Movie #20 in the Disney Animated Marathon takes us to the jungle, but it’s unlike any jungle I know!
Story By: Ken Anderson, Larry Clemmons, Vance Gerry, Bill Peet & Ralph Wright
Directed By: Wolfgang Reitherman
It would be very easy to finish The Jungle Book and dismiss it as a considerably lesser effort from Disney. The Reitherman style of animation is even less fleshed out than usual, and there are far too many scenes that look empty or borrowed. There isn’t any meat to the story, and the songs aren’t anything to write home about. Despite all of that evidence against The Jungle Book I still found it to be a fun movie going experience, and a movie that overcomes all of its faults for one reason and one reason alone.
All of the negatives I listed about The Jungle Book are true, and the films deficiencies are as simple as what I laid out in the opening paragraph. How then is The Jungle Book able to overcome such glaring faults? The answer is simple, sometimes a movie is fun and that’s all it needs going for it. This certainly won’t be a deep discussion about The Jungle Book on my part, my enjoyment from the film came about on a pure surface level. Characters such as Baloo, Bagheera and Shere Kahn were loads of fun and because of that the movie was oodles of fun as well. It doesn’t get any clearer than that, The Jungle Book is a simplistic road trip movie, and the characters Mowgli encounters along the way make the trip well worth it for the viewer. I know I sound like a broken record, but it really is that cut and dry with The Jungle Book, it’s a journey that you either have fun with or you don’t, and I did.
I do recognize the faults in The Jungle Book, and that is why even though I did have lots of fun with it I would never classify it as a great Disney animated feature. The Jungle Book is a good, but very flawed feature from Disney’s animation studios. It is a classic for a reason however, and that reason is the amount of fun that can be had with these characters. Sure, Baloo is a million times more awesome in TaleSpin, but everything in TaleSpin is a million times more awesome. If you are looking for some good old fashioned family fun then you can’t do much better than The Jungle Book, and did I mention that Baloo from TaleSpin is in this?