21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Great looking restoration, vibrant colours, great stereo sound, some worthy bonus features on a second disc... But the movie, clearly conceived and designed for fullframe viewing -no matter how Disney released it theatrically- is here ruthlessly cropped at the top and the bottom to fill the widescreen tv, loosing picture information. Some sequences look particularly bad. Is this a Platinum edition? No way.
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
With so many Disney DVDs to choose from, is "The Jungle Book," even a new "Platinum" version, really a must buy?
Absolutely. Just 78 minutes long, this unpretentious adventure is full of imaginative characters, charming song and dance routines, interesting themes and innocent good humor. Unlike many Disney films, "The Jungle Book" doesn't strive to be high art and has no groundbreaking special effects, but it's still one of the company's best animated films. And now the film has now been "digitally enhanced," with a brighter contrast and cleaner colors.
Telling the tale of Mowgli, a human boy brought up in the jungles of India, the movie is a freewheeling adaptation of some Victorian-era short stories by British writer Rudyard Kipling. Rescued as an infant by a protective panther named Bagheera, the boy is raised by wolves and adopted by a carefree bachelor bear, Baloo. Disney punches up the stories with Western jokes and music (the pop soundtrack includes Baloo's and orangutan King Louie's infectious scat duet "I Wanna Be Like You" and Baloo's perky prickly pear primer, "The Bear Necessities"), but wisely eliminates Kipling's patronizing overtones.
"The Jungle Book" teaches children a number of good life lessons. It demonstrates that the world includes enemies as well as friends, and that enemies sometimes disguise themselves as friends. It argues that though its fun to pretend you're someone you're not, it's best to accept the person you are.
It has two lessons about love. First, that true love is unselfish, as Baloo learns when he realizes he must finally return Mowgli to the "man village." And second, as Mowgli realizes in the final scene, that the ultimate male fulfillment is the love of a good woman. Or, as my husband views the segment, the pursuit of a wide-eyed flirt.
Parents can take note of a classic Disney touch: the acceptance of both religion and science. The film begins with the infant Mowgli lying in a basket along a riverbank, a reference to Moses that's not in the Kipling stories. Later, however, there's a nod to Darwin, as the orangutan King Louie greets the human boy with an outstretched hand, saying "Shake hands, cousin."
If nothing else, adults can enjoy identifying the distinctive character voices (Kaa is voiced by Sterling Holloway, the Cheshire Cat in "Alice in Wonderland" and best known as Winnie the Pooh) or laughing at the chorus of Beatle-like vultures. One looks just like Ringo. Sounds like him, too.
If you're a fan of the story you may also want to check out Disney's live-action (and non-musical) version, 1994's Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. Though it's a little violent for younger kids (one soldier is sucked under a pond of quicksand and dies a slow death), this PG film is not really scary and quite the exotic adventure. Its stars include Sam Neill and, in a bit part, John Cleese.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2008
Well, yes, that's true. This is one of the great classics ever produced. I already own the original version in full frame on DVD. The reason that I gave this 4 stars is simply because they cropped the movie from top and bottom to make it widescreen. It's not true that you won't see the characters heads. Yes, you lose a little from the picture, but then so you do if you play the full frame version on a widescreen TV and you set the TV to "widezoom" instead of 16:9, because if you set the TV to 16:9 you will see everything "flat". So you need to set it to a more normal aspect ratio, which in the Sony case it's called "widezoom", Philips has the "Zoom 16:9" and "Zoom 14:9", others have other names for that setting. When you watch the movie like that, in order to fill the entire screen, you will lose from top and bottom on a full frame movie.
However, with this movie, they didn't simply just cut the movie from top and bottom. They did an entire re-working of the film, where they take it frame by frame and they cut from top and bottom where there's unimportant stuff on the screen. In other words, if you have a scene where the character is shown more on the top of the screen, and you have a rock or grass, or something else on the bottom, then they will cut only from the bottom enough so that it fits on a widescreen frame. In other scenes, they will cut accordingly, so that you won't lose essential stuff that must be seen.
Therefore, if you're trying to make a decision whether or not you should replace your original, full-frame DVD of this movie with this new widescreen version, I guess it all comes down to how much of a movie buff you are. If you really really love a classic, an original, then you will stick to the original full frame if you already have it. If you just want to own a copy of this movie, and you own a widescreen TV and you adore new technology, then I suggest that you buy this new version. They made it to fit just that profile.
Me - I already own the original full-frame DVD. I've watched it on my widescreen TV and it looks fine.
For more info and an outstanding review before you buy this version, check out:
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2014
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I can't believe that Disney actually did this! I just viewed my new Blu-ray of The Jungle Book Diamond Edition.
