Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’ on DVD

0
887
Rudyard Kipling’s epic adventure “The Jungle Book” is a classic tale about a young boy named Mowgli who was raised by a family of wolves deep in the Indian jungle. When the jungle animals are confronted by the fierce tiger Shere Kahn (voiced menacingly by Idris Elba) who wants to kill the boy; Mowgli (Neel Sethi) escapes into the jungle where he is befriended by Baloo the bear (Bill Murray) and a black panther named Bagheera. In fact it was Baheera (Sir Ben Kingsley) who found the abandoned child ...

Rudyard Kipling’s epic adventure “The Jungle Book” is a classic tale about a young boy named Mowgli who was raised by a family of wolves deep in the Indian jungle. When the jungle animals are confronted by the fierce tiger Shere Kahn (voiced menacingly by Idris Elba) who wants to kill the boy; Mowgli (Neel Sethi) escapes into the jungle where he is befriended by Baloo the bear (Bill Murray) and a black panther named Bagheera.

Rudyard Kipling’s epic adventure “The Jungle Book” is a classic tale about a young boy named Mowgli who was raised by a family of wolves deep in the Indian jungle. When the jungle animals are confronted by the fierce tiger Shere Kahn (voiced menacingly by Idris Elba) who wants to kill the boy; Mowgli (Neel Sethi) escapes into the jungle where he is befriended by Baloo the bear (Bill Murray) and a black panther named Bagheera.

In fact it was Baheera (Sir Ben Kingsley) who found the abandoned child years earlier and brought him to the wolf family who accepted the ‘man cub’ as one of their own. Once again Mowgli is adrift in the jungle, but the bear and panther soon become his new protective family.

Kipling’s story was first told on film in 1942 and starred Sabu as Mowgli.

Then in 1967 Walt Disney crafted an animated version of the tale and set it to the catchy tunes created by the Sherman brothers, Robert and Richard, who wrote “Bare Necessities” sung by Mowgli and Baloo, “Trust in Me” which is hissed hypnotically by Kaa, the python (Scarlett Johansson in this latest film) and “I Wan’na Be Like You,” now sung by Christopher Walken as King Louis who is no longer an orangutan, but a giant ape known as a gigantopithecus. Fans of the late comic Gary Shandling will recognize his voice as the porcupine in this, his final onscreen performance.

Director Jon Favreau knew he had found his Mowgli when young Neel Sethi auditioned. The boy, only 10 at the time, not only had a red belt in karate, he was also extremely agile and clever. In an interview in the DVD feature “I’m Mowgli,“ Sethi, now 12, quipped with a little grin, “ I have spent one tenth of my life making this movie.”

In the bonus feature “Jungle Book Reimagined” director Favreau explains how he and his talented staff re-envisioned this classic Kipling adventure. On screen the only actual human or animal being in the entire movie is Mowgli. All the rest of the onscreen images, from animals to scenery, are computer generated. This segment of the DVD is particularly interesting and informative.

The DVD also contains audio commentary by the director. The film is rated PG for some sequences of scary action and peril.

This DVD is a great treat for the students in your family who are now back in class. Seeing how a book can be turned into a magical movie should spark their collective imaginations and might encourage the kids to read other Kipling novels like “Kim,” “Captains Courageous” and “Gunga Din.”

It is interesting to note that Kipling was born in Bombay, in British India, and set many of his works in that area. The author, at the tender age of 42, won a Nobel prize in literature in 1907 and his novel “Gunga Din” was made into a film in 1939 starring Cary Grant.

***

On Sept. 27 the complete first season of ABC-TV’s “The Catch” will be available on DVD. This sexy cat and mouse game of wits blends the wages of sin with the art of seduction and the result is a blend of intrigue and high stakes crime fighting. In the series Alice Vaughan (Mireille Enos) is a smart, tough investigator who specializes in foiling world-class criminals along with her elite team of associates at Anderson/Vaughan Investigations. When she loses her heart and her life savings to a dashing international con man named Benjamin Jones (Peter Krause) she sets out on a determined quest to nab her ex-fiancee.

But the spark that ignied their romance in the first place is rekindled. One again he and Ali find themselves caught between trying to keep one step ahead of his murderous associates and her crime-fighting colleagues.

The DVD contains all 10 episodes plus intriguing bonus features that include outtakes and deleted scenes. Rating: TV14.

Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’ on DVD