Time for the original! The one that started it all... apart from the book itself, of course. It tells the tale through the voice of a narrator, weaving through Mowgli's by now familiar backstory, though not focusing so much on his upbringing as much as on his first interaction with humans, and the flames of wrath and greed that are sparked there.
It's a much more colorful world than the newer movies, and the animals are life-like, though maybe not handled with as much care as they would have been today - or were in the sequels.
The ones that are props are very obviously so, but they're also all done in a way that you appreciate the craft, and the jungle scenes too. Sabu (yes, no last name) plays the main role well, and any excessively expressive dialog: I'll just attribute that to the time. Times were different then.
Considering how different the times were I'm surprised at how well this one's stood the test of time though! The pace may be slower, but the filming doesn't feel as dated as you may think. More so in the color and quality than the angles. More so in the pace than the choices they make with regard to filming. It's closer to the 1994 version of the movie than the ones that came after, and looking at that one now I assume they copied the style from this one. Maybe their aim was really to make it as much like the original as possible, since this one (with merit) did so well at the time of release, but for a nineties movie not just the style but the story itself seemed very much outdated. It was time for a fresh start, and the ones that followed did that well.
As for the original there's just one. And that's this. An impressive feat for the forties, and a well told - sometimes entertainingly dramatic and visually colorful - tale to this day.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle