Jungle Book ’67 vs. Jungle Book ’16

It’s a battle 49 years in the making but the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ has finally arrived! Today we are pitting the 1967 original animated film against its 2016 live-action remake. So we have classic animation vs. CGI and tried-and-true voice actors vs. today’s A-list talents.

Who will win? To find out we are going to pit these two films head-to-head in five categories. The one who wins the most categories will be the best. The original film will henceforth be referenced as JB-67 and the new movie as JB-16.

~ SPOILER ALERT ~

Although I don’t go into too much detail about the new film, I do mention certain plot points that may ruin things for you if you haven’t seen it yet. You are warned!

CATEGORY ONE

Premise

Random Tiger Attack vs. Shere Khan Murder Plot

    

Both movies stick pretty close to the same plot: Mowgli is abandoned in the jungle, he is raised by wolves, the tiger hates and fears him, his friends end up removing him from danger. Hi-jinks ensue between these events.

JB-67 keeps opens by having Mowgli lost in the jungle after a random tiger attack whereas JB-16 has Sher Khan killing Mowgli’s father and continuing his murderous vendetta against the son. Sher Khan simply hates man in JB-16 and his fear of fire isn’t really the driving force behind the villains actions, which helped to make the reasons for his actions realistic and understandable in the original. In fact, I felt his motivation was a bit unfocused which hurt the new film somewhat.

Also, Mowgli ends up leaving the jungle in JB-67 by going to the Man Village which doesn’t happen in JB-16. For this reason I think the original film had a more rewarding ending.

The winner of this category is JB-67 for delivering a satisfying movie with more heart.

CATEGORY TWO

Characters

Old Interpretation vs. New Interpretation

    

JB-67 definitely has a lighter tone than JB-16. It rolls along smoother with more fun and with much more engaging character development. Let’s take a look at the main characters one by one:

Shere Khan – You just can’t beat Sebastian Cabot’s voice work on this character! The tiger in the remake looks like it has the mange.

Bagheera and Baloo – Again the original voice actors did a marvelous job of bringing these characters to life, especially Phil Harris with Baloo! But Bill Murray gave a game performance and I’d have to say that no one else could have pulled the big bear off as well.

Kaa – Swapping genders for certain characters in remakes is all the rage now and I agree with it to add more diversity to the cast. But again, poor Scarlett Johansson had a big voice box to fill in replacing Sterling Holloway!

King Louie – Here Christopher Walkin just didn’t do it for me. Louis Prima knocked this character out of the park in the original. However, I have to say that having Louie be a rare giant orangutan was one of the highlights of the new film!

Most of the other support characters were fine in both films and we’ll cover Mowgli next. So obviously I’m going to award the win in this category to JB-67. The original voice talent was just too perfect for anyone to successfully replace them!

CATEGORY THREE

Mowgli

Bruce Reitherman vs. Neel Sethi

    

All through the remake I just couldn’t warm up to Neel Sethi as Mowgli. I’m not alone in feeling that the original movie was as close to perfection as a Disney movie gets and this was certainly in no small part due to the voice actors! Bruce Reitherman was able to imbue Mowgli with a greater range of wonder, courage, and fear.

I have to award another win to JB-67 for simply outclassing the new talent.

CATEGORY FOUR

Music

Original Versions vs. Remakes

The Sherman Brothers. What can you say? I was both glad and worried that the remake kept some of the iconic songs in the movie. Unfortunately it was my disquiet that won out as the new versions played. Because the songs were butchered! Sorry, but it has to be said.

I can’t even bear to talk about it so I’ll just give the win to JB-67 and move on.

CATEGORY FIVE

Effects

Animation vs. Live-action/CGI Hybrid

Both movies are visually pleasing. The animation of JB-67 was basic but immersive while the live-action/CGI effects of JB-16 were done quite well, although some of the animals could have had more realistic movements.

But I think I can finally award a win to JB-16 here! Technology has indeed come a long way since 1967.

