|Directed by||Wolfgang Reitherman|
|Written by||Larry Clemmons|
The Jungle Book, produced by Walt Disney (the last before his death) in 1967, was the 19th film by the Disney Studios. The film followed in the same path as every previous feature length film by the Disney Studios in that it saw an intense devotion to the real. Furthermore, the film portrays what life (specifically family life) was like during the 1960's.
The film follows a young boy, named Mowgli, who is found in the woods by a black leopard named Bagheera. It shows his progression as a boy and his love for the animals that are in the jungle. Furthermore, it portrays the struggles of growing up and accepting who you really are. Mowgli tells the animals that he never wants to leave the jungle and he would enjoy staying with them for the rest of his life.
Cel Animation and Realism
As the movie begins, following the opening credits, the realism that Disney was attempting to achieve during its production is seen instantly. During the first scene of the film Bagheera finds a baby, whom is the main character named Mowgli. At this time the viewer can see the immense amount of cel layers the scene has. This form of animation, which was perfected by Disney, has the ability to make pictures on paper come to life, often having its audience accept it as reality. The realism of cel animation is really what allowed Disney to convey messages to his audience.
Portrayal of Life in the 1960s
Throughout The Jungle Book, Disney would often use the characters to portray family life in the 1960's. An example of this can be seen with the elephants of the jungle. Every morning they march around the forest in military fashion and call it drilling. At the one point when Mowgli is lost in the forest, Colonel Hathi who is the leader of the elephants has disregard for the "man cub". The Colonel's wife, Winifred marches to the front of the pack and demands that her husband helps to find the boy before the animals of the jungle put the boy in danger. She goes on to tell him that if he does not help that she will take over as leader of the pack, which Colonel responds by saying, "A woman as the leader?".
Use of Gags and Cuts
The Jungle Book uses gags and cuts in ways most other Disney films had not. Take for example when Mowgli and Bagheera are being attacked by the snake, Kaa, right before a sleeping Bagheera is about to be eaten by the snake Mowgli pushes his body off of the tree branch they had been sleeping on and the snake falls to the ground and bangs his head on multiple parts of the tree on the way down. Then while slithering away his tail gets caught between two trees due to tied knot Mowgli put in it. As Kaa tries to get the tail out it finally has too much tension and coils so quickly toward his head that it knocks him out of the picture. This is followed with 5 seconds of seeing his tail kniked and a high pitched creaking noise, something that the viewer would have expected to see in a Bugs Bunny short, not a Disney feature length film. Furthermore, the scene ends not with a transition into another scene, but instead with a cut to black.