Friday, December 27, 2013

Project Disney- The Jungle Book

Project Disney: The plan is to tackle all of the Disney films, re-reading the classic stories and tales that inspired many of them and to look at how the changes the filmmakers made, the new elements they introduced and the essential elements they kept. We will, of course, be talking about the films as movies as well, saying why we enjoy them and what some of our favorite moments are, but our focus will be on looking at them as adaptations. For the films that are not drawn from any one work we’ll be looking at some of the possible literary influences that we see in the stories. Project Disney is inspired by Picture Me Reading.

"The bare necessities of life will come to you" This week's Project Disney is the Jungle Book based off the book with the same name by Rudyard Kipling.   The Jungle Book consists of eight stories ( Mowgli’s Brothers, Kaa’s Hunting, Tiger! Tiger! How Fear Came, Letting in the Jungle, The King’s Ankus, Red Dog and The Spring Running –) about Mowgli our star boy who grows up in the jungle.  I really liked this book.  It was a little hard to read at times since it was old fashioned writing.  But I have to say it brought out a lot of emotions and I was really sad at the end of the book.

Much of the same characters are in both the book and the movie.  We have Mowgli, Baloo the bear, Bagheera the black panther, King Louie the king of the monkeys (the King is not in the book but the monkeys are), Kaa the python, and Shere Khan the tiger.  Most of the characters are sweet and nice in the movie.  In the book they are totally different.  Mowgli is naked throughout most of the book, which just makes sense since he is in the jungle.  His feet become so hard that he barely notices that there are thorns in it. Baloo is actually a bear that teaches all the wolves cubs the Laws of the Jungle.  He is a teacher for Mowgli.  Baloo is very old by the end of the book .

Bagheera is also a dangerous panther and friends with Mowgli.  In the book Bagheera is actually born in a palace in India and escapes.  His life is the opposite of Mowgli where Mowgli grows up in the jungle and then goes to man.  In the movie instead of the wolf pack taking in Mowgli Bagheera does.    The wolf pack is much more important in the book.  They are Mowgli siblings and parents and care for him a great deal.  In the film you really don't see much of the wolves. Shere Khan in the book wants to kill Mowgli from the moment he shows up in the jungle.  He has a lame leg so it makes it harder for him to hunt.  Shere Khan is actually the one who chases off Mowgli's parents in the book which is why he ends up in the jungle to begin with.

Kaa is very smart in the book and helps Mowgli tremendously. He becomes a good companion too. In the movie he is always hypnotizing everyone with his crazy eyes (even Shere Khan which is pretty funny). Mowgli meets him twice in the movie.  One of the times Shere Khan comes and interrogates Kaa who then decides he is done with Mowgli.  In the book Kaa takes Mowgli to great treasure guarded by a Cobra.  I wondered if later in life Mowgli goes back and finds the treasure again (the book stops before we can read about Mowgli going back to man).  I also find it funny that the movie Kaa keeps getting knots in his tail.

Monkeys.. the monkeys are just as bad in the book as in the movie.  They want Mowgli to teach them how to make shelter and use their hands.  But being monkeys they become uninterested fairly quickly.  This is one of my favorite musical songs in the movie.  In the book, when Kaa, Baloo and Bahgeera rescue Mowgli they really get beat up. The battle is much worse in the book where in the movies it turns out fun with Baloo even dressing up as a female.  Luckily the monkeys are very afraid of Kaa.  This is the only time in the book you get to see Kaa use his powers of hypnotizing, he only does it to the monkeys.

Now comes the battle with Shere Khan and Mowgli. In the movie... it is much much nicer then what you read in the book.  Baloo and Mowgli end up fighting with Shere Khan.  Mowgli wins but setting Shere Khan's tail on fire when a lighting strike hits a tree.  We have Bagheera show up and then Baloo gets up and is just fine, though we think he died.  Now for the book.  In Kipling's version Mowgli has had it with Shere Khan, and it ready to face him.  Mowgli is banished to man's village and thinks if he takes out Shere Khan he will be allowed back into the jungle with the wolves.  Mowgli's wolf brother comes and tells him that Shere Khan is waiting for him to kill him.  So Mowgli takes the heard of buffalo to stampede Shere Khan, and then he fights him when he is down.  He then takes Shere Khan's coat back to the wolves who accept him back in.

I really enjoyed the book... it made me appreciate the movie even more since I know more background.  Mowgli learns to speak the language in the jungle of all the different creatures.  The end of the movie is sweeter then the book.  The book when Mowgli says goodbye he is seventeen years old and all the animals themselves have really aged.  They wanted him to go to man and have children and be happy.  Mowgli himself was getting old to be in the jungle and was having a hard time getting the animals to respect him. There really weren't any fun times in the jungle in the book and that's why I enjoy seeing the movie where Mowgli has a lot of fun. 

Check out the rest of my PROJECT DISNEY:
Snow White
Peter Pan
Treasure Planet
Sleeping Beauty
The Great Mouse Detective 
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Princess and the Frog
Beauty and the Beast
Lady and the Tramp
Alice in Wonderland
The Rescuers
The Rescuers Down Under
Oliver and Company
The Little Mermaid
101 Dalmatians
Fantasia 2000
The Emperor's New Groove
The Sword in the Stone
The Aristocats
The Lion King
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh (2011)
Robin Hood
The Black Cauldron 
Mary Poppins
Lilo and Stitch
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Make Mine Music
Fox and the Hound 
Melody Time


  1. Wow. This is a brilliant idea for a blog post. I've never read the Jungle Book, but I have always wondered how faithful the Disney film remained to the book ...

  2. I love the Jungle Book! :)

    1. Me too!! I thought the book was really neat and not what I expected at all. From the movie I expected a book that was for children when I think it reads for adults.

  3. You should read the second Jungle Book book. It goes off into an interesting direction.

    1. I didn't even know there was a book called Second Jungle Book!! Thank you Pamela for letting me know. I just googled it and can't believe I didn't know about it. In all my research of writing this post I saw no mention of it anywhere!

  4. For some reason Bear Necessities will always be my favorite song in the movie. I love the Project Disney posts. I have to come check out the ones that I have missed that you've done since I love Disney movies so much. I just watched Frozen this weekend and fell in love so I'm gonna check out your post on that one. Jungle Book reminds me of a specific time in my life when I was 9. I watched it over and over again at my friend's house. I think the differences you mentioned in the book would make the story very interesting. I haven't read the original material, but I think I would enjoy it! Thanks so much for sharing :D Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.

    1. I think one of the things that makes this movie good is the music. Bear Necessities is a good song!! Sometimes I just sing it every now and then. This is one movie where I have to be honest... I didn't love it. Then I read the book and it's like since I know more of the story it is even better now. I should watch a live action film... I am sure there is one. I just have to see if there is one on Netflix. Not sure if I will watch Jungle Book 2.