Rudyard Kipling really set Disney up for a great take on this collection of stories. Naturally, they are a little bit darker than portrayed by ‘ol Walt D. but a bunch of exotic talking animals? GOLDMINE! The fables are nothing short of sweet, delightful, and romantically crafted. Naturally, each has a lesson embedded within the story. I think this would be an ideal book to give a ten year old. Assuming you could find a ten-year old willing to read it.
I would have, but look how I turned out.
At one point Kipling takes the readers to the arctic to get to know a group of seals. Seems awfully displaced, no? The only thing I can gather is that A) most of the stories were published one by one not as a collection, initially B) while Kipling spent his youth in India, he was living in Vermont while he wrote these stories and may have felt drawn to writing a colder climate C) I’M RUDYARD KIPLING AND I DO WHAT I WANT, I DO WHAT I WANT!
So, there are tigers, panthers, bears, elephants, mongooses, apes, snakes, and… seals.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
“We are wonderful! We are the most wonderful people in all the Jungle! We all say so, and so it must be true!” The Primates… Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve belonged or been exposed to several organizations that use this logic. JUICE!
“You don’t know what that means of course, but I do. It means betwixt and between, and that is just where I am. I can see inside my head what will happen when a shell bursts; and you bollocks can’t… I know just enough to be uncomfortable and not enough to go on in spite of it.” Two Tails, the elephant, explaining why despite being the largest animal in the company he is still too frightened to charge into battle. Anxious elephant? Adorable.