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Old Apr 27, 2021, 05:27 AM
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Disney's Music Trivia:

• Last film with Walt Disney's involvement, who passed away on December 15, 1966, almost one year before the film's theatrical release. The film is dedicated to his memory

• Originally, Terry Gilkyson was hired to write the songs for the project, which was tentatively tited Jungle Boy. The songwriter wrote relatively dark songs for the film, as Bill Peet, the original screenwriter, approached the project
with staying close to the original Kipling, resulting in a fairly dark story. Walt was not pleased with both directions, and so both were replaced. Gilkyson in this case by the Sherman Brothers

• All of Gilkyson's songs were abandoned, with one exeption - "The Bare Necessities", which everyone at the animation studio loved. The Sherman Brothers persuaded Walt to use it, and so it appears in the film, rearranged by Van Dyke Parks.
Ironically, "The Bare Necessities" is the only song from the score, which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Song

• The Sherman Brothers' second feature animation work for Disney after the 1963 released The Sword in the Stone. They were already popular at that time, having contributed music and songs to the critically acclaimed Mary Poppins film
one year later, for which the duo won two Academy Awards ("Best Original Music Score" and "Best Song "Chim Chim Cher-ee")

• One of Walt's requests for his "boys", the Sherman Brothers, was to tell the story in a lighter way. He wanted Disney-type, humorous songs, to brighten up the relatively dark sections of the story. One example is the kidnapping sequence of
Mowgli by the apes. King Louie was a character created specifically for the film, and so his swinging song "I Wa'na Be Like You", both results of that request

• The Sherman Brothers had initially envisioned popular Jazz musician Louis Armstrong for the role of King Louie, until someone mentioned that casting an African American as a monkey could be perceived as racially insensitive.

They traveled to Las Vegas in order to play the song for Louis Prima, who would ultimately be performing the song with his band. However, the version, which can be heard in the movie, was rearranged by score composer George Bruns, to make it less
"Las Vegas" like and more to fit to the actual film setting: "The original tracks recorded by Louis and his band are indeed over the top. I don't exaggerate when I say Prima and his band went ape. The final tracks you hear on the movie's soundtrack
have been toned down. And I mean way, way down. Louis Prima at full tilt was more than Disney moviegoers of the sixties would have been able to handle." (Floyd Norman)

• "Colonel Hathi's March" is a parody and their 'tribute' to the pointlessness of constant military drilling, which both Sherman Brothers attended in their youth. The lyrics are nonsensical and the march itself is rather lighthearted as opposed to the
originally planned heavier version, to which the elephants brutally march through the jungle and crush trees on their way. The march also reflects the Victorian era of British colonialism consistent with Kipling's worldview

• Kaa's song "Trust in Me" is actually a deleted song from the 1964 musical film Mary Poppins, originally titled "The Land of Sand". Walt wanted a song for the Snake's hypnotic scene, and the Sherman Brothers delivered the song less than a week later,
with additional lyrics written to the already existing melody, which was well suited for that particular scene according to Richard M. Sherman

• The vulture sequence was similarly approached as the crow sequence from Dumbo, and even Cliff Edwards was considered as voice actor and singer for one of the vultures. Walt commented that "a Beatle-type group would do if they can handle lines".
The concept evolved to use the Beatles themselves in the sequence, featuring the vultures as a finger-snapping gang called the Buzzniks, to perform their "Buzzniks Song", which it was named in early drafts.
Legend has it that Brian Epstein, the group's manager, met with Walt in 1965 and arranged for the group's appearance in the film. Apparently, John Lennon, who had been upset by the ABC animated series The Beatles (1965-1969),
vetoed the idea and suggested that Elvis Presley should do the project. Another version of the story has Walt getting cold feet on including the Beatles in the film, as he felt it would date the film too much.

The vultures had already been modeled after the Fab Four, and it was decided to keep the character design and their Liverpudlian accents. The style of the song "That's What Friends Are For" was changed from rock and roll to a barbershop quartet,
which seems particularly anachronistic in a film that mainly features jazz and exotic music. The barbershop arrangement itself was Walt's idea, however a small bit of rock and roll remains in the track, accompanied by electric bass, bluesy electric guitar,
and punctuating snare, like it can be heard on the track "What'cha Wanna Do", which introduces the vultures in the film

• The seventy-eight minute film is composed by 70 music sequences

• The "Overture" features a melody called "Jungle Beauty", presented in the bass flute that is associated with Mowgli's journey. It was first presented to the public under the title "Serengeti Serenade" as part of the area music
for the International Gardens for the Ford pavilion at the 1964 World's Fair. Bruns would also feature the bass flute promintently in the overture to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, which was in production around the same time

• Some music has been recycled by composer George Bruns for this project. The cues are "In the Tree", which can be heard before "Colonel Hathi's March" is played, and was used in the films Goliath II and 101 Dalmatians,
as well as a sad cue, which is played when Baloo goes over to wake up Mowgli after his decision with Bagheera to bring the kid back to his village; it's originally from 101 Dalmatians and was later used in The Sword in the Stone as well as in 1973 for Robin Hood.
The iconic organ solo from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs also has been reused for a specific scene for the film as well, but is not included on this soundtrack, like many of the score's cues

• Numerous songs had been written for The Jungle Book but not used. While many of these were written by Terry Gilkyson, one song, "Baloo", was written by George Bruns with Bill Peet acting as a lyricist. It was written in September 1963,
and would have introducted the bear in the film. Around the same time, Disney brought Gilkyson in to be a songwriter for the project. The composer wrote half a dozen songs, only one of which made its way to the completed film.
The version of "The Bare Necessities" that became part of The Jungle Book was actually the third draft of the song. Earlier versions included lyrics similar to scatting that Baloo performs when he first meets Mowgli.
One unused song by Gilkyson is the opening theme "Brothers All". This tune features dark lyrics such as "Give us our freedom or soon we die". "Kalaweeta Kallana" was written to be a lullaby sung by the mother wolf to an infant Mowgli;
"The Song of te Seeonee", written in September 1963, would have been sung by the wolves; "Monkey See - Monkey Do" had a band of simians bragging about themselves to Mowgli. Gilkyson also wrote a waltz where Mowgli tells Bagheera a dream
about finding his home and human mother

Last edited by Mac_Tear; Apr 27, 2021 at 11:08 AM.
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