Apples and Oranges: The Jungle Book(s)

Welcome to Apples and Oranges! This is an occasional feature where I compare two things, related or not. Today we’re looking at the 1967 and 2016 versions of Disney’s The Jungle Book. In the interest of doing a really comprehensive comparison, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. 

After seeing the 2016 version in theaters last weekend (and loving it) I couldn’t help but compare the two versions and mull over what the remake did better, worse, or just plain differently. The 1967 version was a huge part of my childhood; I had a massive crush on Mowgli (first saw it when I was six, I think), and was so inspired by his clambering around the jungle with only his animal friends that I spent hours in my backyard, climbing trees and doing gymnastics. I even had a stuffed Bagheera.

So when the trailer came out last year, showing little Neel Sethi running through the steaming Indian jungles as an orchestral refrain of ‘The Bare Necessities’ swells in the background, I was BEYOND excited. Cynics might believe Disney is just cashing in on nostalgia with all these remakes, but honestly, The Jungle Book has been the best of them, with the most heart.
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Pee-Wee Hermania: Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday


To celebrate the new Netflix-produced Pee-Wee Herman movie, I invited a bunch of friends over for a breakfast-food themed movie night.

Read on for friends, food, film and fun! And wine. There was also wine.

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Thursday Check-In

I saw him live when I was 5 years old, and because my dad was too cheap to pay for parking he made us walk through 2 miles of Scarface-era Miami to the arena.

Rather than gurn about all the things that aren’t going my way, as I usually do, here is Michael Jackson’s Beat It.

I have loved Michael since I was 4 years old. I had an MJ doll that was the Ken to my Barbies, complete with red Thriller outfit and single sparkly glove. I saw him live when I was 5 years old, and because my dad was too cheap to pay for parking he made us walk to the arena through 2 miles of Scarface-era Miami. Doing The Wave for an hour confused and exhausted me and I fell asleep halfway through the show…


MJ’s music has long been a powerful antidepressant for me. As far as I’m concerned Beat It is like a 200-cc shot of ‘NO LONGER TAKING BULLSHIT FROM ANYONE.’

This week has been a downer, but I am resolved to bounce back. I am working on some entries for next week, and doing a lot of reading and commenting in the meantime. I’m resting up, basically, after a marathon of both personal and professional productivity.

I wish you luck today, in all you do!

Go forth and BE AWESOME!  I know you can! 


I’m Back, Y’all!

I totally teared up during this trailer. Between the music, the voicework, and that little boy’s spunky spirit, I am all over this. I am READY.

Got my internet situation handled, and I’ll have some entries up later this week – one for one of Gary Oldman’s greatest roles, that of Ludwig Van Beethoven in Immortal Beloved. HOW HAS HE NOT WON AN OSCAR BY NOW?

But today – oh, today!- here is another trailer for Disney’s new The Jungle Book. 

I get that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but as a weird little only child who grew up climbing trees alone in a big backyard, and preferred the company of animals to people…

…this has me. 

I totally teared up during this trailer. Between the music, the voicework, and that little boy’s spunky spirit, I am all over this. I am READY.

I LOVE the casting – I am hearing a lot of snark about Scarlett Johansen as Kaa, specifically her voicework, but I think it’s perfect. People are complaining that the line-reading sounds flat, but I disagree. After all, Kaa is supposed to be disarming, supposed to sound as if eating you is the farthest thing from her mind. She’s a 50-foot python and running prey down isn’t an option – large reptiles are ambush predators, meaning they wait hidden for you to let your guard down, before they strike. In the cartoon Kaa used hypnosis on his prey, but I like the reinterpretation. They’re playing with the  ‘Eve and the Snake’ mythology of Western culture a bit too, with woman as ‘seductress,’ but I kind of dig it. Mowgli’s wolf mother is played by Lupita N’yongo, which is nice, but seriously can we get her in a big blockbuster role where we see her face?.

And Idris Elba as Shere Khan?

Get that casting director a bucket of awards and a dumptruck of money because that is PERFECT. 

Oh, For Heaven’s SAKE…

Some folks in the comments on that post have suggested gender-swapping Jareth and starring someone like Tilda Swinton (SWINTON) or Annie Lennox.


Look, I know a lot of people on the East Coast are having Real World Problems right now due to Winter Storm Jonas. That really sucks, and having myself lived through some hurricanes that caused massive wreckage, my heart goes out to them on this Monday morning. I hope you all make it to work if you can, and if you can’t, may your power be unflagging and your internet connection without lag. 

That said, I have to talk about this:

Sorry Everyone, a Labyrinth Reboot is In the Works

I’m not going on a tear about how this is destroying my childhood or whatever. Things change, the center cannot hold, and any thing that generates buzz is considered up for grabs for a remake. I will always have the original. And hey, Guardians of the Galaxy turned out to be a hell of a great surprise, AND they have an actual Henson involved! We shall see.

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