Get ready for today’s…Blast from the Past!
(Before I begin, I have mentioned this guy before in my The Rescuers (1977) throwback, but I’ll do it again anyway) From Oscar nominee Wolfgang Reitherman, the director of other beloved Disney classics such as 101 Dalmatians (1961), The Aristocats (1970), Robin Hood (1973), and many others, comes this beloved comedy family adventure classic…
Bagheera: “Many strange legends are told of these jungles of India, but none so strange as the story of a small boy named Mowgli.”
The Jungle Book released on this day October 18th 1967, making the film 50 years old as of today.
Inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 story collection of the same name, the film follows the orphan and “man-cub” known as Mowgli (voiced by Bruce Reitherman) as he is forced to leave his jungle home and adoptive wolf family from the vicious tiger Shere Khan (voiced by Oscar winner George Sanders) with help from his friends; the serious and protective panther Bagheera (voiced by Primetime Emmy nominee Sebastian Cabot) and the fun-loving bear Baloo (voiced by Phil Harris).
Fun fact; the film unsurprisingly earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song for “The Bare Necessities” – Terry Gilkyson while also was nominated a spot at the AFI’s (American Film Institute) list of 100 Years…100 Songs as well as the other acclaimed song “I Wanna Be Like You”.
Also, animation legend and Oscar winner of a shocking 22 wins Walt Disney passed away during the making of the film which left people wondering about the Disney studio’s fate, especially in the animation department. Luckily, the film performed greatly at the box office, putting a sigh of relief for the animators who feared that they would be put of work. Had the film failed though, it is possible that animation would have been closed down at the aforementioned studio.
Some of the film’s highlights include the mentioned songs, the story about a young boy’s journey, the talented voice cast that also features Sterling Holloway as the hypnotic python Kaa, J. Pat O’Malley as the elephant patriarch Colonel Hathi and Buzzie the vulture, and Primetime Emmy nominee Verna Felton as Hathi’s wife Winifred, and its visual appeal.
If you are looking for a charming and fun film for all ages, then this is for you, or for anyone you know, who likes the aforementioned aspects.
Recommended to hardcore Disney fans (like myself).