Friday, 7 February 2014

Blu-ray Reviw - The Jungle Book: Diamond Editon

The Jungle Book: Diamond Edition
Director: Wolfgang Reitherman
Starring: Bruce Reitherman, Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, Louis Prima George Sanders, Sterling Holloway
Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: February 11, 2014
Retail: $39.99
Running Time: 78 minutes
Rating: G
Buy Link: Amazon


Arriving on Blu-ray for the first time this Tuesday, February 11, 2014 is the Disney 1967 classic The Jungle Book, featuring all new bonus features - Introduction by Diane Disney Miller and Richard M. Sherman; 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; and I Wanna Be Like You  Hangin' Out At Disney's Animal Kingdom. The animation film will also be released on DVD and Digital, with the DVD retaining the bonus features from its previous release.

Based on the novel of the same name by Rudyard Kipling, 1967's The Jungle Book was the last animated film Walt Disney was working on before his death in 1966. The film follows young Mowgil the Man Cub, who was found as a baby by Bagheera the Panther. Bagheera left him to be raised by wolves, but as the boy got older, the wolves decided it was best for him to return to the Man Village. Bagheera takes it upon himself to make sure the boy is delivered safely to the Man Village.

Of course this is the jungle and there are many dangers for a small boy, including Kaa the Snake, therefore, Bagheera must keep a close eye on him, which isn't easy when Mowgli meets the carefree Baloo the Bear and learns about "The Bare Necessities." Escorting him to the Man Village gets even more difficult with King Louie and his apes around. Then there is also Shere Khan the Tiger, who wants to get his claws on Mowgil.

Despite almost being fifty-years-old, The Jungle Book has became more popular each time Disney releases the film from its vault. It spawned a lackluster sequel in 2003 and a live-version remake in 1994 (followed by a prequel to the remake in 1998). Some of the characters returned (along with the voice actors) for Disney's Robin Hood in 1973. The character Baloo returned in 1990 for animated series TaleSpin.

The Jungle Book has been loved by kids and adults for decades. The film has been re-released to theaters over the years. I was told I saw the movie at the theaters in 1984, when I was a three-year-old and I fell asleep. I do remember seeing the movie in the theaters in 1990, which was the same year TaleSpin was on the air. Disney did a wonderful job digitizing the film to HD quality (1080p High Definition; Aspect Ratio 1:75:1). I hadn't seen the movie in years and it gave me a nolgastic feeling watching it again. There are many neat extras including the long-lost alternate ending, which I thought was a little too dark for a Disney film. Overall, I love The Jungle Book: Diamond Edition and I recommend it to everybody.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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