Thinking about the Jungle Book right now… haven’t seen it in a while, used to watch it like twice a week, but it just occurred to me as I caught sight of some random Mowgli baby cartoon that I couldn’t follow because it was in German, is there even one female character in the whole film? All I can think of is
A) the mother wolf from the beginning (did she ever talk)?) and
B) the girl at the very end who lures Mowgli into civilization, or whatever. And who never talks (apparently sings, how could I have forgotten that? But the point still stands. Singing isn’t talking, it isn’t conversing, etc). Basically the entire point of her presence the movie is just to be a sort of… bait for the “man-cub” (Mowgli)
That is rather unfortunate. A real jungle would have more diversity, me thinks!
Also on the subject of diversity, found this interesting tidbit here (an article briefly describing racism in Disney movies):
"The days when Walt Disney was accused of blatant racism are long gone. (One particularly egregious example of that being The Jungle Book, made at the height of the civil rights movement in 1964, in which Mowgli is told he can’t live with Baloo the bear because different species need to keep to themselves.)"
-Never thought of it that way! Weird. Historical context is key. Unsurprisingly, many aspects of the Jungle Book are regarded as contentious and racially problematic.
This site makes good points about how the creatures of “dignity and power” like Shere Khan and Bagheera “tend to have upper class ‘English’ accents clearly implying class and authority” in contrast with other friendly but less powerful/dignified characters like Louis Prima ("who sings like a Black") and Baloo.
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