The Jungle Book

  • Review Date: May 18, 2003
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1942

Common Sense Media says

Kids will like that Mowgli can talk to animals.
  • Review Date: May 18, 2003
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1942

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness

Mowgli's father killed by a tiger (off-screen), Mowgli subdues cobra and kills tiger with a knife, hunter kills cobra, fire in the forest, bad guys kill each other and person eaten by crocodile (not explicit).

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this version is in sharp contrast with the Disney animated movie, with a real sense of the danger in the jungle and the different kinds of dangers in the "civilized" village.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In this film version of Rudyard Kipling's book, Mowgli's father is killed by Shere Kahn, the tiger. The toddler boy wanders into the jungle, and is raised by wolves. Mowgli (Sabu) returns to the village in his early teens. Once his mother recognizes him, she socializes him and teaches him the native language. Intent on killing Shere Kahn, Mowgli buys a knife from Buldeo (Joseph Calleia), who hunts for reasons of pride instead of need. Though Buldeo tells his daughter Mahala not to talk to Mowgli, she goes with him into the jungle, where he shows her an abandoned palace filled with gold and jewels. A cobra warns them that the jewels are deadly. Mahala takes one coin, and when her father finds it, he wants Mowgli to show him how to get more. Other locals find out and want to find the palace, too. They find the place, but a battle over the treasure ends in deaths and a fire. Mowgli saves his mother, and returns to the jungle forever.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Visually lush and striking (produced by some of the same people who made Thief of Bagdad, this version is in sharp contrast with the Disney animated movie, and has a real sense of the danger in the jungle and the different kinds of dangers in the "civilized" village.

Like other "fish out of water" stories, this movie provides an opportunity to deconstruct "civilization" a bit by looking at it from the perspective of an outsider. Mowgli compares of the values of the "wolf-pack" and the "man-pack," and finds it hard to understand why someone would take something of no inherent value (money) in exchange for something of value (a knife), or why someone would kill an animal to display its hide. Children will enjoy Mowgli's ability to talk to animals, and the way he treats them with respect and affection. He is clearly more at home with the animals than he is with the humans.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this movie compares to Disney's animated and live-action versions, and also how it compares to Kipling's orginal story.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 3, 1942
DVD release date:June 7, 2001
Cast:Joseph Calleia, Rosemary DeCamp, Sabu
Director:Zoltan Korda
Studio:United Artists
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:108 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of The Jungle Book was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byjw1709 October 11, 2011
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

(no Subject

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 9 year old Written bySonofKatieElder January 4, 2012
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

You are never to young or too old to enjoy the wJungle Book

Disney has created a fun interpretaion of Kipling's masterpiece. That said I'd encourage everyone with children of around 10 upwards to read the book.

Kipling uses archaic language sometimes which may be difficult for younger children, YET somehow he manages to bring his characters to life in a magical manner.

Jungle Book is a collection of short stories including the magnificent mongoose Rikki Tikki Tavi.

You are never to young or too old to enjoy the wonderful book (or even the DVD)

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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