Review: Disney’s “The Jungle Book” Diamond Edition Blu-ray

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“The Jungle Book,” based loosely on Rudyard Kipling’s stories of the same name, is notable for being the last film that Walt Disney had a hand in prior to his death in 1966. It released to theaters in October 1967 and is the 19th animated feature film from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Like many of Disney’s “Diamond Edition” releases, this Blu-ray, which releases today (February 11, 2014), has restored audio and video. Sometimes you hear things like “restored” and cringe, but this one has been done brilliantly. The images are very clean and the audio tracks (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1) really make the songs come alive.

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The story centers around Mowgli, the “man cub,” who has been orphaned and raised by a pack of wolves. Mowgli and his best friend, a bear named Baloo, the pals wander around the jungle. During their adventures, Mowgli is  introduced to everything from a heard of elephants to the orangutan King Louie who is voiced by singer-trumpeter Louis Prima (more on that later). They also encounter some of the darker forces in the forest such as a tiger named Shere Khan and the ever-so-sneaky python named Kaa.  Much to the dismay of Baloo, a rather lazy and happy go lucky character, it soon becomes clear that Mowgli doesn’t necessarily fit in with some of the villainous creatures in the jungle and needs to find a home in the “man village.”

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Like all of the Disney Classics, this film seems to have an amazing soundtrack that really gets you involved in the film. In fact, it’s worth a watch just for the music alone. It features several songs from the Sherman Brothers, but the most iconic of the bunch is probably “I Wanna Be Like You (The Monkey Song).” Performed by Louis Prima, it’s a song everyone knows and loves. If you’re a parent and haven’t seen the movie in awhile, or perhaps missed it along the way, watching it again will be a real treat.  “The Jungle Book” has a very comfortable pace to it and was one of our favorites to watch when our son was a bit younger.

The extras on this Blu-ray are certainly something you can spend some time with. For starters, when you pause the movie, you get a “Disney Intermission” feature that displays music videos in the form of “Bear-E-Oke,” which includes on-screen lyrics for you to use to sing-a-along. It’s a fun and nice addition for the Blu-ray and can also be opened outside of the movie itself as an extra feature.

“The Jungle Book” Blu-ray Trailer:

Another extra on the Blu-ray, that is not available on the regular DVD, is fantastic conversation involving Richard Sherman, animator Floyd Norman and the late Diane Disney Miller who also recorded an introduction before her recent passing. There is also an alternate ending, a video plugging Disney’s Animal Kingdom and a sneak peek at what’s coming from Disney Animation.

Voice Talent: Phil Harris (Robin Hood, The Aristocats) as Baloo the Bear; Sebastian Cabot (The Sword and the Stone, Winnie the Pooh) as Bagheera the Panther; Bruce Reitherman (Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree) as Mowgli the Man Cub; George Sanders (All About Eve, Rebecca) as Shere Khan the Tiger; Sterling Halloway (The Aristocats, Alice in Wonderland) as Kaa the Snake; J. Pat O’Malley (Robin Hood, Mary Poppins) as Col. Hathi the Elephant/Buzzie; and Louis Prima (The Continental Twist Hey Boy! Hey Girl!) as King Louie of the Apes

Producer: Walt Disney

Director Wolfgang Reitherman (The Jungle Book, 101 Dalmatians, The Aristocats)

Writers: Larry Clemmons (The Fox and the Hound, Robin Hood, The Aristocats)

Ralph Wright (The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, The Aristocats)

Ken Anderson (The Rescuers, The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh)

Vance Gerry (The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, Robin Hood)

**Inspired by the Rudyard Kipling Mowgli Stories.

Music:                  Music by George Bruns, Songs by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman.  “The Bare Necessities” by Terry Gilkyson.”

Release Date: February 11, 2014

Direct Prebook December 17, 2013

Distributor Prebook: December 31, 2013

All-New Blu-ray                  Introductions by Diane Disney Miller and Richard M. Sherman

Bonus Features:                  Alternate Ending – Mowgli and The Hunter

  • @DisneyAnimation: Sparking Creativity
  • Music, Memories & Mowgli: A Conversation with Richard M. Sherman, Diane
  • Disney Miller and Floyd Norman
  • Disney Intermission – Bear-E-Oke hosted by Baloo
  • Bear-E-Oke Sing A Long
  • I Wanna Be Like You – Hangin’ Out At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

DVD Bonus Features:                  All the Classic bonus features included in the original DVD release

Packaging:                  2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack  (BD + DVD + Digital Copy), DVD and Digital

Feature Run Time: 78-minutes

Rated: G in U.S. & Canada (Bonus materials are not rated)

Aspect Ratio: 1.75:1 formatted for 16×9 TV screens

Sound: Blu-ray: 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (English); Original Theatrical Mix (English); Dolby® Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (French and Spanish)

DVD: Original Theatrical Mix (English); Dolby® Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (English, French and Spanish)

Languages: English, French and Spanish

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Behind-the-Scenes Slideshow


Bonus Clip: Walt’s Stories

Bonus Clip: Getting Involved

Bonus Clip: King of the Swingers

“I Wanna Be Like You”:

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Amy Crooks

Hi!! I'm Amy, and I am the owner and writer of this site. I'm a stay-at-home mom that enjoys cooking, crafting and cheering on my favorite hockey, football, baseball and basketball teams! I have an amazing husband and son (Clayton III does a little writing for the site too)!! :)

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