Thursday, 17 December 2009

You're not getting what you think you want, you're getting what you actually want

I find it quite funny/interesting how this poster for Disney's The Jungle Book advertises "Kipling's famous characters", accompanied by images of characters who are in some cases very different from the way they are in Kipling's stories, and in one case (King Louie) entirely invented for the film. They must have been relying on Kipling's characters being not all that famous after all.

Also, apparently Bill Peet, the sole writer of both One Hundred and One Dalmatians and The Sword in the Stone, wrote an draft of the script which Walt Disney rejected on the grounds of being "too dark" and "too Kipling". As he was in the entertainment business, presumably his concern was that audiences wouldn't take to a film which was too much in the Kipling style or spirit.

That's where the irony (or whatever it is) comes in. The poster must have been designed for people who think of Kipling's name as a brand of quality and therefore would be encouraged to see a film when they see his name on it, but who are actually unfamilar with his work and, if they saw a film that really was a faithful adaptation, they wouldn't enjoy it.

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