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Content Caution

The Jungle Book 1967


In Theaters


Home Release Date




Kennedy Unthank

Movie Review

Deep in the jungles of India, there exist many animals: panthers, tigers, wolves, snakes, monkeys, vultures, bears and … the “man cub?”

When Bagheera the panther found the human baby boy amidst the wreckage of a boat, he wasn’t sure what to do. But he couldn’t help but feel a bit of love for the child, and against his instinct, he gave the kid, Mowgli, to a friendly wolf family to raise. All was well in the jungle once more.

But while most jungle creatures—generally wary of humans—were willing to make an exception for Mowgli, not so with Shere Khan, the tiger. Shere Khan’s terrified of fire, and were it not in the possession of man, he’d wipe them all out—alongside any animal who tries to protect them.

So when the ferocious beast returns to prowl on Mowgli’s side of the jungle, the wolf pack tells Mowgli’s adoptive parents that the child is too much of a risk for them. In an effort to keep the boy safe, Bagheera offers to take Mowgli to a nearby “man village,” only a few days away.

But Mowgli likes the jungle, and he doesn’t want to leave. And he’s quick to gain the support of Baloo, a laid-back “jungle bum” bear who thinks that sending Mowgli to live with the other humans will ruin the boy.

Well, Baloo tries to teach the boy all he knows, and Mowgli would content to live with the “Bare Necessities” of life with Baloo for the rest of his days.

But no amount of back scratching and banana eating will stop Shere Khan from pouncing as soon as he finds Mowgli.

Positive Elements

Many animals not only go out of their way to protect and raise Mowgli, but a number of them personally put their lives on the line to protect him, too. A family of wolves raise Mowgli like their own and are regretful when their pack demands that they abandon Mowgli (albeit in an effort to save the rest of the pack). Bagheera, despite acting as if he does not care for Mowgli, continues to return whenever he hears that Mowgli is in danger. And Baloo quickly grows fond of Mowgli, preparing to raise him as his own and protecting the kid when Shere Khan finally arrives.

Baloo doesn’t want to take Mowgli to the “man village,” as he thinks doing so will ruin the child. However, following some danger in the jungle and Bagheera’s council, Baloo recognizes that, despite his own desires, the human village is the safest place Baloo can be raised, and the bear reluctantly agrees to the plan to take him there.

Spiritual Elements

Bagheera quotes John 15:13: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

Kaa the Snake hypnotizes its victims with its eyes, causing them to go into a trance.

Sexual Content

An elephant general smacks one of his soldiers in the rear with a stick to fix her posture. While there’s nothing inherently sexual about the moment, it is important to note that the elephant is the general’s wife.

Violent Content

When Shere Khan arrives, he’s ready to kill Mowgli. He chases the boy and attempts to slash and bite him. However, Baloo steps in, and the two fight. Shere Khan bites Baloo in the rear and slices him in the face while Mowgli hits Shere Khan with a stick. Later, Mowgli ties a flaming branch to the tiger’s tail, causing it to flee.

Kaa the Snake, who spends most of his time in trees, attempts to eat Mowgli (and he nearly succeeds at times), but Kaa is instead pushed off a tree branch. Baloo falls off a cliff and is hit in the head with a rock. Baloo also runs into a tree and knocks himself out. Following a scuffle, Baloo and Bagheera sport black eyes. A character seems to die.

At one point, Mowgli is kidnapped and tossed around by monkeys.

Crude or Profane Language

Unless you count “gee whiz” or someone being called a “windbag” or a “stupid jungle bum,” then none.

Drug and Alcohol Content


Other Negative Elements

The Jungle Book begins with a Disney disclaimer, acknowledging and condemning what some have identified as depictions of negative racial stereotypes within the film. However, it is unlikely that most young children will be able to pick up on such stereotypes.


In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the tiger prowls tonight. But it’s Mowgli and Baloo who garner far more attention.

The original Jungle Book is more than a half—century old, and the tale has remained a classic for Disney fans. Lovable and iconic characters such as Baloo and Bagheera continue to delight viewers, and catchy tunes only serve to heighten the film further.

Perhaps what make The Jungle Book most palatable, especially for younger audiences, is its simplicity. The 90-minute story tells the tale of two animals who work together to protect a boy from a villainous tiger—even as the boy fails to recognize most of the dangers that come his way.

And that straightforward nature is only heightened when compared to its 2016 successor film, the latter of which contained a bit more nuance but also a bit more content. Whereas the 2016 release may make you feel like you’re actually in the jungle, the 1967 version will certainly be easier for children to find and grasp its (once again, simple) positive messages.

After all, sometimes, all you need are the simple bare necessities.

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Kennedy Unthank

Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics. He thinks the ending of Lost “wasn’t that bad.”