The Disney company has announced that Bill Murray is going to be the voice of Baloo the Bear in the new animated version of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”. The Jungle Book was originally not a book at all, but a series of stories published in a magazine from 1893 to 1894 about a boy brought up in the jungle of India where Kipling was born. The boy’s name was Mowgli and ee learns the lessons of life from the animals. Baloo the Bear and a panther named Bagheera teach him the law of the jungle so he won’t get eaten by Shere Khan the Tiger.
Disney made a very popular musical animated version of the story in the 1960s and is doing it again. Bill Murray is joining other cast members already announces including Sir Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Christopher Walken as King Louie the ape, Idria Elba as Sherte Khan and Scarlett Johansson as Kaa. This new version will combine live action with animation and will be in 3D so the tiger can jump right out at you.
The Baloo bear character was a favorite from the earlier Walt Disney movie, especially from the song he sang “The Bare Necessities” which was sung by the actor playing him Phil Harris. Thee is no report whether Bill Murray will sing in the new one. We sort of hope not…
The Baloo Bear in the original stories was described as a “sleepy brown bear” and is thought by some to actually be a Sloth Bear which lives in India and goes back to prehistoric times. They’re a little different than regular Asian Black Bears. They have lanky bodies and long shaggy hair. They’re nocturnal and do their hunting at night. There are no reports that they sing at all, but they sometimes have been taught to dance and trained as performing pets.
The Disney remake is supposed to be in theaters in October of 2015 and is racing against another movie about the Jungle Book from Warner Bros. called “Jungle Book: Origins” which sounds like it’s more about Rudyard Kipling and I’m sure won’t have anybody singing. The Jungle Book because it was written over a hundred and twenty years ago is actually in the public domain, so maybe you could make your own version and get it in theaters next week. That’s the law of the jungle!