Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The 100 Best Movies: #30

30. The Jungle Book (1967)

This may seem like an odd choice but this movie really takes me back to my childhood. I remember the first time I saw it on the fairly new format of videotape (yes, I was around when VHS was becoming popular!) and just falling in love with it. It had cutesy charm, fun music, hilarious characters and one of the most intriguing Disney villains, Shere Khan. Walt Disney had wanted the rights to turning Rudyard Kipling's legendary novel into an animated feature for a long time. After adapting T. H. White's The Once and Future King into 1964's The Sword and the Stone, he was finally able to obtain the rights and devoted the last three years of his life to getting the film made. The story is of Mowgli, the human child who was raised in the Indian jungle. It is decided by the wolves and Bagheera (the Panther) that since Shere Khan (the vicious Tiger) has returned to the jungle, Mowgli is no longer safe. Bagheera volunteers to take the stubborn Mowgli back to the Man Village. Along the way, they meet a rash of raucous and frightening animals including Baloo the Bear, "King" Louie the Orangutan, "Colonel" Hahti the Elephant and Kaa the Python. The movie is an absolute delight with great songs like Louie's "I Wanna Be Like You," Kaa's "Trust In Me" and Baloo's anthem of fun "The Bare Necessities" (one of the first Disney songs I knew by heart!). It is a fantastic Disney film marked by the fact that it was the last animated feature Walt Disney supervised personally.

Next Post: #29

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