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The Jungle Book Blu-ray Review

The Jungle Book Blu-ray

“The Jungle Book” is one of the best Disney animated films.

The plot: After Bagheera (a panther) discovers a lost baby boy (or man cub as the animals call him); he decides to leave the boy in the care of a family of wolves. As the wolves raise the boy for several years (over the watchful eye of Bagheera), they are suddenly forced to cut ties with him when news that Shere Khan (a vicious killer tiger) is seeking him out. Wanting the boy to be safe, Bagheera opts to take the boy (Mowgli) to a man village where he rightfully belongs. Unfortunately for Bagheera, Mowgli has no interest in going to the man village and would rather stay in the jungle and hang out with his new pal Baloo the bear. As Mowgli soon learns, however, life in the jungle proves to be more difficult than he imagined as he faces various obstacles and dangers including a hungry snake (Kaa) and a group of mischievous monkeys led by King Louis.

As a child, “The Jungle Book” was always one of my favorite animated Disney films alongside “Pinocchio” and “Robin Hood.” While the story (which is based on Rudyard Kipling’s “Mowgli” stories) was certainly simplistic, the personable characters and loveable songs (namely “The Bare Necessities” and “I Wan’Na Be Like You”) always won me over. As I rewatched ‘Jungle’ for the first time in many years, I found that my opinion of the film remained the same as the timeless, fun-filled story for all ages has not grown the least bit tiresome. How can one not be charmed by the 60’s sensibilities (including the vultures based on The Beatles), the endlessly catchy songs, the strong friendship theme, Baloo’s expressions and antics, Kaa talking about his sinuses, and the great ending? Simply put, this is Disney at its finest.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.75:1 1080p. How does it look? Everything from the gorgeous jungle scenery to the character models look crystal clear in this new hi-def transfer.

Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The songs and dialogue sound sharper than they ever have.

Extras:
* Introductions by Diane Disney Miller and Richard M. Sherman.

* Disney trailers.
* DVD copy and digital copy.
* A storyboarded alternate ending made from a treatment.
* “Music, Memories, and Mowgli: A Conversation With Richard M. Sherman, Diane Disney Miller and Floyd Norman. The three chat about Walt Disney, Phil Harris, characters, songs, and so forth. A fun stroll down memory lane.
* A “Bear –E-Oke Sing-Along” option for the film’s songs and a Disney song selection option.
* “I Wan’Na Be Like You: Hangin’ Out At Disney’s Animal Kingdom”- A tour of the Orlando theme park with hosts Blake and Gia.
* “@DisneyAnimation: Sparking Creativity”- A featurette about Disney’s innovative Spark program.
* A deleted scene of the lost character Rocky the Rhino.
* A “I Wan’Na Be Like You” music video by the Jonas Brothers.
* “Disneypedia: Junglemania”- A nature special on India’s Jungles.
* A 5 part making of titled “The Bare Necessities: The Making of the Jungle Book.”
* “Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston Discuss Character Animation”- The title says it all.
* “Mowgli’s Return To The Wild”- A fascinating featurette on Mowgli voice actor Bruce Reitherman’s life and family (his father actually directed “The Jungle Book”).

* “The Lure of The Jungle Book”- Various animators and film industry veta talk about the influence and appeal of “The Jungle Book.”
* “Disney’s Kipling: Walt’s Magic Touch On A Literary Classic”- A featurette on Walt Disney’s version of the classic stories.
* An informative commentary by Richard M. Sherman, Andreas Deja, Bruce Reitherman among others.

February 14, 2014 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

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