Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Jungle Book Mix

More Jungle Book.
As I said before, the film had so much going against it, it could have been a disaster. To quote Woolie Reitherman: "Walt checked out half way through the picture."
Story genius Bill Peet quit the studio even sooner, how are you going to pick up the pieces and create a film worthy of Disney. Well, they did.
It's no secret that had this film not been a box office hit, Disney animation might have been finished right then and there. Executives were eager to stop animated feature production, too expensive. They were counting on revenues from future re-releases of the classic films, and focus on future live action movies instead.
It took a few decades to finish the job. Classic Pencil animation was finally halted in favor of CG and live action films.

I love this Ken Anderson sketch of Mowgli, acting like a wolf cub by scratching his head with his foot. This moment should have been in the movie, the kid was raised by wolves...show it!
Missed opportunity.

One of Ken Anderson's many inspirational doodles, showing Mowgli in relation to a vast, wild  jungle.

A couple of Ollie Johnston's sketches, as he explores Baloo's pleasure of scratching.

A couple of rough layouts. Outside of the wolves' den, and high in the trees, a path for Bagheera to travel on.

Frank Thomas almost animated 1/4 of Jungle Book. Like all animators on this movie, he surely FELT the characters' personality.

It seems you can't come up with a bad character composition, when a snake is involved. Another Frank Thomas sequence.

The Sherman brothers working with Louis Prima, the voice of King Louie. What a great sequence this turned out to be.


  1. It amazes me when troubled productions turn out a good film, but it seems like Disney did it a few times.

  2. The honest trailer for this came out, and they called it boring and plotless. I don't see how either of those things are true. It's just a character piece, and isn't focused on telling a particularly complicated narrative. We don't have enough of that anymore. Everything is "story story story." It's nice to go back and watch something that's just sort of a laid back road trip with some crazy characters along the way.

    1. I felt the same way! The Jungle Book is utterly charming, especially for animation nuts, but even so for everyone else.

  3. You can't say that hand-drawn animation has been PERMANENTLY discontinued. They might use it again somewhere along the line, you just never know...

  4. The scenes look as if there's a certain influence of Gustave Doré's style, in a similar way to the concepts and stop-motion of Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen. Spotlit areas framed by shadow, often with the subject dwarfed by the surrounding environment. The jungle scenes of the original 1933 King Kong are an appropriate comparison!

    I like the effect, myself. Very atmospheric.

    Which version of The Jungle Book does the new film follow most? I'm fond of Disney's animated film - who isn't? - but I was hoping for something closer to Rudyard Kipling's original stories. Especially the depiction of Kaa - less real-world snake, more ancient dragon of epic poem or Middle-Earth, but on the good guy's side! But a few strains of 'Trust In Me' in the trailer make me wonder.

  5. I kind of think hand drawn animation might come back. My age group (25-35) is very nostalgic for it and miss it among all the cg / live action. I know nothing will ever be able to replace it for me, and my age group is reintroducing it to our kids and the next generation

  6. One of my top-5 features. I will always love Jungle Book.