1 The Mickey Mindset: The Jungle Book: Diamond Edition REVIEW

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Jungle Book: Diamond Edition REVIEW

Mitchell Stein- After watching Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book for the first time last week, I’ve come to realize that out of the 53 Disney classic animated features, I probably found The Jungle Book to be one of my least favorites.

Not saying it's bad necessarily, it's actually very fun at times. The characters are colorful and fun, the music is exciting and bouncy, but the film lacks any actual story-line (which can sometimes work well, such as in Mary Poppins) and didn't feel that all that wackiness was able to hold up the whole film on it's own.
The movie spends time establishing various different facts, such as King Louie and his wish to be human, introduces new characters who seem to only last for one musical number, and then disappear for the rest of the film. The movie spends it’s time building up to the villain, Shere-Kahn who seems to only be in the film only forty minutes after it begins.  

The Jungle Book is noted to be the last film to be supervised by Walt Disney himself, and sadly did not live to see it go into theaters. The legendary Richard and Robert Sherman lent their talents to this movie as well, creating memorable songs such as “The Bare Necessities” and “I Want to Be like You” along with the lovable Baloo and the wacky King Louie and the protective Bagheera who’s been guarding Mowgli, his entire life.
The Jungle Book was incredibly popular since it was released back in 1967. Disney released a live action version in 1993and an animated sequel in 2003. Baloo and King Louie were also strongly featured in Disney’s TaleSpin and all over in the Disney Parks.

While I’m not the biggest fan of the actual Jungle Book film, there’s no denying that this new Blu-Ray release is totally worth it for existing fans of the movie. The film is well-known for its colorful picture and great animation, but The Jungle Book on Blu-Ray looks stunning and sounds great. Comparing it to the DVD release, the picture looked grainier and worn out, but the Blu-Ray looks stunning and eye-popping. Another great Disney Classic restoration.

There’s much more fun to be had in the bonus features as well. First off, there’s the Bear-E-Oke Sing-Along, continuing in the “E-Oke” Disney bonus feature series, which has fun lyrics to the classic songs, such as “The Bare Necessities”.
Also worthy are two great introductions to the film, by Richard Sherman and Diane Disney Miller, which must have been filmed at least a few months ago, since Diane passed away in late 2013.
Make sure to see them both on the Blu-Ray and DVD as the discs have different intros (Sherman on the Blu-Ray, Disney-Miller on the DVD).

Out of all the great bonus features, the ones I found the most exciting was by far the “Alternate Ending” which was recently discovered in the Walt Disney Archives. I won’t spoil that ending for you, so I suggest you go check out this release.
Another great one was a deleted scene from the movie, featuring another character that never made it into the final cut; Rocky the Rhino. A clumsy, goofy and plain stupid Rhinoceros was originally planned to appear with the vultures near the end of the movie but was cut, and you can find out why in that bonus feature as seen on the DVD.  

In summary, a great release to a film that I’m overall not too crazy about, but that’s my own personal opinion as I know there’s a major fan base for this film. But, even though I’m not too excited about the film, I appreciate all the work that went into this movie and the character design and music is all great.

If you were previously a fan of the movie, I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of this release. I can bet you won’t be sorry.  

The Jungle Book Film 3.5/5 Stars 
The Jungle Book: Diamond Edition Blu-Ray: 4.5/5 Stars

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