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The Jungle Book (VHS, 30th Anniversary Limited Edition 2x1) Disney
Although it is quite skillfully drawn, The Jungle Book is noteworthy for being the first time that the Disney studio let the choice of actors play an influential role in the development of an animated feature. It's true that previously some actors, such as Ed Wynn in Alice in Wonderland, had made significant contributions, but not to the extent that Phil Harris, Louis Prima, George Sanders, and Sebastian Cabot do in Jungle Book. Their distinctive personalities add enormously to the effectiveness of the film, helping to mask the fact that, although the film has incident, it actually has very little plot. The catchy score also helps, from the imminently hummable "Bare Necessities" to the wildly capering "I Wanna Be Like You" to the barbershop-disguised-as-Beatles "That's What Friends Are For." As always, the character animation is top notch, from Kaa's slinky, slithering coils and Shere Khan's significantly shifty eyes to King Louie's long-armed neo-boogie moves and Baloo's carefree swinging gait, and the backgrounds make good use of the jungle color palette. The triangular relationship between Baloo, Bagheera, and Mowgli is also well presented and entirely convincing. The film benefits from an exuberant joie de vivre; it's one of the most high-spirited feature cartoons, and free from excessive sentimentality. The use of "star" voices would continue in future Disney entries, such as Robin Hood and The Aristocats, both with Phil Harris.
This is a previously viewed VHS tape in very good condition!
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