Jungle Book (1967): Disney’s Oscar Nominated Version

Based on the famous Rudyard Kipling’s stories, Disney’s Jungle book is a witty, highly entertaining animation with an all-star cast offering voices, including George Sanders, Phil Harris, and Sebastian Cabot.

Abandoned as a child, Mowgli is raised by wolves, then befriended by a panther, who plans to return him to civilization until he realizes that the wolf-boy does not want to leave the jungle.

Mowgli’s trail is full of adventures: A meeting with a lazy bear, kidnapping by monkeys, an encounter with fire-fearing tiger. In the end, Mowgli meets a young, beautiful girl and his love for her convinces him that he should forsake jungle life.

The last animated film to be directly and personally overseen by Walt Disney himself, “Jungle Book” contains some stunning visual images and sight gags, and doesn’t have many sentimental or schmaltzy moments, as could be expected. The movie was released ten months after Disney’s death and became one of the studio’s most commercial films to date.

Disney’s 1967 version was not the first big-screen adaptation of Kipling’s adventures. In 1942, the Hungarian brothers Kordas (Alexander as producer and Zoltan as director) made a colorful picture, starring Sabu as Mowgli, the youngster raised by wolves who returns to his family’s village with nio language or human skills.

Oscar Alert

“Jungle Books” was nominated for one Oscar award, Best Song, “The Bare Necessities,” music and lyrics by Terry Gilkyson.

The winner was “Talk to the Animals,” by Leslie Bricusse from “Doctor Dolittle.”

Credits

MPAA Rating: G.
Running time: 78 Minutes.