RESULTS

Winner: JB-67

I have to admit I am not surprised by the 4-1 outcome in favor of JB-67! I just didn’t have as great a connection with the remake as I did with the original. JB-16 tried hard but just didn’t quiet achieve the emotional level of JB-67.

Remakes are hard to pull off and I really believe, although it did good business and got fair reviews, JB-16 is not a worthy addition to the Disney canon. Do you agree?

Walt Disney’s THE PARENT TRAP Comic Book

The Parent Trap was released in 1961 and stars Hayley Mills (in her second of six Disney films), Maureen O’Hara and Brian Keith in a story about teenage twins who try to reunite their divorced parents.

Parent Trap Movie Poster

The screenplay was based on the 1949 book Lottie and Lisa by Erich Kästner. The movie was nominated for two Academy Awards, was broadcast on television, saw three television sequels (The Parent Trap II, made in 1986, starred an adult Hayley Mills), was remade in 1998 with Lindsay Lohan, and, back to 1961, was made into a comic book by Dell:

Parent Trap Comic Book 002

Dell Comics was the comic book publishing arm of Dell Publishing, which got its start in pulp magazines. It published comics from 1929 to 1973. At its peak, it was the most prominent and successful American company in the medium. In 1953 Dell claimed to be the world’s largest comics publisher, selling 26 million copies each month.

At 15 cents per copy, at least they were affordable! Dell Comics was best known for its licensed material, most notably the animated characters from Walt Disney Productions.

Let’s have a look inside the book:

Parent Trap Comic Book 006                    Parent Trap Comic Book 007

Above and on the left is the inside cover featuring stills from the film covering the main plot points. Above and on the right is the first page which sets up the story with the arrival of the twins at Miss Inch’s Summer Camp for Girls.

Parent Trap Comic Book 009

The girls finally realize they are twins!

Parent Trap Comic Book 010

The infamous ‘sock in the eye’ scene between the parents

As was typical of Dell Publishing, the writer and artists don’t get any credit, so it is likely that they used staff artists and not Disney animators. Although  other Dell titles, usually depicting animated characters, sometimes did use Disney staff for the artwork.

This comic has two more unique features. First, on the inside back cover there is a nice spread explaining how twins were viewed and treated in the past:

Parent Trap Comic Book 012

“A sure cure for colic in an animal was to have a twin kick it seven times.” Boy, I’m sure glad that practice never made it into modern pediatrics!

The second unique feature is on the back cover. Instead of advertising (which this entire comic book is void of) there is a one-page gag strip based on The Parent Trap twins:

Parent Trap Comic Book 003

The only drawback of reading the comic book over viewing the movie is that you don’t get to hear the great songs written by Richard and Robert Sherman which included “The Parent Trap”, “For Now, For Always”, and “Let’s Get Together”. “Let’s Get Together” (sung by Annette Funicello) is heard playing from a record player at the summer camp with the tune being reprised by the twins when they restage their parents’ first date.

The title song was performed by Tommy Sands and Annette Funicello, who were both on the studio lot shooting Babes in Toyland at the time.

So I guess in the end, everyone was able to ‘get together’ to make this film magical!

Interviews: Jeffrey C Sherman – Producer

PEOPLE – JEFFREY C. SHERMAN

BIO: Jeffrey C. Sherman is a writer, producer, director and composer/lyricist for film and television. A UCLA Film School graduate, Jeff wrote the feature films “The Soldier” and “Up the Creek.” He wrote the screenplays “Vine Street” and “Revenge of the Nerds III” for Interscope, “Summer Job” for Universal, “Teen Tour” for Paramount, “Respectable” for Norman Lear and Disney, “Rest Stop” for Hollywood Pictures, “The Late Robert Hampton” for Fildebroc (Paris), “Hot Deliveries” for ABC Motion Pictures, “Film School” for Rastar and many others.

