Jungle Book (1994) – Blockbuster Buster

Believe it or not this year’s re-make of The Jungle Book was NOT the first attempt that Disney made to re-make the beloved Animated Classic. ERod goes back to 1994 to look at their first try.

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73 comments

  1. I actually really enjoy this movie. Sure, there are things that irked me like making Shere Khan a villain and giving Kaa little screen time, but I still consider it to be a very enjoyable movie. Hell, it was a 92% FRESH rating on Rotten Tomatoes!!

  2. Great review…. looking forward to your thoughts on the most recent Jungle Book…. But trust me NOTHING with beat the disney cartoon version 🙂

  3. You know that Pan was made by Warner Bros and not Disney right? It’s an adaptation of the original play/book, not the Disney take (thank god for that).

  4. I emit this movie is something of a gilty pleaser for me and I loved as a kid

  5. When the Blockbuster Buster reviews Pan next week I hope he mentions the 2003 adaptation and how good it was, it’s a criminally underrated movie that deserves more attention.

    • Yeah, I LOVE that movie!! 😀

    • I thought I was slightly creepy in the way it sexualized Wendy and Peter.

      • I’ve only ever seen the 2003 adaptation one time many years ago, so please forgive my blurry memory. I agree that sexualizing children is not good, absolutely; however, I don’t recall any of the *adult* characters in the adaptation treating Peter and Wendy in an inappropriate manner. Rather, it was just Peter and Wendy being flirtatious with each other. Granted, their interactions may have been a bit strong, but the actors themselves were about 12-14 years old when shooting the movie, not 8-10. Overall, I found the film charming.

        • And let’s not forget the best adult character from the 2003 adaptation: Jason Isaacs as Captain James Hook. Perfect casting. Though, it still doesn’t beat the legendary Dustin Hoffman’s portrayal.

        • I can just say that I felt uncomfortable watching it, especially when Hook turned up an interacted with Wendy….and suddenly my mostly clean Peter Pan fandom was floated with Hook/Wendy stories based in this movie. It’s too bad, since the movie looks beautiful.

    • I watched it as a kid…but am not fond of it at all: it looked far to garish (and the Wendy stuff was weird!!)

      But I’m not really a Peter Pan person so maybe it’s just not my thing

  6. The movie was a realistic approach to the classic but with minor connections to it as well.Kinda takes the interest of a child if you dont have the animals talking like the otherone. This is why the reboot WILL be successful.

  7. I think you missed the point of this movie, it wasn’t a supposed to be a live-action adaptation of the Disney movie at all. I think it was trying to be its own thing. And the final battle sequence you were hyping up for, I think set your expectations way too high because maybe you know who these two are, but the general public doesn’t know Jason Scott Lee and they hardly remember Cary Elwes.

    Point is, this movie wasn’t that bad, but yeah, Kaa as a CG snake has really aged badly.

    • ERod usually reviews good movies saying they’re bad. Like in Into the Woods how he says every movie adapted from a Broadway musical doesn’t have to be a musical, when that’s what every movie adaptation HAS BEEN!!!!

    • I actually agree 100% with EROD here.

      If it was trying to “do it’s own thing” then it should have been it’s own thing. Instead you got a mashup of The Jungle Book and Tarzan that wasn’t as good as either one.

      This is actually a much bigger problem now, where studios take nostalgic properties and try to shoehorn in some new take on it, rather then take their idea and make something fresh. I’d rather they try to include a nod or homage to a classic work of fiction in something new, then to change all the core story concepts and alter the whole spirit of the original work to fit their new project.

  8. It’s a crap adaptation, to be sure. But honestly, I think it’s a perfectly decent film on its’ own merits.

    As for the “insult Mowgli when we need him to co-operate with us” stuff….yeah, it’s stupid, but it’s the British Raj and Mowgli ain’t white, so it’s at least stupidity that makes sense in context. The British Empire was completely and utterly convinced that it was bringing enlightenment and civilization to the places it invaded, and had a deep-seated belief that the British were inherently more intelligent, respectable and reasonable than…well, everyone else on the planet, so most British people in India at the time considered themselves to be inherently cleverer, better, more moral than the Indians they were oppressing. They probably saw Mowgli as only being slightly more intelligent than a monkey wearing human clothes. The soldiers insulting Mowgli is definitely stupid, but it’s sense-making stupidity given the time and place.

    • Snorgatch Pandalume

      Kipling even wrote a poem justifying imperialism called “The White Man’s Burden,” saying basically it was the sacred duty of the white race to lift up the “lesser races” (like the Indians and Chinese, both of whom had advanced civilizations when Europeans were still primitive savages). Like most everyone else in the 19th century, Kipling was a racist; the superiority of white Europeans (and most especially NORTHERN white Europeans) was assumed and largely unquestioned.

      • Yup. And depressingly enough, the British Empire was usually so, SO incredibly racist that Kipling could almost be considered progressive by the standards of his time. At least he viewed Chinese and Indian people as…y’know, PEOPLE. That wasn’t a given. At all. The Empire’s predominant school of thought on the matter for a while was that white people were a separate, more advanced species and all other ethnic groups were basically Neanderthals. Kipling at least understood that they were all humans.

