Blu-ray REVIEW: The Jungle Book Diamond Edition @ 8 February 2014 03:19 PM


The last animated film completely supervised by Walt Disney, The Jungle Book is a very comedic spin on the Rudyard Kipling. It's not so much that the book was spoofed, but the bare bones of the story were transformed into a lighthearted, character-driven romp.


But it works. The Jungle Book became a smash in its first release and in reissues. The soundtrack album went gold. Somehow taking an atmospheric jungle adventure and adding Phil Harris, Louis Prima and a swingin' jazz attitude resounds with audiences to this day.


What might have been a loose collection of set pieces carefully tie together with the continual introduction of engaging characters that hold interest in a way that is remarkable for such an episodic film. The Disney story department, among them Disney Legend Floyd Norman and Bing Crosby radio comedy writer Larry Clemmons, never allow the proceedings to lag, much as a Pixar film does the same thing.


Most of the songs are by the great Sherman Brothers, including the iconic "I Wan'na Be Like You" and the unforgettable "Trussst in Me," though the Oscar-nominated "Bare Necessities" was written for an earlier draft of the film by Terry Gilkyson (who also wrote and sung the hit, "Marianne").


Richard Sherman and his brother Robert were continually greeted by fans who assumed they had written "Necessities," to the extent that in the introduction created for the Blu-ray, Richard Sherman's appearance is underscored by the incorrect song, rather than perhaps "My Own Home."



If you have the DVD from 2007, you may want to hold on to it, not just because the bonus features are not all on the new DVD but only on the Blu-ray (see below), but also because there are several that did remain exclusive to the 2007 DVD, including the deleted songs.


2014 Diamond Edition Blu-ray-Only Bonus Features

2014 Only:
 Introductions by Diane Disney Miller & Richard M. Sherman
Music, Memories and Mowgli: A Conversation with Richard M. Sherman, Diane Disney Miller and Floyd Norman
Alternate Ending: Mowgli and the Hunter
 I Wan’na Be Like You: Hangin’ Out at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
 Bear-E-Oke Sing-Along
 Disney Animation: Sparkling Creativity

From 2007:
 Audio Commentary
Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund
 Deleted Scene: Lost Character Rocky the Rhino
“I Wan’na Be Like You” Music Video Jonas Brothers
 Disney Song Selection
The Bare Necessities: The Making of The Jungle Book
 Disney’s Kipling: Walt Magic Touch on a Literary Classic
 The Lure of The Jungle Book
 Mowgli’s Return to the Wild
 Frank & Ollie: Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston Discuss Character Animation
Baloo’s Virtual Swingin’ Jungle Cruise
 Disneypedia: Junglemania!
The Jungle Book Fun With Language Game

2014 Diamond Edition DVD & Blu-ray Bonus Features

 Deleted Scene: Lost Character Rocky the Rhino
 Disneypedia: Junglemania!

2007 Platinum Edition DVD Bonus Features

2007 Only:
Seven Deleted Songs
Art Galleries
Baloo’s Virtual Swingin’ Jungle Cruise
The Jungle Book Fun With Language Game

Carried over to 2014 Edition:
 Audio Commentary
Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund
 Deleted Scene: Lost Character Rocky the Rhino
“I Wan’na Be Like You” Music Video Jonas Brothers
 Disney Song Selection
The Bare Necessities: The Making of The Jungle Book
 Disney’s Kipling: Walt Magic Touch on a Literary Classic
 The Lure of The Jungle Book
 Mowgli’s Return to the Wild
 Frank & Ollie: Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston Discuss Character Animation
 Disneypedia: Junglemania!


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