In television, Jeff created, produced and wrote songs for one of the very first Disney Channel programs, “The Enchanted Musical Playhouse” which also boasted original songs by his Academy Award-winning father and uncle, The Sherman Brothers. Jeff has produced and written on several popular network series including ABC/Touchstone’s “Boy Meets World” and “You Wish,” UPN/Jim Henson’s “Family Rules” and Buena Vista Partners’ “Stick With Me, Kid.” Jeff’s TV pilots include “Turner & Hooch,” “The Secret Life of Girls,” “Post Game,” “Virtual Dad,” “Family Tree” and the independently produced comedy “Katie Sullivan” starring Larisa Oleynik, Will Friedle, Alex Desert and Orson Bean. Jeff’s Fox/ABC Family film trilogy “Au Pair,” “Au Pair II” and “Au Pair III” are among the highest rated programs to ever air on the network.

With his cousin, Jeff directed and produced the 2009 Walt Disney Pictures feature doc, “the boys: the sherman brothers’ story.” The film chronicles the unparalleled career of the sibling songwriting team while taking an intimate look at the brothers’ influences, dynamics and secret family rift. The film premiered at the 2009 San Francisco International Film Festival and has been selected for dozens of international festivals.

In 2011, Jeff produced with John Landis the original hour comedy special “Wendy Liebman: Taller on TV” which was licensed by Showtime and Image Entertainment. With Landis, Jeff recently adapted Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as a cartoon series. Most recently, Jeff and country music star Chely Wright have co-written the screenplay and song score for an original musical “Dogs of New York.” Vanessa Coffey is producing with acclaimed actress/singer Kristin Chenoweth who co-wrote some of the song score and is also attached to voice a lead character. Jeff currently has set up two half-hour comedy pilots with Relativity Television and is in prep to direct a feature film he wrote.

It’s nice to see such talent span three generations! We all know the story behind the Sherman Brothers, but I hope this interview will introduce you to a Sherman Son, his writing, and his thoughts on… well, let’s find out by going to the first question:

Q1 – What would be your Disney Dream job if you couldn’t be in the film and television departments?

JEFFREY: I always secretly wanted to work for Imagineering. When I was a very young boy, my Dad took me over to see the workshop where the Disneyland rides were dreamed up and created. Specifically, we went to see all the work being done on the upcoming “It’s a Small World” attraction for the New York World’s Fair. I recall all these wonderful artists and dreamers working there were warm and maybe a little quirky, but you could tell these people loved their work. I would especially enjoy helping come up with the stories and songs for the Disney Park rides.

Q2 – What is the greatest lesson you learned from your father, Robert B. Sherman?

JEFFREY: There are of course so many. He taught us all in his way. My late Dad, Robert B. Sherman loved to instill his hard-learned lessons through his songs. “Feed the Birds” is about charity – it only takes tuppence a bag, “It’s a Small World” is a plea in peace – despite cultural differences, there is just one moon and one golden sun and a smile means friendship to everyone… Dad and my Uncle Richard conveyed these important messages mixed with melodies you couldn’t forget. In other words, their spoonful of sugar truly does help the medicine go down. When someone would say something mean to me, Dad would remind me “Consider the source.” He told me that peace was each person’s choice, so “Don’t make waves.” It’s everyone’s duty to remember we are all one and to be good to one another. The wonderful aspect of my late Dad’s lessons is they will live on and be heard long beyond his lifetime, all around this small world. Dad’s and my Grandpa Al Sherman’s gift of music composition and appreciation is a gift I cherish and honor every day.

Q3 – What is the question you get asked the most that you have the hardest time answering?

