The Jungle Book 40th Anniversary Platinum Edition

Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
This is your standard Disney fare, so the cover art and menus are arted up with image from the movie. I know their target audience, so I can’t claim to be an expert on this kind of packaging:)

Features: 9/10

  • All New Wanna Be Like You Music Video Performed By The Jonas Brothers. – Music videos are not my favorite extras, but kids might like the song done in a new way.
  • Baboo’s Virtual Swingin Jungle Cruise 4 New Games. – Hey, games. Not only will the kids make you watch the movie 58 times in a row, you get to play DVD games too! It’s actually a good addition to a fun DVD package.
  • Disneypedia Jungle mania Learn About The Real Life Animals From The Film.- This is one of those educational type thingys that is geared toward the Disney Channel crowd.
  • The Jungle Book Fun With Language Games – More games.
  • Meet The Long Lost Character Rocky The Rhino – Storyboards are a very cool way to bring lost bits and pieces back to life. Disney are the champs of documenting their process of making movies.
  • Deleted Scenes – There are about 20 minutes of deleted scenes, so it’s quite substantial. I still want DVD people to make it so you can see the movie with the deleted scenes added back in, even if they are not finished. It would be a nice way to see the original ideas all together.
  • Disney’s Kipling Walt’s Magic Touch On A Literary Classic– How the book changes to become the movie.
  • The Making Of The Jungle Book – They really do have a great history of saving every last interview and footage of how their movies are made. This is a top quality look at how the whole project came from the original book to the final cut of the film.

Movie: 7/10
I had never seen The Jungle Book, at least not that I remember. I have had a decade or more of the new fangled computer generated animation. That’s not to say I don’t love the ancestors of modern technology. I love traditional animation, the artwork is more organic, more hand made.

The Jungle Book is a story about a boy raised by wolves, but at the age of 10 must leave the jungle to get away from a dangerous tiger who hates humans. The ‘man village’ is nearby and his friends go on a journey to get him there safely.

There’s not much more to it than that really. There’s not a lot of depth to Mowgli’s tale. There are a lot of cute songs and interesting characters. There’s an elephant general who resembles Patton. There’s Baloo, the big bear who wants to just stay relaxed and take life one day at a time.

I’m not sure about the political correctness of some of the voice and animal combinations, but it was a long time ago and people didn’t think much about perpetuating cultural stereotypes. Enough said on that point.

These days we have motion capture for getting body movements just right, back then they had just their life experience and artistic skills to capture the right swagger of a human or sleek smoothness of a tiger creeping around. So, that being said, the way Mowgli moves is just right for a boy wandering, playing, running, shrugging his shoulders. It’s a true testament to the artists who drew him over and over and over to get it just right.

There is a sneaky snake, as in a lot of Disney flicks. The tiger is the bad guy, but with his elite British accent he’s got real charm. 🙂

The Jungle Book isn’t as involved as we might be used to, but it’s a classic for sure. There are messages and sentimentality, and cuteness. What else could you want from 78 minutes of your life?

Value: 7/10
I imagine that anyone with kids under the age of 6 will get their money’s worth out of this DVD. We all know that kids in that age range can watch the same movie over and over and over. If you are a grown up who collects Disney stuff, well you won’t care about the price. I would say with the extras and the excellent look of the film on it’s new digital home, it’s worth the twenty-something you will be paying.

If you are just curious or love nostalgia for a bit of fun, it’s a great rental for sure.

Overall Score 9/10