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The Jungle Book takes place in a jungle somewhere in India and is set in modern times. The main characters are: Mowgli, a lost child that gets raised in the jungle by a pack of wolves; Bagheera, a black panther that first finds Mowgli and later has to escort him to a man-village; Baloo, a bear that Mowgli encounters that teaches him about “bear necessities” and promises Mowgli that he will raise him as a bear; Shere Khan, a tiger that hates humans and is a feared predator in the jungle.
The movie begins with Mowgli as a baby crying on a boat by himself in a river. Bagheera finds him because of his loud crying. Bagheera takes Mowgli to a pack of wolves where he is raised. The wolf pack leaders tells the wolves that raise him that he has to leave to a man-village. Bagheera agrees to escort him to the man-village, despite Mowgli not wanting to go. When they are about to sleep, a python tries to attack Mowgli but Bagheera protects him.
The next morning, Mowgli tries to join an elephant patrol but gets into an argument with Bagheera.
Mowgli runs off on his own and runs into a bear named Baloo. Baloo teaches him about the “bear necessities” and promises him that he won’t bring him to the man-village and will raise him as his own. A group of monkeys kidnap Mowgli and take him to their King. King Louie, an orangutan wants to learn how to make fires like humans but Mowgli doesn’t know how since he was raised in the jungle. Bagheera and Baloo come to rescue Mowgli and destroy the monkey’s palace in the process. Baloo tries to convince Mowgli to return to the man village since it is too dangerous for him to live in the jungle. Mowgli accuses Baloo of breaking his promise and runs away again. Meanwhile, Bagheera goes to the elephant patrol to ask them for help in finding Mowgli. Shere Khan, the tiger eavesdrop the conversation and goes to hunt Mowgli. Mowgli encounters the python again but escapes. He then comes across a group of vultures who accept him as an outcast. Shere Khan confronts Mowgli and the vultures flee. Baloo comes in to rescue Mowgli, the vultures come in also to help by distracting Shere Khan. A tree gets ignited by lightning and Mowgli uses the flaming branches to tie them to Shere Khan’s tail. Shere Khan runs away in fear from the fire. Bagheera and Baloo take Mowgli to the man-village but Mowgli still doesn’t want to go. Mowgli sees a girl drop a pot and he runs off to help her. Mowgli decides to stay in the man-village in the end. Bagheera and Baloo head home.
The voice actors of The Jungle Book were flawless and portrayed their characters perfectly. One performance that stood out to me was the voice of Mowgli, Bruce Reitherman. I thought Bruce’s voice was the perfect fit for Mowgli as it added to the innocence if his character. This played a big part to the development of Mowgli since he starts off as a lost boy but ends up finding his path in the man-village. With the help of Bruce’s voice talents, it adds more personality to Mowgli to emphasize his youth and character. Another performance I enjoyed was Phil Harris as Baloo. I thought Harris’s voice added to Baloo’s comedic effect to the plot. Baloo acted as a “comedic relief” to Mowgli as he tries to avoid the man-village. Harris’s performance of the song “Bear Necessities” was also great and was another great example of another Disney score.
The number one thing I enjoyed in The Jungle Book was the music. I have never watched the movie prior to watching it in class but I have always heard the song “Bear Necessities” growing up. When watching the movie, it was my first time listening to the full song from the movie. I thought the song was catchy and the characters dancing to it blended perfectly together. The song was basically the “Hakuna Matata” of the movie. In my opinion, the song is what stood out to me after watching the movie. Another thing I enjoyed was the overall plot of the movie. I enjoyed the character development of Mowgli as he transformed as a lost boy raised in the jungle finding his way back to the human world. He believes he belongs in the jungle was learns that his true place is with the other humans at the man-village. The character he meets on his way were very unique such as Baloo, Shere Khan and the Orangutan King. One lesson I can learn after watching The Jungle Book is that humans don’t belong in the jungle with other animals. We see this through Mowgli’s journeys, as he tries to live in the jungle. There are certain predators that man cannot deal with on their own like Shere Khan, the tiger. Man has their respective place in civilization whether it be in a village or a city. Wild animals belong in the wild.
I would recommend The Jungle Book to anyone interested in animated movies or Disney movies in general and especially to children. The MPAA of this movie is Approved/G which is not a big surprise considering that this movie is aimed towards children and doesn’t have any violent scenes or language. My final word of this film is that it was a solid animated children’s film while still having an interesting plot with great music and animation.
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