When it comes to the making of The Jungle Book, there is this story that Walt 迪士尼 saw the first storyboards, was dissatisfied with them, and finally put a new team of animators on it. He gave each of them an exemplar of The Jungle Book and then ordered them NOT to read the book. And if 你 pay attention you’ll notice that the movie claims to be “inspired” 由 the Jungle Book, rather than being an adaptation.
So I decided to do it different this time around. Rather than pointing out the difference, I will give a short overview of The Jungle Book, and then I’ll look at the plot of the 迪士尼 version. 1. The original Jungle Book
Technically there are two Jungle Books, but they are usually published in one book nowadays. Each is a collection of short stories, and between each of the short stories is a poem. Only four of those stories actually deal with Mowgli’s life. The first two deal with his life in the Jungle, the 秒 two with him trying (and failing) to find a place in human society. Let’s concentrate on the first two, since the movie ends with Mowgli going back to the humans.
But I am a true gentleman
They are mostly about how Mowgli ended up with the 狼 after he was separated from his family 由 Sher Khan. Sher Khan is angry because he 迷失 his prey, which is the reason he never stops hunting Mowgli. The 狼 pack accepts Mowgli because Bagheera and Baloo speak up for him and offer cattle as payment. They are Mowgli’s main teachers concerning the “Law of the Jungle”, which in this case doesn’t mean that the strongest will win, but is a set of rules the 狼 live by. All in all, the pack is presented as a tightly knit society with very specific rules. But despite Mowgli growing up in the spirit of this laws, the situation in the pack changes. Shere Khan convinces the younger 狼 to depose Akela, the leader of his pack. During the hunt they prevent him from catching his prey, and Shere Khan demands his death and that Mowgli will be 给 to him. But Mowgli, who learned of the plan beforehand, uses 火, 消防 to get rid of him and his allies. But 由 doing this, he can no longer live with the 狼 and is forced to leave the Jungle.
This is the end of the first story. The 秒 one is some sort of midquel which is set when Mowgli is around seven. Bagheera and Baloo warn him to stay away from the monkeys, who have approached Mowgli and promised to make him their king. Bagheera and Baloo tell him that the monkeys are shunned 由 the Jungle because they have no leader and no laws. Shortly after Mowgli gets abducted 由 the monkeys and brought to an abandoned human city. There they soon lose interest in him, but nevertheless keep him prisoner, and throw him into a room full of cobras. Hastily Mowgli uses the “Master words” Bagheera and Baloo taught him, so that they see him as friend and don’t attack him.
Meanwhile Bagheera and Baloo have convinced the 蟒蛇, python Kaa to lead them to the monkeys. Kaa frees Mowgli and then puts everyone in trance, including Bagheera and Baloo, but since Mowgli as a human is immune, he can snap them out of it. In the end, Bagheera insists that he should be punished for the trouble he caused (originally he was against Baloo using corporal punishment). He gives him a couple of taps and then they go 首页 again.
总体, 整体 the original stories have an air of “teaching wisdom” to them, which can be sometimes a little bit off-putting. Their biggest strength is the figure of Mowgli. He presents someone, who is living between two worlds without really belonging to either one. In many adaptations his way of thinking is presented as the superior one compared to the human desire for 金牌 and power, even though it’s not that clear cut in the original book. 2. Disney’s Jungle Book
Well, obviously the animators did look into the books, but they clearly didn’t concern themselves with telling the stories in them 或者 trying to address the themes. Instead they took them as a starting point for their own story. The characters are different, their backstories are different, their motivations are different.
But what exactly is Disney’s Jungle Book about? I never asked myself this 问题 beforehand, and when I really thought about it, I realized that there isn’t really much of a plot in the Jungle Book. It’s all about bringing Mowgli back to the human world and Mowgli’s unwillingness to leave the Jungle. And honestly – the way Bagheera starts his mission is a pretty shitty one. Just imagine 你 go with your godfather on a little trip for a 日 and suddenly he tells 你 that he intends to bring 你 into a different country and that you’ll never see your family again. Yeah, put like that, it’s really understandable that Mowgli isn’t very perceptive of the plan, right?