JEFFREY: People always ask me what my favorite Sherman Brothers’ song is. It’s so hard to narrow it down. They wrote more than a thousand published songs and so many have personal ties for me. Despite what others claim these days, Dad wrote the song “River Song” (from Tom Sawyer) for me. I was a teenager, soon to leave for college. Dad had me come to the John Williams/Charlie Pride recording session of the song at 20th Century Fox. When it was over, Dad turned to me with a tear in his eyes and said, “I wrote that one for you.” He and Richard also say that I unwittingly inspired “A Spoonful of Sugar.” Those are both special as are “It’s a Small World,” “Feed the Birds,” “A Man Has Dreams,” “Mother Earth and Father Time.” Well, see? I could go on and on. It’s a hard question to answer.

Q4 – How would you answer if I asked you for advice on writing something successful?

JEFFREY: Writing success comes in many forms. There’s financial success, career success, critical success, creative success, personal success. I have been a professional screen and television writer since I graduated from UCLA Film School back in 1979. I’m happy to say I’ve experienced a lot of each of those success varieties. For me, as a creative, I generally derive the most joy and satisfaction from when all those points are reached. Not always possible, but it’s the goal I strive for. On a practical basis, I find that if I set out to write something I’m passionate about, something I personally just have to see, that always works out the best for me and for the project. I’ve learned to step away when that’s no longer true. Write what you know, what you love, write it over and over till every moment pushes the story and characters forward, connects to your core and communicates exactly what you feel in your heart and mind. Then give it to two or three trusted friends, really listen to what they say. Analyze it, not for their “fixes” necessarily, but for what the consensus of thought is. Then determine your own fixes and re-write it a few more times. Writing is a powerful tool. Use it to make this world a better place. Success for me is holding the printout of a script I’ve written in my hands, reading through it without feeling compelled to make another mark in it. If I sell it, if it gets made, how it will be made — I have less control over that (why I also sometimes produce and/or direct). While it’s in my hands though, and it works the way I’d hoped, that is true success.

Q5 – How would the Disney Company be different if Walt was alive today?

JEFFREY: That’s a tough one. I had the immense privilege of meeting Mr. Disney at the studio on a number of occasions when I was young. I knew he owned the studio and Disneyland, made all those movies and was my Dad’s boss, but he was always engaging and down to earth. He was also clearly a genius with a deep-set passion for all he did. I’ve written before about the time I was six or seven and Walt took me by the hand to a soundstage on the lot and explained to me about “movie magic.” The curiosity and can-do initiative, the intensive care and love that man put into his work and instilled and fostered in those around him was truly magical. He instigated all those Disney traditions that still live on today in the Disney Corporation. Personally, I would love to see Disney distinguish itself again, even in part, as less of a big tentpole special effects factory and get back into characters and stories for families to watch and enjoy together. Pixar and the other Disney animation groups are true to Walt’s vision for the studio. They create simply beautiful work Mr. Disney would be happy to have his name on. The real truth about Walt, though, was his genius in identifying genius in others and bringing them in to work with him. Teamwork was essential to making dreams come true. Therefore, when he passed away, those traditions were set into the company and for the most part continue on today. It would be wonderful for the company to get back to that kind of synergy Walt employed — where all the departments work in tandem for a common cause. That’s tough in the modern corporate world, but I believe if Walt were still in charge, he would insist on revitalizing that true team spirit and actively fostering the next generation of creative dreamers.

EPILOGUE: OK, I admit that question four was a transparent attempt to get some free advice for my own writing ‘career’! I’m nothing if not shameless. I hope you enjoyed meeting Jeffrey and hearing his thoughts on creativity, writing, and of course, Walt Disney.

