Where It All Began
The Jungle Book (1967)
What can I say about the power of the image of an orangutan and a bear in simian drag shaking a tail to the hippest song ever recorded for the small set? But this is my keystone, the defining moment that would craft a nascent cinephile, providing a link to a dying world of show business hepsters (the sublime Louis Prima and Phil Harris) and a limitless window into new worlds heretofore unknown to this then-uncorrupted four-year-old. Later experiences would prove richer, and even more disturbing--Pinocchio and Fantasia come to mind--but The Jungle Book was the first ripple in an ever-growing pond.
I'll never recapture that moment when my eyes were first opened to the projected image, but I can always remember (and perhaps even shake a leg with King Louis and Baloo myself, when no one's around).