"Louie" the "King of the Swingers" (an orangutan) wants the power of "Man's Red Flower" i.e. "FIRE"! He wants to use fire as a weapon against the other animals of the jungle.

It seems to me that this particularly chilling scenario becomes more timely and terrifying with each passing decade. The idea that an unwitting hostage could be used to divulge military secrets to a terrorist sect is terrifying and yet, when set to the tune of a Sherman Brothers Dixieland beat, somehow we, as an audience, are able to connect and gain a particular sort of catharsis as a result - much as "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" must have served as a salve to the Depression Era audiences who first saw the Three Little Pigs singing it in 1933.

That song became the most successful song of all time when that early Walt Disney animated movie short first premiered, probably because it spoke to the collective unconscious of its Depression era generation. The Big Bad Wolf was the Depression. The Big Bad Wolf threatened to take away your home and your stability. Only through communal effort could the wolf be defeated. And Walt Disney was a neo-Con? Please! The metaphor is clear.

Likewise, The Jungle Book also tapped a nerve, in the Jungian sense, to an American and worldwide populace increasingly frustrated with the mire of the Vietnam War. Perhaps that played a part in The Jungle Book'sgreat financial success as well. It was after all, the biggest grossing box office draw of 1967.

A rendition of "I Wanna Be Like You" is also included in my show A Spoonful of Sherman. You can listen to a selection of tracks and purchase the cast recording here.