Rudyard Kipling’s father John Lockwood Kipling was an art teacher, art school director, museum curator and the first artist to illustrate The Jungle Book stories (volumes 1 and 2) that his son wrote.

Then, like good tales often do, The Jungle Book went to Hollywood. Walt Disney saw the potential when his chief story editor and longtime animation artist Bill Peet suggested that the adventures of Mowgli, Akela and Baloo offered some interesting animal characters for the staff to play with.

Disney and Peet later clashed over the direction of the script and storyboards Peet was developing. Peet, who’d go on to become a prolific children’s book author and illustrator, wanted the film to stay true to Kipling’s dark themes of survival challenge and man’s destruction of wild habitat.

Disney wanted music, laughs, sunshine, loveable characters “and a little heart.”

Original edition of The Jungle Book, vol. 1, illustrated by John Lockwood KiplingThis Disney produced documentary smacks in the beginning of hagiography, but it shifts gears to tell a fascinating “process story”, rich with interviews and the artwork in all its stages and permutations. I hope you enjoy this part 1 video.

* * * * *

Discover a most empowering free secret for making good drawings.

See photos of the 2012 Regional Conference, Something for Everybody put together by the Austin Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Children's book illustrator Bill Peet worked up the first storyboard for the Disney telling of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book."

Children's book illustrator Bill Peet worked up the first storyboard for the Disney telling of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book."