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The Vinylmation Critic Review: The Jungle Book

Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book (originally released in 1967) is famously known for being the last movie that had Walt’s direct input. The movie is largely known for it’s music, most notably The Bare Necessities, and it’s singer, Baloo. I don’t know much about this movie, because it’s not that big when compared to other Disney movies. I do believe that Walt Disney was very dissatisfied with how The Sword in the Stone turned out. If I remember correctly, he placed The Sword in the Stone under the care of Bill Peet and offered no supervision. Walt was very disappointed with the final product and decided to hover over The Jungle Book. This didn’t surprise me, as I am still mad that Bill Peet thought it necessary to have two of his kids voice the main character, Arthur, instead of sticking with one kid, who didn’t go through puberty halfway through recording. The Sword in the Stone is one of my favorite movies. Anyways, back on topic…

The Jungle Book originally had a very different story, a very dark story. The ending to that story can be found as a deleted scene on the latest Diamond Edition Blu-Ray release. The original story had Mowgli going into the village half-way through the movie and interacting with the villagers. Shere Khan was defeated with the help of a poacher. Walt thought that this story was too dark and not family friendly, so he insisted on changing the whole story. The story doesn’t follow the book, and I do believe that the Chuck Jones version follows the book.

Now, I have to confess, I really don’t like this movie. I didn’t see it as a kid, and instead heard people talk about how good the movie was. So a couple of years ago, I sat down and watched it, and I hated the movie. Okay, hate is a very strong word, but there were so many elements that bothered me, and most of them were the characters. Now the animation, is flawless, especially those backgrounds. That shot of the waterfall is absolutely stunning! But the movie suffers from so many unnecessary scenes and feels to me like a rushed episodic show more than a movie. Now let’s move to the characters!

  • Mowgli, our main character, is flat out annoying. I hated this kid. He was such a rude kid that never listened to Bagheera and instead kept endangering himself. Especially at the end where Shere Khan almost ate him. Hey kid, everyone in the forest is afraid of this guy, stop being arrogant and run for your life, you idiot!
  • Baloo: Being Mowgli’s enabler…. I hated him too. I also really didn’t care for the Bare Necessities. I just don’t really see it’s point being in the movie because it’s just the characters having fun and doesn’t further the story.
  • Bagheera: I actually liked him. He’s my second favorite character. He is the voice of reason in this movie and I wouldn’t blame him if he left Mowgli to Shere Khan.
  • Shere Khan: Phenomenal voice casting. He, along with Ursula, are one of the best sounding villains to ever come out of Disney. I also absolutely love his calm demeanor. His sinister smiles and just plain evil voice. He’s fantastic!
  • Kaa: He’s a cool snake. Really liked him in the movie, although, his scenes do get a bit too tiring and long since there is practically no reason to him being in the movie.
  • Elephants: Never should have been in the movie. Didn’t do any good.
  • King Louie: He has an amazing song! My favorite in the movie! The animation done on him is also quite impressive.

The biggest problem that this movie suffers is the necessity of the characters and events. A lot of this movie is characters just interacting with each other and those interactions have nothing do with the story. But I still love the animation, and that alone warrants a review!

So let’s dig deep into this Vinylmation set!

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The Case in General

This is a really disappointing set. I mean, I’m obviously not a big fan of the movie, but I still liked some of the characters. The biggest disappointment in this set was Shere Khan, but the worst problem were the character choices. This is an 8 figure series, which meant that they needed to make 8 distinctive characters. Five of the characters in this set were made in other sets and that space should have really gone to the other characters in the movie. I really wanted a vinylmation figure of Akela and Rama, the wolves, along with Flunky, King Loiue’s servant These characters would have been better figures than the ones that we got. The fact that three of the figures were also less superior than their counterparts was also bad. I really thought that having the set dedicated to the movie would give it more of a collective feel, unlike a random series. And let’s talk about the chaser, which I personally really had high hopes for. I don’t understand why we needed to have Kaa as the chaser when we could have gotten the human girl, ashanti,  instead. Her inclusion would have been well deserved since I always thought that vinylmations are where forgotten characters are remembered. The design of the box though was really nice. I liked it a lot. So overall, with really disappointing figures, and other superior figures available at the market, I’ll have to give this set a 4/10.

Flunky

Ashanti

 

Thank you for reading and please don’t hesitate to comment below, as I will always interact with the commenters and let me know of any sets that you want me to review! Feel free to ask me any questions that you might have! Follow me on twitter @vinylcritic