First off; I noticed that the movie was widescreen. Now, I own the original DVD and have also owned the VHS and the Laserdisc as well and I can assure you that this movie was never widescreen! I went back to my DVD and viewed it. Upon comparison, I noticed that in order for Disney to make it widescreen, they had to crop off the top and bottom of the picture. In some scenes it even cuts off Baloo's head feet.
I feel so sad and sorry for the original artists who worked so hard on this movie. All that beautiful animation they did has been cut off. It's sad! I'm not sure why Disney would do this. All I can tell you is that it's almost unwatchable! They didn't do it to Bambi or Alice in Wonderland, So why Jungle Book. I've been waiting for this Blu-ray release for years.
I have some fond childhood memories of this film. My dear Grandmother took me to see this movie when I was a kid. It was this first time she ever took me out alone. A wonderful day. It's a treasured memory for me. But now Disney has managed to crush the viewing of it. If they wanted to give the new kid viewers a screen that fills the TV, they should have given us both versions in the set or at least given a choice when purchasing.
Secondly; If you try to pause the film for whatever reason, after 5 seconds, the screen automatically goes to a narrative screen about the movie that CAN NOT be bypassed. It's very irritating!
I'm going to return this Jungle Book Blu-ray. Hopefully it will send a message to Disney...Maybe they'll get it!
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2000
I agree with some of the other reviews - especially that the DVD does not offer anything more! In fact, the VHS copy I have has a "Making of" which is not on the DVD! Disney has priced this DVD too high with nothing extra. The movie itself is classic and if you don't have it on VHS, get it on DVD. Still, I feel Disney is milking too much out of these limited re-issues; at the very least they could include extra features on the DVDs (I bet they will issue special edition DVDs down the road so that we will have to buy another copy!).
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2008
I have the limited issue of this dvd.Then i bought the new one and sent it back.They made this dvd into widescreen and ruined the entire movie.They chopped of the heads of some of the character's.Give this dvd a One -
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
The jungle book is about a human boy named Mowgli who is raised by a pack of wolves in the jungle, until it is decided that he can't stay in the jungle anymore. Bagheera has problems getting Mowgli back to the man village, because Mowgli dosen't want to leave the jungle. Then Mowgli meets baloo the bear. After an encounter with the mad King Louie of the apes, and pressed to return to the man village by Baloo and Bagheera, Mowgli runs away. Later on, Mowgli meets Shere Khan, the tiger. I can't tell you what happens at the end, you'll have to see for yourself. Unfortunately, halfway through the production of the jungle book, Walt Disney died. If you want more jungle fun, be sure to check out The Jungle book 2.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2003
Based Rudyard Kipling's classic story, Disney's JUNGLE BOOK delivers a laugh out loud, fun, sing-along classic. In my opnion, this was one of the most fun Disney classics. Along with a great soundtrack and fun musical numbers, the entire family will enjoy this one.
Mogli is a young boy who was orphaned when he was a baby and then was found by a pack of wolves. Now that Mogli is older, Shiar Khan the tiger, wants Mogli dead. Now the wolves and Bagira the panther have to bring him back to the human village to be with his own kind and for his own safety. Mogli wants no part of that and while running away from Begari's sight, he runs into Baloo, a fun loving Bear who teaches Mogli how to have a good time and the "Bear Necessities".
I really love this movie. This one is a lot of fun. I only had one problem with this movie and that was a little animation recycling in the "Friend Like Me" scene with King Louie (if you saw ROBIN HOOD or ARISTOCATS, you'll see what I mean). But even that wasn't enough for me to take off a star. I still think this is a 5 star Disney classic.
If you're looking for other fun Disney classics, check out ROBIN HOOD, ALICE IN WONDERLAND and WINNIE THE POOH 25th Anniversary DVD. And if you're looking for a great Rudyard Kipling book, look for RIKI TIKI TAVI. Enjoy!
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2007
This is an excellent 2-disc set. The movie has been digitally restored, looking better than ever. The story of Mowgli, Baloo, and Bagheera is well-known by now; watching it after all these years has increased my appreciation of it. I highly recommend watching the Making-of documentaries first, as they will also enhance your viewing experience. Especially enlightening is the story of how Walt changed the Rudyard Kipling tale and why (and to learn that he actually returned to the original text for his inspiration of how to end his version). It is also somewhat sad to see that this was the last film to have Disney's indelible stamp on it due to his death, yet also inspiring to hear the animators talk about what they put into the film as well as future animators who were inspired as youngsters by viewing it. Different concepts along the way are interesting to see, and not surprising to learn that Phil Harris put much of his own personality into the dialogue and characterization of Baloo. The other extras are fun too, including the games (although some could benefit from better instructions, such as the follow Kaa's eyes game). Be sure to pick up this newest Disney Classic release - you won't be sorry!
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2004
I'm 52, my kids have grown up and I have no grandkids yet. I bought this for me. It's one of the bare necessities of life!