Disney's latest version of The Jungle Book hits screen this week in what will be a live-action/CGI re-imagining of the iconic 1967 version of the flick. Directed by Jon Favreau, it has an all-star cast providing the voices including Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o and Christopher Walken. In case all of that doesn't sound promising enough, you can rest assured that critics are going crazy for it with opinions seeming to range from very good to out and out spectacular.
The original 1967 version of course will always stay close to our hearts though, and it turns out there's quite a lot we didn't know about this Disney classic.
1. Walt Disney
The Jungle Book marked the last ever movie that the great Walt Disney himself worked on and he certainly left his mark. The original script was written by Bill Peet, one of the leading storymen at Disney at the time, however Walt considered Peet's script far too sombre and dark, and not the family movie he envisioned. In fairness the original book by Rudyard Kipling was a much less jovial affair than the film but Walt's decision caused Peet to leave the studio and ultimately led to the movie we know and love today.
Newcomer Neel Sethi will make his cinematic debut as young Mowgli, which we are assuming you just pronounced with the 'Mow' rhyming with 'show'. However, it turns out that everyone has been pronouncing it wrong all these years and the 'Mow' is supposed to sound like 'cow'. Nobody knows why exactly Walt Disney ignored this detail but it's said that Kipling's daughter was not at all happy about this inaccuracy.
Sterling Holloway played the voice of the villainous Kaa in the 1967 flick, but did you know that it's actually the same person who voiced the lovable Winnie the Pooh? Now that's a good vocal range.
Also, Scarlett Johansson voices Kaa in Favreau's version marking the first time the character will be played by a woman.
4. Mary Poppins
The song 'Trust in Me' sang by Kaa was actually supposed to be in Mary Poppins originally, with the different name of 'Land of Sand'.
We think they might the right choice there.
5. The Beetles
Ever think the vultures in The Jungle Book had a touch of The Beatles about them? Well, as it turns out, it was actually supposed to be the Fab Four doing the voices. Richard Sherman, who worked on the original music on the film alongside his late brother Robert B. Sherman, later explained why it didn't happen;
"We thought it would be great to have the Beatles do it. And we wrote a quartet for them to do it. We attempted even to [write the song] in a rock style. And with the Beatles, John was running the show at the time, and he said [dismissively] 'I don't wanna do an animated film.' Three years later they did Yellow Submarine, so you can see how things change."
Good news though, Richard Sherman returned to this 2016 version to write new songs for the film.
Catch the trailer below for The Jungle Book, out April 15th;