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The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book, based on the Mowgli stories by Rudyard Kipling, was the last animated feature under Walt Disney's personal supervision before his death.

The Jungle Book, based on the Mowgli stories by Rudyard Kipling, was the last animated feature under Walt Disney’s personal supervision before his death.

It was filmed at a declared cost of $4 million over a 42-month period. Full directorial credit is given to Wolfgang Reitherman, a 35-year Disney vet. Reitherman was one of several Jungle hands who worked on Disney’s first animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Friendly panther, vocalized by Sebastian Cabot, discovers a baby boy in the jungle, and deposits him for upbringing with a wolf family, John Abbott and Ben Wright. At aged 10, boy, looped by Clint Howard, is seen in need of shift to the human world, because man-hating tiger (George Sanders) has returned to the jungle.

Encounters along the way include a friendship with a devil-may-care bear, expertly cast with the voice of Phil Harris. The standout song goes to Harris, a rhythmic ‘Bare Necessities’ extolling the value of a simple life and credited to Terry Gilkyson.

Robert B. and Richard M. Sherman wrote five other songs, best of which is ‘Wanna Be Like You’, sung in free-wheeling fashion by Louis Prima, vocalizing the king of a monkey tribe.

1967: Nomination: Best Song (‘Bare Necessities’)

Popular on Variety

The Jungle Book

Production: Walt Disney. Director Wolfgang Reitherman; Producer Walt Disney; Screenplay Larry Clemmons, Ralph Wright, Ken Anderson, Vance Gerry; Editor Tom Acosta, Norman Carlisle; Music George Bruns

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1967. Running time: 78 MIN.

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