Is the Jungle Book racist? Well, some critics apparently believe what the animated classic really was telling us is that the King Louie the ape represented an African American who is singing "I want to be like you"... with the "you" in this case referring to Caucasian whites as represented by the human character Mowgli.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the Frozen song writers for Let It Go claim that Disney is trying to let God go and actively do not allow writers to put God in their movies.
Robert Thompson, pop culture expert and media professor at Syracuse University, claims the "British coloniast perspective" of the original author is what inevitably made the film racist:
"One of the main reasons that 'The Jungle Book' needs to be rebooted is to fix the things that became controversial not long after it was released in 1967. The first Disney 'Jungle Book' was based on Kipling; the next one will be based on the movie, so it'll be another generation removed from Kipling, which will help. King Louie was going to be a problem either way. The original choice would have been offensive – Louis Armstrong animated as an ape. The choice they went with had a minstrel show feel to it, also offensive."Jeffrey M. McCall, Professor of Communication at DePauw University, agrees that King Louie was racist:
"The King Louie character can have his speaking mannerisms updated in a way that suggests he speaks in a manner similar to the other characters. I don't think the upcoming film needs a total scrubbing, or at some point it would no longer be loyal to the original story. But it can be updated with a keener eye to avoiding stereotypical language or behaviors that could be translatable to ethnic definition."But fans of the Jungle Book claim the only racism is in the minds of these professors. For example, a reader named Blaz3r exlaims:
"The King Louie character sings "I wanna be like you" to the kid, and people believe this is racist because he's a racial stereotype secretly saying he wishes he were white? This is the stupidest damn thing I've ever heard. WATCH THE MOVIE, he's singing I wanna be like you, because the kid is HUMAN. And King Louie, along with all the other animals in the forest, were fascinated with humans in the movie. Talk about making a big deal out of nothing."Other fans also pointed out the obvious fact that Mowgli is an Indian and was obviously not white-skinned.
What do you think: is the Jungle Book racist in some inscrutable way or is this political correctness going too far?