Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story, The
G
Entertainment: +1
Acceptability: +1

This all new straight to video release brings a new perspective to Rudyard Kipling's timeless classic. Real life excitment and animals are combined to tell the story of Mowgli, (Brandon Baker) a boy, who is raised by wolves. Told from Mowgli's point of view, the entire story is narrated by Fred Savage. And the tale begins when Shere Khan, (Sherman Howard) a spiteful tiger, is wounded by a man during an attack on a village of people. He pledges to take his revenge out on Mowgli. To help him survive, Mowgli's wolf parents and faithful animal friends teach him the laws of the jungle and how to protect himself. The wise old panther, Bagheera, (Eartha Kitt) teaches him the hypnotic power of a cat's eyes. Baloo, (Brian Doyle Murray) the bear, helps him learn how to find food. But when Shere Khan kills Mowgli's wolf mother, Mowgli must deal with his predator face to face. Durring the film the talking animals never move their lips and their body language is sporadic. It's as if they are communicating through their thoughts and not actually talking. This alone makes the movie seem flimsy and gives the appearance of a low quality film. Althought the story is an appealing classic, this version lacks the high quality entertainment appeal associated with Disney.

Unfortunately, one obscenity, one crude word and several scenes which imply violence slightly tarnish this childrens video. Wolves are shown consuming raw meat and Mowgli's wolf mother is shown dead. And Shere Khan is shown briefly attacking a man, and another animal is shown with it's paw in a trap. Most concerning, however, is that Mowgli discovers matches. He lights them and catches a hut and part of the forest on fire. Although, no damage is ever shown, these scenes could convey to young children that matches are safe to play with and that children are able to control fire. Also disturbing for younger children is the sense of abandonment Mowgli encounters. After Shere Khan attacks his village, Mowgli is left behind by the villagers. And when his wolf mother is killed, he again has to face the pain of loss. Saddened, he questions Bagheera about heaven. She tells him that all life comes from there, but that no one is smart enough to know where heaven came from. Mowgli's Story is without most offensive elements found in some children's videos, but, unfortunately, it lacks entertaining elements as well.

Preview Reviewer: Sherry Oswald
Distributor: Walt Disney Co., 500 S. Buena Vista Street, Burbank, CA 91521

Summary
Crude Language: Once - Moderate
Obscene Language: Once
Profanity: None
Violence: Several times--Moderate (monkey's throw fruit at bear, boy falls out of tree, fire, tiger attacks man, man shoots at tiger, bear's head stuck in tree, bear crashes through hut, wolf's paw caught in trap)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Once (wolves whistle at girl wolf and say they wish they could be her first catch)
Drug Abuse: None, but a reference to chewing tabacco is made.
Other: Three references are made to urination.
Running Time: 77 minutes
Intended Audience: Ages 5 and older

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