  9. To be fair, the snake isn’t all CG, at least in what you showed us. The close up looks pretty damn bad but I’m positive the one that goes in the water was real (well, you know, a practical effect, not REAL real).

    Seriously? They have to teach him English? Wouldn’t he still know at least SOME Hindi from when he was a kid? Just ask a native to translate, dumbass! Well hey, it seems like it only took a week or two, so no biggie I guess…

    Maybe that ‘how the apes dance’ bit was supposed to be a reference to the original movie?

  10. Uh, the clothes are made of snakeskin. You do the math…although, gee, somehow, it seems unlikely that somehow non-anthropomorphic animals taught Mowgli to be an expert tailor.

    • “The clothes are made of snakeskin.. You do the math.” See, since that douche got killed by the snake at the end of the movie. It’s probably something else.

  11. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    This movie on rotten tomatoes has a fresh percentage of 92. I’m not even kidding look it up I didn’t think that would be the reason you would do it but as soon as i saw the director of GI Joe the rise of Cobra’s name on it I knew that was the reason you were doing it and I completely understand why you were doing it. I’ll probably wait till DVD to see the remake but I’ll definitely check this movie out sometime soon.

  12. A better idea. Teach a gorilla sign language then have the gorilla interrogate Moglie and lead them to the treasure. That way instead turning Jungle Book into Tarzan they could have turned it into Congo.

  13. I honestly don’t recall seeing this movie, like ever o.O

  14. So you gripe about an adaptation of a musical being a musical throughout your review of it, but stop yourself from ranting about how the adaptation of a talking animal story doesn’t have any talking animals? Wasn’t your whole thing supposed to be “the voice of the fans” or am I thinking about someone else?

  15. lilith_ascennding

    Actually, Mowgli isn’t a child throughout the entirety of The Jungle Book (and likewise, The Second Jungle Book). In fact, he’s an adult in the second half of the first story. So making Mowgli an adult for the majority of the film isn’t honestly the biggest faux pas they could pull. Hell, I think Mowgli is a child in only a few of the stories that he is featured in. He’s an adult in the rest of them.

    • Someone call The Dom, we’ve got a Lost in Adaptation episode to do now!

    • I thought he was a teenager in the rest of them and only reached adulthood in the last story, where he goes to live with the man pack the second time? I was always under the impression that reaching adulthood was what caused him to want to leave the jungle permanently.

  16. Why do live action versions of this film even exist in the first place??? The new film doesn’t look bad, but come on, when you’re dealing with talking animals ALWAYS go animated over CG or trained zoo animals! You are NEVER going to have any person talking to a CG bear ever look as convincing as someone talking to an animal in the same style that they’re in. It’s just not going to happen.

    Also, can we take a minute to talk about just how effed up it is that Moguli spends most of the movie trying to force himself on this girl who clearly isn’t into him at all to the point where she physically pushes him away several times before she eventually just gives in and ends up with him? I know several films do stupid stuff like that, but that really doesn’t make this any less screwed up. Because remember, kids! If someone you like says ‘no’ then keep trying. And if they say ‘no’ again, Keep Trying! And if they keep saying ‘no’ after that, KEEP TRYING and eventually they will give in to your sexual urges because that’s not an unhealthy relationship at all!!! THEY CAN NEVER JUST SAY NO AND BE YOUR FRIEND, YOU MUST WIN THEM OVER NO MATTER WHAT, KIDS!!!
    Seriously, am I the only one who sees how completely screwed up constantly doing this in kids films and stuff is?

    • Pretty sure he was raised in the jungle for over a decade from a very young age. I’m not the only who remembers this, right? That was he was raised by animals who know nothing of approaching women and thus wouldn’t actually know that kind of etiquette? Pretty sure kids would realize this too. I certainly did back in 1994.

  17. ThatManWithTheHeadband12

    Next week we will pun

  18. Dude, of course she’s engaged to another English dude. It’s called racism. A dirty thing that was more acceptable back then. Her father probably arranged for her to be engaged to that dude.

    I always figured Mogli got the clothes from the monkey city. What I never figured out is how he learned to put them on properly.

    • Also I would’ve used Benny Cucumber as (fake) Khan in place of Depp as Tonto – more fitting since it’s an untalented hack of a white man cast as an Indian man.

  19. I hated the animated Jungle Book, especially as a kid, so I probably will like the re-boot. On the other hand, I’ve never heard of this movie. That third act was… odd, to say the least. Oh, and isn’t Johnny Depp at least 5% Native American. Also, I can’t wait to see your Pan review. I’m expecting some good laughs. 😀

    • I’m so glad to hear someone else say this! The original Kipling was my favorite book in the world when I was a kid; I must have read it twenty times between ages eight and twelve. So taking something so dark and epic and poetic and making it into this goofy, sort of plotless thing… I was never much into Disney as a kid anyway, but I’m not sure I even saw the movie all the way through before I went “NOPE.”

      The Chuck Jones one, though, I wore out the cassette.

