animation DVD and movie reviews and previews from - curled up with a good dvd
animated DVD and movie reviews and previews from - curled up with a good dvd
DVD reviews, previews and info - animation
  action movies on DVD
  animation on DVD
  art house and international / foreign language films on DVD
  comedies on DVD
  documentaries on DVD
  dramas on DVD
  children's and family DVDs
  horror and sci-fi on DVD
  suspense on DVD
  television series on DVD
  Blu-ray DVD reviews


The Jungle Book (Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Platinum Edition) - animated DVD review
THE JUNGLE BOOK (TWO-DISC 40TH ANNIVERSARY PLATINUM EDITION) rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 5 stars
Actors: Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, Sterling Holloway, George Sanders, Bruce Reitherman
Director: Wolfgang "Woolie" Reitherman   Studio: Walt Disney Video
DVD release: 02 October 2007   Feature runtime: 78 minutes (2 discs)
Format:AC-3, Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Restored, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD Features: Audio tracks (English, Dolby Digital 5.1; French, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo; Spanish, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), First time seen in original aspect ratio, Restored original theatrical soundtrack, All-new restoration with enhanced picture and sound, The Lost Character: Rocky The Rhino, The Bare Necessities: The Making of The Jungle Book, Disney's Kipling: Walt's Magic Touch on A Literary Classic, The Lure of The Jungle Book, Mowgli's Return to the Jungle, Baloo's Virtual Swingin' Jungle Cruise, Audio Commentary (current animators w/ audio from original createive team, Four all-new games, Still frame art gallery, Deleted songs, DisneyPedia: Junglemania "Ed"venture, All-new music video

The last animated film imbued with Walt Disney's personal touch, The Jungle Book's ebullient cast of characters, from wolf-raised Mowgli to laid-back Baloo the Bear to the coolly threatening tiger Shere Khan, has inspired a generation of animators and enraptured viewers for decades. The two-disc 40th anniversary Platinum Edition gets the full DVD treatment, loaded with special features and a rollicking musical adventure perfect for the whole family.

Inspired by "The Mowgli Stories" from Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book written in the mid-1890s (he lived in British India until he was six), this film is no Cliffs Notes of the literary version. What it did become, after Disney took over the story, is a masterful, celebrated classic of traditional cel animation and storytelling.

Under Walt Disney's guiding hand, Mowgli's story evolved into that of his trek from the heart of the jungle to the village at its edge. The feared tiger Shere Khan (voiced with suave Basil Rathbone-style villainy by George Sanders), legendary for his hatred of man, has returned to the jungle, and the wolf pack that has raised Mowgli (voice by director Wolfgang Reitherman's son, Bruce) from infancy must distance themselves from the boy to avoid the tiger's wrath. Bagheera the Panther (Sebastian Cabot, who also narrated The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh), Mowgli's guardian angel of sorts, offers to escort the boy to the man-village to keep him safe.

Mowgli is dead-set against leaving the jungle, the only home he has ever known. After an encounter with Kaa (Sterling Holloway, best known as the voice of Pooh), who is determined to charm and devour him, Mowgli escapes Bagheera's watch and meets Baloo (Phil Harris), a lovable, easygoing bear who offers to introduce the boy to the simple "Bare Necessities" of jungle life. But the orangutan King Louie's monkey minions kidnap Mowgli, hoping to wrest the secret of fire for their ruler to satisfy his yearning to be like man. A surreal scat-jazz beatnik episode in the abandoned ruins where Louie and the monkeys make their home ends with a daring rescue by Bagheera and ape-in-drag Baloo -and Baloo's sad conclusion that the right place for Mowgli is the man-village. The boy runs off once more, headlong into a stormy final confrontation with Shere Khan. Baloo tries to battle the tiger, but it is Shere Khan's fear of fire sparked by a lightning strike that sends him fleeing. Baloo and Bagheera at last make their way to the village, where Mowgli is enchanted by a lovely young girl filling water at a stream and follows her lovestruck into the village.

Today's top animators (The Incredibles' Brad Bird, The Little Mermaid's Glen Keane and The Lion King's Andreas Deja) view the Disney adaptation as a high-water mark in animated characterization, a feature that inspired them all to attain the filmic reaches they have and is documented in "The Lure of the Jungle Book" featurette, one of many incredible bonuses on this Platinum Edition. Other features, such as "The Lost Character: Rocky the Rhino," "The Bare Necessities: The Making of The Jungle Book" and "Mowgli's Return to the Jungle," in which Bruce Reitherman opens a window into his own evolution as a nature documentary filmmaker shaped by the wisdom of his father, director Woolie Reitherman, make this edition more than worth the price of admission.

My own young daughters, who have until now only known The Jungle Book by a Disney's Wonderful World of Reading children's abridgement, were as delighted, entertained, and thrilled by the movie as I was when I was a child. That is exactly what Walt Disney worked to achieve, and the result is a marvel.
  buy this DVD now or browse millions of other great products at
reviewed by Sharon Schulz-Elsing
    action | animation | art house/international | comedy | documentary | drama | family | horror/sci-fi | suspense | television    
    browse DVDs alphabetical by title    
    contact | home