Blogging Disney: The Jungle Book
In honor of the 4th of July, we're outsourcing all patriotism to India. Good job India, for winning your independence the Gandhi way!
Before Gandhi, however, there was Mowgli.
Bagheera the panther finds a man-cub in a broken canoe. I assume it was a canoe. Anyway, raised by wolves and mentored by Baggy, Mowgli grows into a skinny, neon orange-diapered child. When the human-hating tiger Shere Khan (a symbol for racism and bigotry) returns to the jungle (a symbol for the American middle class), Bagheera (a symbol for the Black Panthers) decides to save Mowgli (a symbol for the defenseless low-class black man) and force him to leave the jungle (an action which represents the Back-to-Africa movement of the late 1800s). To do this, he tries to enlist the help of Mowgli's best friend and father figure, Baloo the bear (who, for some reason, represents McCarthyism).
And that, kids, is how even a movie some might call "Tarzan in India" can be turned into a retelling of the African-American Civil Rights movement and you can sound smarter than you are. Next week: how to portray Shakespeare's "Hamlet" as an allegory for the Cuban Missile Crisis. (Hint: Claudius is a symbol for Fidel Castro.) Wasn't Shakespeare ahead of his time?
But before we get into the deep shiz, let's interview some Sparklers about The Sword in the Stone:
"Okay, Mim always terrified me when I was little. SO WHAT that she pretty much just plays solitaire?? It is THE MOST THREATENING of ALL the card games."
"I hated this movie. End of story. And my cousins always made me watch it when we were at Grandma's... that might be part of the reason why"
Was your grandma Madame Mim? You don't have to answer that. I know family can be embarrassing.
But at least you aren't related to WOLVES like some people in today's movie! Speaking of which, here's my questions:
DISCLAIMER about The Jungle Book: This is one of my favorite Disney movies. Any questions are purely questions. Please don't loose your tigers, sloth bears, panthers, wolves, snakes or mongeese on me...unless of course it's all in good fun.
1. How would Mowgli know of human modesty? He wears a neon orange diaper but he's never met anyone wearing a neon orange diaper. So how does he know this is the right thing to do?
2. The leader of the wolf pack is named Akeelah? That's cool. He must be tough. Or at least good at spelling.
3. Was Mowgli the original Coppertone Water Babies Sunblock girl?
3. Is Baloo not the best bear-mentor ever? As far as bears go, he definitely beats out Winnie the Pooh, Corduroy, Little Bear, ALL the Berenstain Bears combined, Paddington Bear, Baby Bear, Smokey Bear, Snuggle the Fabric Softener Bear, Yogi Bear, Banjo the Bear from the Banjo-Kazooie games, and Ted from Ted, awesome as most of these bears are.
4. How does Baloo get so attached to Mowgli so quickly? He knows the boy for not even 24 hours, yet starts saying things like "If anything happens to that little kid I don't know what I'll do!" when he disappears. I guess since Baloo never had a son...as far as WE know.
5. Why didn't Bagheera get to the Baloo/Shere Khan/vulture fight sooner? He arrives right as it's over. But wouldn't it be cool to see a real cat fight between guys? 'Cause that never happens between two real males. Unless they're, you know, cats.
Disney Cage Match Time: Which Disney Tiger would win: Shere Khan or Tigger? Shere Khan is more ferocious and actually has claws. But Tigger's top is made out of rubber and his bottom is made out of springs. Also, Shere Khan has a gaping weakness (fire), whereas Tigger is only afraid of Heffalumps and Woozels. Our money's on Tigger. He's pouncy. Our only concern is that he's also bouncy, flouncy and trouncy, and may focus more on these traits than pounciness.
Next week: The Aristocats!
What do you think of The Jungle Book?