This was supposed to be published on Thursday, but stuff happens. I apologize for completely forgetting about this.
I listened to the song, and I can honestly say that I really like it. There is a timeless feeling to the song, which I do feel like was missing in the movie with the other songs. A lot of the lyrics are kind of repetitive, but it is not a huge deal to the point that it completely ruins the song.
After listening to the song a few times, I do not really think it is that dark. I guess it is not really lighthearted, but it is not really dark either. The first verse is talking about the atmosphere of the jungle, and how they are all “one”, whether they are human or animal. That was pretty nice, I have to say. The next verse speaks of freedom, with the lyrics “Give us our freedom or soon we die; Freedom or soon we die.” I do not know if they are referring to Shere Khan as the threat to their freedom or not. Do they see humanity as a threat to their freedom? Either option would make sense to be honest.
The lyrics also mention mother Wolf, Baloo, Bagheera, and someone named Akela as a call to unite the jungle together from the narrator’s heart to unite them as brothers. I like the idea of brotherhood and togetherness that the song is adding to the song. Of course freedom is a bigger deal, but almost every single Disney movie has freedom as a message, theme, or a goal, so it is not a big deal.
The score is pretty nice, I have to admit. The drums give it a more “jungle” atmosphere, but the heaviness to it makes the film darker than it would have been. I have no idea if this song was made during the earlier part of the production where it would have been a bit closer to the source material or not.
Now to focus on why I think this song was deleted. It seems like the producers, directors, and/or writers thought it was too dark for the film. There is nothing catchy about the beats and backgrounds of the songs like most of the other songs, and the lyrics are kind of repetitive. As an opening song, I think the song did its job well enough. From what I remember of the film, the opening scene consisted of a darker score and some narration on Mowgli’s beginnings. They definitely could have done with or without the song, since the opening songs usually do not have much purpose outside of hinting at the theme of the movie, but there are many ways they can do that without an opening song.
So my overall feelings for the song is that it is a pretty strong, but a bit repetitive song that could have easily fit into the film. Because it is an opening song, it could have easily been left out, which it ultimately was. Adding the names of some characters made the song more tied in to the ultimate story. I really, really like it overall. You all know what to do next, and thanks for reading.