on Rudyard Kipling's book...") though very loosely, it follows the story of a little boy -- or "man cub", as the animals call him -- named Mowgli. He’s raised by a pack of wolves, but suddenly, his life is in danger when the evil tiger Shere Khan is coming to town. Shere Khan hates man and the wolves know that he’ll rip him to shreds if he ever finds him. So a panther named Bagheera takes Mowgli to the Man Village. The only problem is, Mowgli doesn’t want to go. He wants to stay in the jungle and tries every chance he can to get away. While on the way, he comes across a friendly bear named Baloo, a marching elephant army, a crazy ape named King Louie, and a hypnotizing snake named Kaa.
Doug (vo): Well, let’s talk about the good stuff. The best thing in this movie is Shere Khan. He’s just a great villain. He actually reminds me a lot of Maleficent. There’s not really much to his motivation, (2017 YouTube video: "There's not really much motivation to him...") but just the style and class he has is so friggin’ awesome. He is so confident in what a badass he is that it really does actually come off pretty intimidating. He just has nothing to fear.
[Note: the following two clips with characters speaking shown in the review are excluded from the 2017 YouTube version of the review]
Mowgli: Why should I run?
Shere Khan: Why should you run? Could it be possible that you don’t know who I am?
Mowgli: I know you, all right.
Shere Khan: Then you should also know that everyone runs from Shere Khan.
Doug (vo): The snake Kaa, though not a main villain, is also pretty cool, too. Some of the best parts of the movie are just all the jokes they can make with him and just how damn long he is. (2017 YouTube video: "...all the jokes they can make with how long he is.") Uh, don’t take that the wrong way. The boy is...okay. The other characters are...okay. The songs are, you guessed it, okay. Actually, I take it back. The very last song that the girl sings while getting the water, actually, I think is a very nice tune. (2017 YouTube video: "Aside from that, the boy is okay, the other characters are okay, the songs are, you guessed it, okay. Actually, I take it back. The very last song the girl sings while getting the water, actually, I think is a very nice tune.")
Water Girl: [singing] Till I’m grown. Till I’m grown. I must go to fetch the water, till the day that I am grown.
Doug (vo): I’d like to hear somebody do a different version of it because it actually is a very soothing melody. (2017 YouTube video: "I'd almost like to hear a different, updated version of it because it actually has a very soothing melody.") But aside from that, nothing really stands out about The Jungle Book, (2017 YouTube video: "...nothing really stands out too much for me about this Jungle Book...") which is a shame, because the original book is not only much darker, but it’s much more interesting. The way the animal world views the human world is actually sort of a fascinating commentary. The characters are more developed, too, and it follows Mowgli through sort of a coming-of-age story, which really is a shame, because I think Disney could have done that story great. (2017 YouTube video: "...which is really a shame, because I think Disney could do that story great.")
[Clip of Chuck Jones’ 1976 cartoon Mowgli's Brothers is shown]
Doug (vo): Chuck Jones did a version that was much closer to the book in a half hour. I found that infinitely more fascinating than this film.
Doug (vo): But as is, there’s nothing really bad about The Jungle Book except, like I said, not following the book that closely. But as its own separate thing, I guess it works out fine. (2017 YouTube video: "But as its own separate thing, it works out fine.") It’s a very basic kids’ film, what you see is what you get. It kept me entertained as a little kid, I’m sure it’ll keep your kids entertained as well. A few creative scenes and one or two good characters definitely make it worth a watch. (2017 YouTube video: "It kept me entertained as a little kid, and I’m sure it’ll keep your kids entertained as well. A few creative scenes and one or two characters definitely make it worth a watch.")
[The ending scene of the film, showing Baloo and Bagheera dancing together into the jungle, is shown]