|Running Time||75:22 minutes|
Warner Home Video
J. Pat O'Malley
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English (Dolby Digital 2.0 ,
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Dutch (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Polish (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Hebrew (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Hungarian (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Czech (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.37:1||
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Based upon the Rudyard Kipling stories of young Mowgli, Disney's nineteenth animated feature was the last made whilst Walt Disney was alive. In many ways, it shows Walt's influence, for the company made little of note after The Jungle Book until The Little Mermaid.
Mowgli is an orphan man-cub who was raised by a wolf pack. The return of Shere Khan, the tiger, sees the wolf pack electing to have Mowgli returned to his own kind - which is first attempted by Bagheera the panther (Sebastian Cabot). Since Mowgli is determined to stay in the jungle, things go a little astray - especially when Baloo the bear (Phil Harris) gets involved. Along the way to the usual sugary Disney ending, we have the delights of Kaa, the outrageous King Louie, the pompous Colonel Hathi and a bunch of vultures who never cease to remind me of The Beatles.
The Jungle Book has a nicely crafted story, less sugary than normal from this source in my view, brought to life under the guidance of Disney legend Wolfgang Reithermann. Demonstrating some of the best traditional animation to have come from the Disney studio up to that time, this still stands up well over thirty years later. Best known perhaps for some terrific music, this is as toe-tapping an exercise as has ever come from this source.
The Jungle Book is an absolute classic in every sense of the word, which still delights many, many years after the first time I ever saw it. Now if only the rest of Disney animated legacy could be forthcoming on a somewhat more pacy schedule, it would surely be appreciated.
The transfer is presented in its original 1.33:1 Full Frame format, and it is of course not 16x9 enhanced.
This is a wonderfully sharp and detailed transfer that shines in the digital age, despite its obvious limitations as a result of age and origin. Whilst it is showing its age a little with the odd lapse in clarity, there is little here to detract from the enjoyment of the show. Shadow detail is as good as could be expected for the source and the age. There did not seem to be any low level noise problems with the transfer.
The colours here shine quite nicely indeed, and whilst not the most vibrant transfer to grace these animated releases, this is a nicely consistent and colourful presentation that looks as good as it can possibly look. Saturation is spot-on and there is no hint of oversaturation here. There are no colour bleed problems.
There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There did not appear to be any problems with film-to-video artefacts in the transfer. There did not seem to be any real problems with film artefacts.
This is an RSDL formatted DVD with the layer change coming at 50:53. This is a very well-handled layer change, coming in a black scene change and therefore completely non-disruptive to the film. The use of the RSDL format DVD for such a short film is as good a reason for the very good transfer as any, as it permits a consistently high transfer bitrate (well into the 9Mb/s range).
Dialogue is clear and easy to understand throughout.
There did not appear to be any hint at all of audio sync problems with the transfer. Ha, ha! Of course, the film suffers from the usual animation sync problems, but who cares!
The musical score comes from George Bruns, with the songs coming from the famed team of Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman. Take the music and songs away from the film, and it would not be anywhere near as good. Wonderful stuff indeed.
Obviously lacking the presence of a complete 5.1
remaster, this is actually a good decision by Buena Vista to stay with
a 2.0 soundtrack. The result is a wonderful sounding effort that can be
turned up to really enjoy the wonderful music. Surround presence is pretty
much confined to the front channels but the result is an open-sounding
effort that does not have any hint of distortion or congestion. Obviously,
you can forget about the bass channel here.
|Surround Channel Use|
A very good video transfer.
A good audio transfer.
© Ian Morris (have
a laugh, check out the bio)
16th September 2000
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 80cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Amplification||Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|