The new version of the Walt Disney classic Jungle Book has amazed children and adults alike. The story has spanned generations, and time after time it seems to be a success, even if the songs and characters change. But why do we like this story so much? Why does it excite and inspire people of all ages?
The answer lies in its great and timeless message: it is a story about respecting the environment and everything that lives in it, laced with adventures, friendships and spirited characters that children love so much.
It is a fantasy story that corresponds to reality. The story of Mowgli reminds us of our real life counterparts, such as the story of the wild child Victor of Aveyron, or the passionate story of Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja, the wolf child from Sierra Morena, Córdoba. Stories worth filming.
Back to Jungle Book , if you’re planning to watch this movie, do it with kids and you’ll enjoy it even more! It is wonderful to see how the adventures of the characters, and with it the children’s teachings, have become classic stories. Let’s look at some of these teachings.
1. We are a small part of the planet
Jungle Book explains how humans are just one of the many species that inhabit this earth, and how we should respect both the environment and the rest of the species that inhabit it. Each species fulfills its role in the cycle of life. Each species is skilled in some areas and inept in others.
As children we believe this, but as we grow up we realize that neither the environment nor the animals are respected. Instead, they are often enough exploited and mistreated. This is what it’s like for those who have a secret agenda and participate in a power struggle in which the environment is sacrificed.
Humans can take advantage of their rational side, an important difference between us and other species. Unfortunately, this capacity for reasoning tends to prioritize personal motives over things that benefit our entire species and the species around us. We forget that we do not own the nature that surrounds us. We are only guests.
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2. Family goes beyond consanguinity
Little Mogli was brought into the jungle under the protection of the panther Bagheera and adopted by the she-wolf Raksha, who raised him like any other member of the pack. The animals of the jungle knew that Mowgli was human and that taking care of him wasn’t something they were supposed to do. Yet they did.
Mowgli believes that Raksha is his mother, after all she was the one who licked his wounds clean, who took care of him, who showed him how things go and who guided him on his way so that nothing would happen to him. Although they do not share the same blood or even belong to the same species, Raksha is a mother who perfectly illustrates how everyone needs a happy upbringing, full of love, tenderness and education. The rest of the variables are negligible.
3. Nature is out there, so enjoy and be happy
If there is one thing we should appreciate, it is the riches that nature gives us. It is a luxury, a necessity for our lives, our health and our happiness, which brings us tranquility and peace. Nature helps us to shape our ideas and to experience the most important moments of our lives.
As children, we enjoy this to the fullest, without looking at the clock, and love it when the days get longer.
The message this film gives us regarding nature is not a new one, but a very important one: ‘Find her, follow her, and put your problems aside.’ Enjoy its light and its sounds, because you only live once, and if you spend this life in nature, it will be more complete and happier.
4. Resentment destroys lives
The character Shere Khan is a tiger who, after having a bad experience with people, especially with Mowgli’s father, thinks that all people are his enemies. He warns the rest of the animals that they should hate Mowgli because that “human cub” will grow up and no longer be a child, and that when he does he will become as ruthless as the rest of the humans.
Shere Khan is unable to understand that even though some people have harmed him once, it doesn’t mean everyone else will do the same. However, his resentment is so great that it becomes his main goal to kill the human cub, and he doesn’t care who minds this. Children need to understand that resentment is too heavy a burden to bear.
5. Be faithful and honest to the end
There’s nothing like having friends, and being able to enjoy their company in an environment as authentic as the jungle, or at least somewhere in nature, will make these bonds that much stronger. We knew this when we were kids. In the film, Mowgli encounters all kinds of animals, but Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther are his faithful companions.
They ensure each other’s safety, take care of each other, and always stay together so Shere Khan can’t kill Mowgli. They challenge each other, risk their lives over and over for each other, and most importantly, they never betray each other.
Mowgli knows that the knowledge he has as a human can be used to both improve and destroy the entire ecosystem, and he is not willing to destroy the environment in which he and all his friends live. Anyone can choose to do the right thing.
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