RIVER SONG
From the film: “Tom Sawyer” aka “A Musical Adaptation of Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer” – 1973
(Robert B. Sherman / Richard M. Sherman)
Charley Pride & Chorus

(Chorus Singing)
Oh, a river’s gonna flow
‘Cross the land
‘Cross the land
Oh, a river’s gonna flow
To the sea
And a boy is gonna grow
To a man
To a man
Only once in his life
Is he free
Only one golden time
In his life
Is he free

(Charley Pride)
River runs warm in the summer sun
River runs cold when the summer’s done
But a boy’s just a dreamer
By the riverside
‘Cause the water’s too fast
And the water’s too wide

Then the world turns around,
And the boy grows tall
He hears the song
Of the river call
The river song sings,
“Travel on, Travel on”
You blink away a tear,
And the boy is gone

(Charley Pride and Chorus)
Oh, a river’s gonna flow
‘Cross the land
‘Cross the land
Oh, a river’s gonna flow
To the sea
And a boy’s gonna grow
To a man
To a man
Only once in his life
Is he free
Only one golden time
In his life
Is he free

(Transcribed by Carlene Bogle – April 2004)

Official Guide – New York World’s Fair

1 9 6 4   /   1 9 6 5   New York World’s Fair

    

Front and Back Covers

The thing I enjoy most about collecting is that you just never know where or when the next big find is going to come from. I’ve been looking for a guide to this World’s Fair for years because it hosted many Pavilions designed and built by Walt Disney’s Imagineering company.

But before we get to the individual Pavilions, how about a couple of maps to get your bearings?

     Approaches to the Fair

Plan of the Fair          Enlarge to find Disney Pavilions

For this second map, I’ve circled in red the numbers indicating each Pavilion’s location and labeled each with the name of the sponsor and/or attraction. So definitely enlarge this one to get an idea of where each Pavilion was in relation to the others.

The four Disney Pavilions were:

  • In “Pepsi Presents Walt Disney’s ‘It’s a Small World’ – a Salute to UNICEF and the World’s Children” at the Pepsi pavilion, animated dolls and animals frolicked in a spirit of international unity accompanying a boat ride around the world. The song was written by the Sherman Brothers.

  • General Electric sponsored “Progressland”, where an audience seated in a revolving auditorium (the “Carousel of Progress”) viewed an audio-animatronic presentation of the progress of electricity in the home. The Sherman Brothers song “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” was composed for this attraction.

    

  • Ford Motor Company presented “Ford’s Magic Skyway”, a WED Imagineering designed pavilion, which was the second most popular exhibit at the fair. It featured 50 actual (motorless) convertible Ford vehicles, including Ford Mustangs, in an early prototype of what would become the PeopleMover ride system. Audience members entered the vehicles on a main platform as they moved slowly along the track. The ride moved the audience through scenes featuring life-sized audio-animatronic dinosaurs and cavemen.

  • At the Illinois pavilion, a lifelike President Abraham Lincoln, voiced by Royal Dano, recited his famous speeches in “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln”.

Unfortunately, this attraction was not pictured in the book, but only explained. Perhaps this was intentional to increase the impact on the audience to the animatronic Lincoln.

I’ll be reading this book over the next little while and will share tidbits that I find about Disney and the wonderful Pavilions that he and his team created.

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia – The Sherman Brothers

Sherman Brothers Window

Image ©Disney Parks

By Mike Ellis.  Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of the Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia!  If you are new here, we like to get a little jump on Tuesday, so we post our trivia a little bit early! As always, special thanks goes out to my friends Jenn from Disney Babies Blog, Heidi from Heidi’s Head, and Jodi from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse!  Today I’ve got what I think is a great trivia piece!  I got the information from the incredible book Disney Trivia from the Vault, written by Mr. Dave Smith.

Did you know…

That, on March 11, 2010, the Sherman Brothers were honored with their own Disney window?  It is located on Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland Park, and features the following details:

Two Brothers Tunemakers

Richard M. Sherman and Robert  B. Sherman, Proprietors

“We’ll write your tunes for a song!”

As you can see from the image above, it has some really cool details, and fits the brothers to a Tee in my opinion!
Thank you for stopping by today.  Now, please go check out the other entries below, and at the bottom of this post, make sure you come back to get your entries put in for our Disney Gift Card Giveaway that we’re having!  You could win a $500 Disney Gift Card, or one of 2 $250 Disney Gift Cards!  Thanks, and good luck!

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