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Disney has considerable time and energy putting together Blu-ray releases—and sometimes even Blu-ray 3D releases—for its biggest canon films. Beyond anniversary releases, this year, we’ve already seen Peter Pan and The Little Mermaid hit Blu-ray for the first time, and it looks like the classic flick The Jungle Book will also finally be receiving Diamond Edition treatment for the first time. Fans will still have a while to wait to nab a copy, however. The Jungle Book: Diamond Edition Blu-ray and DVD won’t hit the market until February 11, 2014.
Though we haven’t seen a Blu-ray trailer for The Jungle Book: Diamond Edition, if the Diamond Editions of other classic films are any indication, The Jungle Book should be cleaned up for its transfer onto Blu-ray. The press release for the new set also seems to indicate this, noting that The Jungle Book has never "looked so lush or sounded so good." At the very least, Mowgli is looking pretty sharply defined on that Blu-ray cover, which could be a nod to what buyers will get when they invest in the set.
What we can tell you for certain is that Blu-ray copies of the film will come with a slew of new bonus features, while DVD copies will come with the classic features from the film’s initial DVD release. This includes some games and deleted scenes, if the listing over at Amazon holds true. Somehow, the folks at Disney were able to scrounge up even more bonus features for the Blu-ray release, which includes an alternate ending to the 1967 film. Other brand new extras include introductions to the film from Diane Disney Miller and Richard M. Sherman (Sherman is famous for composing the music for the film). The new sing-a-long feature that Disney has been using on recent releases will also be involved with the set, this time called the Bear-E-Oke Sing A Long.
The story of the orphaned Mowgli surviving in the wilds of the jungle and meeting some scary antagonists in the tiger, Shere Khan, and the snake, Kaa, is one of the Walt Disney’s most popular classic tales, thanks to music which includes the hit song "Bare Necessities." I’m not sure the title has maintained the same level of cultural resonance that some of Disney’s classic princess films have managed, but then again, Mowgli doesn’t have his own life-sized castle at a Disney resort like Cinderella and Snow White have.
The release isn’t out until well after the holidays, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pre-order it. Amazon already has The Jungle Book: Diamond Edition on its site for a few dollars cheaper than list price. You can check out the special features, below, and decide whether or not The Jungle Book is worthy of your collection.
The Jungle Book Blu-ray Extras