The 1960’s gave us a total of three Disney animated films, “One Hundred and One Dalmatians” “The Sword in the Stone” and “The Jungle Book”. With so much time in between each, and compared to the handful of great films made during the 1940’s, you’d think that all three of these Disney pictures would be gems. This wasn’t the case. Here is my pick for the best Disney animated film of the 1960’s . . .
About this time the team at Disney began regularly using techniques that they had experimented with in the 1950’s, mainly the use of Xerox to copy the animator’s unrefined drawings straight to an animation cell. This removed the step of placing a clean cell over the drawing and re-creating it in ink, cleaning up the lines in the process. Making an animated film can be expensive, so any process that can reduce costs and speed up production is worth trying out. But just because it’s efficient doesn’t mean it looks good. This new technique resulted in characters composed entirely of sketchy, messy lines. Terribly noticeable when viewing the meticulous and clean animated films of the 1940’s and 1950’s just a week prior.
The only thing that would save these films (and the studio) from complete failure was the few catchy songs and memorable characters in each. And of the three films produced at this time, none had more of these catchy songs and memorable characters than “The Jungle Book”. Not to mention a solid story, beautiful layouts and not-so-typical score by George Bruns. The film pales in comparison to the best of the previous decades but “The Jungle Book” was definitely the high point of Disney animation in the 1960’s. Though I wouldn’t suggest it as part of the curriculum in an animation class, a copy of Walt Disney’s “The Jungle Book” should be a bare necessity in every home with a child (or child-at-heart).
From Dwarf to Frog Ratings-
1 = Don’t waste your time.
2 = Watch it or don’t. I don’t care.
3 = Check out some scenes on YouTube.
4 = You should watch it.
5 = NetFlix it right now!