Jungle Book (1994)
This spectacular film from Disney is the latest filming of Rudyard Kipling’s short story series about a young boy who grows up in the jungle in India in the early 1900’s. Named Mowgli (Jason Scott Lee), he is separated from his parents in a catastrophe and is raised by a pack of wolves. He’s discovered by a British officer’s daughter, Kitty (Lena Headey), while she is exploring the Indian jungle. Smitten by her, Mowgli comes to town to find her and is treated cruelly by the British military men. But Kitty persuades her father (Sam Neill), the commanding officer, to educate him and treat him kindly. All this goes well until some greedy British military deserters force Mowgli to lead them to an ancient, abandoned city in the jungle which contains a room full of jewels and gold. The action moves along at a frantic pace and the excitement never wanes. The scenes of confrontation in the treasure room are particularly dramatic. The scenery is magnificent and the acting outstanding, especially Jason Lee’s portrayal of the animal-like Mowgli. THE JUNGLE BOOK will particularly appeal to children and seems destined to be a box office success.
Many of the action scenes may be too intense and frightening for children under six years of age. Even older children may find some of them disturbing. Among other things, a tiger attacks men a number of times and kills a few. Mowgli battles a large cobra snake in the treasure room, and, in two grisly scenes, a man drowns and another dies in a murky pool of quick sand. Mowgli defends himself many times in ferocious hand battles.In some of these, men are kicked in the genitals. A number of persons are killed or wounded by gun fire. At the same time, Mowgli and Kitty develop a caring, romantic relationship and she treats him gently. Mowgli’s kinship with the animals is touching and humane treatment of animals is a major theme of the story. Happily, the film is virtually free of offensive language, sexual content and sexually suggestive elements. The violent action scenes are a valid part of the drama, but will be too intense for sensitive viewers.