No matter which Jungle Book you love best…there’s a good chance you love at least one of them. Its never been more appropriate than in the Chinese Year of the Monkey to bring back the first of two upcoming versions of our favorite Rudyard Kipling story.
But what about our other favorites?
When Walt Disney commissioned the Sherman Brothers to come up with songs for a children’s version of the classic, scary tale in the jungle, little could have prepared us for such a lighthearted approach. In truth- it was exactly what Walt Disney wanted.
- The carrion eating vultures awaiting Mowgli’s death were softened with barbershop music and British accents ( a nod to the popular Beatles in 1967).
- Baloo was voiced by comedian Phil Harris ( married to Alice Faye) and put fun and frolicking ahead of all things survival
- The girl at the end of the movie was voiced by none other than Darlene Carr, who was available on the studio lot for Monkey’s Go Home.
Of course you may also remember when Disney embarked on a live action Jungle Book in 1994 featuring Jason Scott Lee and Cary Elwes. Another favorite mainly because Mowgli could talk to the animals in their own languages.
As we’ll see some classic Disney magic in Jon Favreau’s version this year and some lovely scariness in Andy Serkis’ version next year ( starring Christian Bale and Benedict Cumberbatch), there should be something to suit your fancy. If not however, you can always return to the classics. We always do:)