Nevertheless it becomes obvious during the movie that Bagheera is right. Mowgli can’t take care of himself, and despite trying multiple times to find a new 首页 in the jungle, there doesn’t really seem to be a place for him. Haiti outright rejects the idea of a human in his herd, the vultures like to be his friend but they can’t act as his protector, and the apes only care about their own interests anyway.
]Ah, yes, the apes. I guess I have to talk about racism again. But in this case be prepared for a rant, because nothing shows how single-minded some of the racism accusations against 迪士尼 are than complains about The Jungle Book. It's notable that nobody had an issue with the movie for 更多 than 20 years and then suddenly, there are people pointing the finger at King Louis and the song “I want to be like you”. And this is not a movie which hit the theatres back when nobody cared 或者 if someone cared, couldn’t voice the opinion. This movie was made when the black movement was strong and a lot of 电影院 came under scrutiny. But nobody second-guessed The Jungle Book back then.
Sometimes an ape is just an ape
I guess, part of the reason why so many people have an issue with this now is because they think that King Louis is a hint to Louis Armstrong, and therefore the character portrays blacks as apes. People back then were most likely well aware that the voice actor for the song was actually Louis Prima, the king of 摇摆, 秋千 – apes, swinging, do 你 get it? To be fair, 迪士尼 DID consider Louis Armstrong for the part, and the main reason he didn’t get an offer was to avoid the unfortunate implication of letting an Afro-American voice an ape. Yeah, that’s right, it’s not like the people at 迪士尼 are idiots. In this case the idiots are clearly the people who say that the song “I want to be like you” can be read as a black person wanting to be a white one. And if 你 are now offended because 你 bought this piece of BS, consider this: The only way 你 could read this song this way would be if there were a black person 唱歌 it to a white person. We have already established that King Louis isn’t supposed to be “black” in the first place, but even if 你 mistake him for a black person, how exactly does Mowgli qualify as “white”? Last time I checked he was an Indian boy and clearly looks like one.
So, rant over, let’s 移动 on. The best option of the 动物 in the jungle is actually Baloo, because he is the only one (Bagheera aside), who is willing to protect Mowgli. But in the 迪士尼 version there is no question: a human belongs to other humans. Baloo might be 更多 than willing to look after Mowgli, but he is not the right person to do so, and he certainly can’t protect him from Shere Khan. In the very end Shere Khan is defeated because Mowgli uses the human weapon the 动物 fear (or in the cases of the apes admire) the most, the fire. But even though the original reason Mowgli was supposed to leave the jungle is gone, he ultimately ends up “where he belongs”, with the humans – on his own free will. Because he can’t resist a beautiful face. The conflict of the movie just dissolves into nothing, without any real character development on Mowgli’s part.
The true philosopher of laziness
If there is character development, than you’ll find it in Baloo. Long before Timon and Pumba proclaimed their “Hakuna Matata” philosophy, Baloo was already preaching the value of “Bear Necessities”. The strongest scene in the movie is the one in which Bagheera takes him to task after the run-in with the apes and forces him to take responsibility. For once, there is no easy way out for Baloo, he has to do what goes against the very core of his being and give up Mowgli in order to protect him. But again, 迪士尼 picks the easy way out here, too. When Baloo loses Mowgli to the human world, he shrugs with his shoulders and the movie ends with his “Bear Necessities” philosophy. 3. Conclusion
The Jungle Book is fun. The Characters are fun, the 音乐 is fun, it’s so much fun that even the story about a boy who is send away from his family and 老友记 to start a new life with utterly stranger becomes fun. If the Jungle Book has one fault than that the funny scenes are so strong that they overwhelm the 更多 serious ones. They are well done, too, but since they lead to an overly happy solution, they tend to get forgotten in the grand scheme of things.
It’s a really good movie, but not necessarily a strong one. Watching it, I sometimes wish it were more. 更多 about the tragic that Mowgli is trapped between two words, 或者 更多 about Baloo having to take responsibility, 或者 even 更多 about different outlooks on life and what the consequences for society are, if 你 follow them.
So, if 你 just want to watch an enjoyable (and not particularly faithful) version of the tale, the movie is for you. If 你 seek out something a little bit 更多 meaningful, 你 should try the book.
or you can do a little dance