THE JUNGLE BOOK -- the last animated feature supervised by Walt Disney -- celebrates its 40th anniversary with a two-disc DVD Platinum edition on Oct. 2 (Walt Disney Home Ent., $29.99).
As with BAMBI, CINDERELLA and LADY AND THE TRAMP a 4K scan of the Technicolor negative was made, finally offering the correct 1.75:1 image with brilliant resolution and clarity. Assisting the Technology Film Restoration team headed by Theo Gluck was John Lowry's group at DTS Digital Images.
Loosely based on the Rudyard Kipling works, THE JUNGLE BOOK was directed by Woolie Reitherman and contains the memorable characters Bagheera (the wise panther voiced by Sebastian Cabot), Baloo (the lucky bear voiced by Phil Harris) and Shere Khan (the menacing tiger voiced by George Sanders).
The all-new bonus features include a new member of THE JUNGLE BOOK family, the long lost character created for the original film and discovered for the first time: Rocky, a near-sighted and short tempered, but amusing rhinoceros. Rocky is brought to the screen using original storyboards and voice recordings by Frank Fontaine. "The Bare Necessities: The Making of THE JUNGLE BOOK" featurette takes a look at Walt's contributions to his animated swan song and also examines how director Reitherman filled the legend's shoes when putting the final touches on the production. "Disney's Kipling" examines Walt's interpretation of the author's MOWGLI STORIES, and a film commentary from original animators Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston and director Reitherman is presented alongside commentary from current top animated filmmakers such as Brad Bird, Glen Keane, Eric Goldberg and Andreas Deja.
In "Mowgli's Return to the Jungle," Bruce Reitherman, the voice of Mowgli and the son of Woolie, shares his memories of making the film and how the experiences influenced his current job as a wildlife filmmaker. The swinging jungle fun continues with an all-new suite of games: BALOO'S VIRTUAL SWINGIN' JUNGLE CRUISE. "The Lure of THE JUNGLE BOOK" includes interviews with animators inspired by the classic, including Bird, Deja, Sergio Pablo, Will Finn and Goldberg.