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Jungle Book to Swing at El Capitan

In honor of the Oct. 2 release of the 40th Anniversary Platinum Edition DVD of THE JUNGLE BOOK, the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood will screen the animated classic during an exclusive engagement Sept. 7-23.

Kicking off the engagement at 6:00 pm on Sept. 6 will be a special opening night filmmakers' panel, hosted by veteran Disney producer Don Hahn (THE LION KING, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST). The evening is scheduled to include an on-stage reunion of four of the original voice talents from the film: Bruce Reitherman (voice of Mowgli), Darlene Carr (voice of Shanti), Chad Stuart (voice of Flaps the vulture) and Clint Howard (voice of Junior the elephant) -- along with a live performance by Academy Award-winning songwriter Richard Sherman, and an appreciation by acclaimed contemporary animator/animation expert Andreas Deja.

Beginning Sept. 7, THE JUNGLE BOOK will screen daily at 10:00 am, 12:15 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:45 pm, 7:00 pm and 9:15 pm. Tickets for all performances can be purchased at the El Capitan box office, on-line at or by calling 1-800-DISNEY6. Special group rates for parties of 20 or more are available by calling 1-818-845-3110.

Every showing of the Disney favorite will also feature a special appearance by Baloo, who will entertain and lead the audience in a sing-along of "Bare Necessities" and "I Wanna Be Like You."

In addition, Disney's Soda Fountain and Studio Store (located adjacent to the El Capitan Theatre) is getting into the swing of things by serving up a wild new "Jungle Book Sundae." This irresistible offering features two Baloo sized scoops of chocolate chip ice cream, a layer of bananas (worthy of King Louie himself), a coating of chocolate sauce topped off with candy pebbles, whipped cream and a cherry.

Originally released in 1967, THE JUNGLE BOOK was the last animated feature to be personally supervised by Walt Disney himself. Based on the classic Rudyard Kipling tales, the Disney story team and seasoned animators crafted a unique, music-filled version that follows the misadventures of a human boy named Mowgli, who is raised by wolves in the jungle. Richard and Robert Sherman wrote five songs for the film ("I Wanna Be Like You," "Trust in Me," "My Own Home," "That's What Friends Are For" and "Colonel Hathi's March," while composer Terry Gilkyson provided the Oscar-nominated tune, "Bare Necessities.") THE JUNGLE BOOK boasts one of Disney's greatest all-star vocal ensembles that included Phil Harris, Louis Prima, George Sanders, Sterling Holoway, Sebastian Cabot, J. Pat O'Malley.

Walt Disney Home Ent.'s two-disc 40th Anniversary Platinum Edition DVD of THE JUNGLE BOOK features an all-new digital restoration with enhanced picture and sound, and presents the film for the first time in its original aspect ratio. The original theatrical soundtrack has been meticulously restored for this release, and available audio tracks include English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo) and Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo). Among the DVD's new bonus features are: "The Bare Necessities: The Making of THE JUNGLE BOOK," "Disney's Kipling: Walt's Magic Touch on a Literary Classic," "The Lure of THE JUNGLE BOOK," "Mowgli's Return to the Jungle," "Baloo's Virtual Swingin' Jungle Cruise," a glimpse at the film's lost character, Rocky the Rhino, (recreated with storyboards and original voice recordings by Frank Fontaine), along with audio commentary, a still frame gallery and English learning features.

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Bill Desowitz, former editor of VFXWorld, is currently the Crafts Editor of IndieWire.