It has been more than 35 years since Disney released "The Jungle Book." The 78-minute children's classic, the last animated feature Walt Disney personally supervised, featured the now-familiar voices of Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, Louis Prima, George Sanders, Sterling Holloway, J. Pat O'Malley and Bruce Reitherman, with songs by Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman as well as Terry Gilkyson's Oscar-nominated tune, "Bare Necessities."
Based on Rudyard Kipling's classic tale, the film was reissued in 1978, 1984 and 1990, grossing $142 million domestically for all releases. It first came out on video in 1991.
Now Disney is about to test how big a market there is for a new story line and new songs featuring many of the same characters. "The Jungle Book 2," which makes its debut Friday, stars John Goodman as the voice of Baloo the bear and Academy Award-nominee Haley Joel Osment as the man-cub, Mowgli.
The film, directed by Steve Trenbirth and produced by Mary Thorne and Chris Chase, with a screenplay by Karl Geurs, begins shortly after the original left off, with Mowgli torn between two worlds: living in the village among humans, yet yearning to return to the jungle to see his buddy, Baloo.