  20. Oooh, so casting white actors into roles of minorities is embarassing? I wonder where that mentality of “casting best available actor into a role” has gone? Yeah Erod, get your things together, and better take that tumblr bs and throw it together with this movie into space. Fucking double standarts.

    • Wouldn’t the best actor for a role involving a race other then Caucasian be an actor of that particular race? It’s not double standards, it’s just plain good sense.

      • And yet if it’s a caucasian role it’s absolutely okay to make them someone of a different race, and it’s also fine to take a character of a different race and make them anything besides white too.

        Honestly just fuck white people, lololololololol- Shut up.
        It’s still a god damn double standard no matter what- and even more to the point, it was the god damn 90s. The whole idea of equality on screen because the internet is bitching about it hadn’t quite caught up yet.

        • Nice to see peopel realising that, wish Erod woudl see hwo much of a hypocrite he becomes, cos he makes the same thing in Pan review…..

          MightyDavindson – Go back to new Star Trek movie with Khan, see peopel reaction, also keep in mind that Khan is an alien of no race that is related to those on earth. iIt’s a fact that you can change white character just to appeal more tolerant, but when you cast white acto ron other race role, it’s whitewashing. So either you suport casting best available actor for a role, no matter race, or you don’t. Simple as that.

    • Snorgatch Pandalume

      There is no such thing as “the best available actor.” Any role you care to mention could be played by dozens of different people, and there is no way of knowing ahead of time who will do it best. Hollywood has a long and embarrassing history of casting white actors as Asians because Hollywood executives are afraid that their largely white audience won’t accept Asian actors in leading roles (the term commonly used for this practice is “yellow-face”). Thus we have such travesties as Asian detective Charlie Chan being played by Warner Oland (a Swede), Asian detective Mr. Moto played by Peter Lorre (a Hungarian) and Henry Silva (an American), Asian villain Fu Manchu played by Christopher Lee and Peter Sellers (both Brits), Asian martial arts master Chuin from the Destroyer series of novels played by Joel Grey (another Brit), and kung fu master Kwai Chang Caine in the TV series Kung Fu played by American David Carradine, a role that was originally supposed to go to Bruce Lee before the network balked at casting an Asian actor in a leading role on a prime time TV series. Go ahead, tell me David Carradine was a better choice to play a martial arts expert than Bruce Lee. Then go fuck yourself.

      • Honestly this whole argument is stupid, White people being recast is just as dumb and racist and a cheap way to be inclusive as recasting other nationalities as white- and infact that cheap ploy is also lazy and possibly more racist cause it makes Hollywood think you can be tricked and satisfied that easily and give you a shit product. A further difference is they don’t have years of oppression so somehow people think that if the same shit happens to white people it’s okay and they deserve it.

        In today’s practice a white person playing another nationality might be unacceptable because it’s a sign of laziness and being cheap cause Johnny Depp has a shit ton of make up he can throw on whenever you ask cause he has no pride….or too much. But while it still wasn’t okay back then…it was a practice you could at least explain with reasons besides laziness, because honestly these days people wouldn’t look poorly on a film if the race was cast correctly.

  21. Oh, yeah – the CG snake is so bad when you know it isn’t real. You know what else is very obviously not real? Flying DVDs which shoot energy blasts, yet we let that one slide constantly.

  22. Flutterflyraptor

    It makes me wonder how The Nostalgia Critic is going do a review of it?

  23. I loved that opening: The Phantom is so cool!!

    Ahh, the Jungle Book; I loved the movie and, though I haven’t read the book, I plan to. Though I saw a Ricky Ticky Tavy film once….the horror…the horror…

    Apparently, the reason Mogli grew up is because Stephen Somers wanted to make a Tarzan movie but was denied the rights so

    03:57 child services are for sissies!!!
    10:23 Cary Elwes!!! Eeeek!! Oh why do you continue breaking our hearts by being, y’know, stupid?
    12:47 look a wild Jason Fleming!!!
    20:20 of course dear 😉

    Great review: bears are amazing!

  24. Aw dammit, Pan did bad? It actually looked pretty good from the commercials

  25. Well now you’re just taking the piss obviously cause even as a bad adaptation it’s a good movie.
    Besides every adaptation with King Louie in it is a bad fucking adaptation which I wish EVERYONE WOULD REALIZE ALREADY. I don’t give a damn how good Christopher Walken giant monkey is going to be.
    Where’s the Dom, he’ll back me up!

    Also your hatred for CGI in a film where the snake is 90% fucking practical effects just shows how astoundingly shitty your bias against it is, you cranky old man.

  26. You’re such a poor excuse for a critic Erod.

  27. You didn’t even mention that this version is a Indiana Jones wannabe. That commenter Tactlesscat and other commenters are right, you sometimes can be closed minded cranky old man Blockbuster Buster.

  28. That movie is my childhood, man. I loved it then and I like it now. I actually saw Carey Elwes in this before I saw The Princess Bride xD

    Man, you’ve gotta lighten up. Bad adaptation? Yeah. But good film? Yes, that too. It’s OK for movies to make changes.

  29. Funny. I just thought today that nobody ever talked about the most recent Peter Pan adaptation.

  30. Spoiler: new version of Jungle Book made this year also suck.

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