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The Jungle Book DVD Review

The Jungle Book (1967) movie poster - click to buy The Jungle Book

Theatrical Release: October 18, 1967 / Running Time: 78 Minutes / Rating: G

Director: Wolfgang Reitherman

Voice Cast: Phil Harris (Baloo), Sebastian Cabot (Bagheera), Louis Prima (King Louie), George Sanders (Shere Khan), Sterling Holloway (Kaa), J. Pat O'Malley (Colonel Hathi), Bruce Reitherman (Mowgli), Verna Felton (Winifred), Clint Howard (Junior)

Songs: "The Bear Necessities", "Trust in Me", "That's What Friends are For", "I Wanna Be Like You", "My Own Home", "Colonel Hathi's March"

The Jungle Book returned to DVD on October 2, 2007 in a 2-Disc Platinum Edition.
Buy it, read our review, or continue scrolling for our review of the movie's 1999 Limited Issue DVD.

Review by Captain Hook

The Jungle Book was Walt Disney's final animated classic, released within a year of his death.
It is a charming film based on the Rudyard Kipling stories about a young human boy named Mowgli, who lives in the jungle among the wild animals.

We are first introduced to Bagheera (voiced by Sebastian Cabot), a panther who hears the baby Mowgli crying. Taking pity, he takes the child to a wolf pack which look after him. Only ten years later, the wolf pack is threatened by Shere Khan (George Sanders) who has vowed to take revenge on all humanity. Mowgli (Bruce Reitherman) is his target. Bagheera tries to bring Mowgli to the man village where he belongs, but his plan is foiled by the crafty snake Kaa (Sterling Holloway), the military Colonel Hathi (J. Pat O'Malley), the bear Baloo (Phil Harris), and the crazy orangutan King Louie (Louis Prima). Bagheera is about to give up on his attempts to return the boy, but when Mowgli sees a pair of pretty eyes (we learn in the sequel her name is Shanti), he is lured into the village.

The Jungle Book was first released as a Limited Issue, but it was among the ten bestselling titles announced as forming Disney's Platinum Collection. The slowest of Limited Issue discs to get upgraded, The Jungle Book finally gets its long-awaited 2-disc set in October 2007.

Buy The Jungle Book from Amazon.com Marketplace DVD Details

1.33:1 Fullscreen
Dolby Surround 2.0 (English, French, Spanish)
Subtitles: English
Closed Captioned
Release Date: December 7, 1999
Single-sided, single-layered disc (DVD-5)
Out of Print
White Keepcase
Now available as 2-Disc Platinum Edition DVD (Review)


Video on The Jungle Book does not look very spectacular at all. The colors looked completely faded and nothing in the film was sharp. In fact, it was comparable to the VHS copy, if not even worse.
The movie is presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, and there is little, if any, grain and artifacts.

Audio was satisfactory in Dolby Surround. There is nothing to complain about, though this film could have used a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, especially during the scenes with Colonel Hathi. French and Spanish Language tracks are included, as is the usual English captions for the Hearing Impaired.


The only extra on the Disc is "Recommendations", in which the viewer is recommended to purchase other Limited Issue titles, including Pinocchio (which was subsequently released under the "Gold Collection" line, and later was moved to become a Platinum release), Mulan (also revisited as a "Gold Collection" and later a "Special Edition"), The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (re-released as a Special Edition), 101 Dalmatians (part of the Platinum line), Peter Pan (re-released as a Special Edition and then a Platinum Edition), The Litte Mermaid (reissued as a Platinum Edition), and Hercules (released as a "Gold Collection" title). This extra, now, is practically worthless.


If you only need the "bare" necessities, you might be able to live with this ridiculously-priced DVD, otherwise hold out with the rest of us and enjoy the Platinum release to come later this decade.

The Jungle Book returned to DVD on October 2, 2007 in a 2-Disc Platinum Edition.
Click here to buy it or here to read our review.

Buy Jungle Book: Limited Issue DVD from Amazon.com Marketplace

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Related Reviews:
The Jungle Book: Platinum Edition (1967)
TaleSpin: Volume 1 (1990) | The Jungle Book 2 (2003) | Sing Along Songs: The Bare Necessities - The Jungle Book
Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book (1994) | Jungle 2 Jungle (1997) | Alice in Wonderland: Masterpiece Edition (1951)
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: The Friendship Edition (1977) | Tarzan: Special Edition (1999)
Robin Hood: Most Wanted Edition (1973) | The Sword in the Stone (1963) | The Aristocats (1970)
The Lion King (1994) | Sleeping Beauty (1959) | Charlie, The Lonesome Cougar (1967) | The Gnome-Mobile (1967)

Related Pages:
Top Disney Animated Classics Countdown (#13)
Top Disney Villains Countdown (featuring Shere Khan)
Top 100 Disney Songs Countdown (featuring "I Wan'na Be Like You" and "Bare Necessities")

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Reviewed March 12, 2004.