5. The Jungle Book (1967)
Set in the Indian Animal Kingdom, the mergence of human and animal interaction in The Jungle Book sets up for lots of comedy but also tension. We all know and love the songs, like the ‘Bare Necessities’ with lovable Baloo and man-cub Mowgli. The story also brings important attention to the reality of tension between humans and the jungle; humans destroying the jungle and hating the animals that inhabit it. This fear is present throughout the whole film, with everyone’s fears, including Bagheira and Sher Kahn, that Mowgli will grow up to become a hateful, violent man. The ending is not prescribed, with this question not being answered, seeing Mowgli walk into the man village. This leaves the question for the audience to answer, prompting them to think about it and encouraging them to act on what they hope it Mowgli’s future actions themselves. As a child, I didn’t think about this film at this amount of complexity, but looking back now, it is very cleverly crafted while involving the great match of adventure, humour and moral lessons.