Thursday, June 01, 2006

Jungle Book


When I was a kid, my favorite movie was "The Jungle Book". In fact, it was much more than a movie, it was a lifestyle. These were the days before video, when the best a kid could do was beg his parents for the soundtrack album and play it...over, and over, and over again. In hindsight, I think that wasn't half bad(although naturally I wonder what would have happened to my brain if I had been able to see it more than twice during the first 7 years of my life); I was forced to use my imagination: there was Baloo, there was Bagheera, there was King Louis, each in a corner of the living room(assuming no one else was home; my older brothers couldn't stand that kind of thing). We lived in Orinda, California, on a property that sat on a typical bushy hillside. There was a particularly lush area tucked away between the steep, curving driveway and the house, with a picture perfect, Indian-looking sort of banyan tree with a horizontally curving branch. I'd drag out an old velvet robe of my mom's, pin under the sleeves(paws!), tie the belt so that most of it trailed after me(tail!)--and pose myself on that branch, pretending to be Bagheera. But most of the time I'd be Mowgli--naturally. I had a pair of bright red underpants, and I once blithely sallied out into the backward, wearing nothing but the pants, and swung on the trees, etc. until the lady next door saw me and called to ask my mother what the hell I was doing. Shameless! Well, gee, I was only 4.

8 comments:

Rod said...

Ahh those pre video days. I used to tape record the Muppet Show off the tv by sitting in front of the speaker with my Dad's little "Thorn" tape machine. The laugh track from our living room is particularly haunting to listen to now.

kaicito said...

i kind of liked the old days, when you eagerly looked forward to the Disney classics reappearing in theaters every six or so years...made them more special somehow.
these sketches are too cute ^___^

Adam said...

Its still my favorite Disney movie. I love these drawings - there is a lot of life in them.

Marc Deckter said...

Great stories! I used to play the Jungle Book record all the time too - I still love that "Bear Necessities" song.

DTN said...

That's funny about the listening to things on audio... I didn't know that other people did that , too.... I used to audio-tape record cartoons from TV (this is pre-VCR days) and listen them. Then I got the bright idea that if I set up a Super-8 mm movie camera on a tripod in front of the TV and recorded the sound on audio cassette at the same time I could sync them up later by transferring the cassette sound to the little magnetic sound stripe on the Super-8 mm film .

I had many Warner Bros. cartoons and some Walter Lantz cartoons "captured" by this method, and also the immortal Harman-Ising MGM short "Tom Turk and His Harmonica Humdingers" .... but could only get a portion of each short on the 3.5 minutes of a Super- 8 mm film cartridge . But rolling through those films on a Super-8mm editor , frame-by-frame, was the beginning of my animation education.

Tim said...

Great story and great drawings!
I had a similar experience growing up with a storybook album of "The Jungle Book". I wore that sucker out. That was the first movie I ever saw... and on it's initail 1967 release!
Years later, I wrote a letter to Ollie Johnston and told him how I had wanted Baloo to be my friend when I was young. He was quite touched and wrote back that Baloo had been a dear friend to him and he was rather sad to say good-bye when he animated that last scene.

kitty said...

I am in awe of your talent. And, so related to this story!! We listened to "Jungle Book" until the grooves wore out. Those were the days!! (Also wore out the soundtrack to "Mame", "The Music Man" and "Camelot", "Judy Garland Live" and "The Beach Boys"!!.....to name afew!! Then we'd go outside an reenact!!)

kitty said...

I am in awe of your talent. And, so related to this story!! We listened to "Jungle Book" until the grooves wore out. Those were the days!! (Also wore out the soundtrack to "Mame", "The Music Man", "Judy Garland Live" and "The Beach Boys"!!.....