from the “deleted scenes” bonus material of Jungle Book II, with Sharon Morrill, Executive Vice President, and Matt Walker, Senior Vice President of Music.
Matt: What you’re hearing fading out is the song “I’ve Got You Beat,” which was written for the movie Jungle Book II.
Sharon: But this song never made it into the movie, and the reason why is basically the character of Shanti. Shanti started out — three years ago — as a very feisty character who really was Mowgli’s equal, and the song — the “I’ve Got You Beat” song — is really about Shanti saying “I”m gonna show you how great the village is,” and Mowgli saying “I’m gonna show you how great the jungle is,” and that became kind of this rivalry song that became “I’ve Got You Beat.” But we realized that Shanti was really a little too feisty and we wanted to soften her character a little bit. So we made her a little bit more afraid of the jungle: not quite as feisty, doesn’t stand up to Mowgli quite as much. That way when she got into the jungle she was able to confront her fears, confront the jungle, and really grow into a feisty character at the end of the movie.
Matt: So what you’re about to hear is the original demo done two years ago to the story boards we were playing around with. These are temp vocals, temp instruments, mostly electronic. You’re hearing raw, early stuff.
“I’ve Got You Beat” video plays, then a segment from “Braver.”
Matt: What you just heard was part of the song “Braver” which was recorded for the sound track of the movie Jungle Book II. It was originally designed to work in the film.
Sharon: But it didn’t make it into the movie, and there are several reasons why it didn’t get into the movie.
Matt: It’s always difficult — there’s so much time and energy put into developing a song — where we are at the beginning of the song, where we’re supposed to be at the end, and in this case it was such a character song: we wanted to explore Shanti’s character and her fear. She was going to get out there in the jungle to find Mowgli, and she was terrified, and through the song — through the lyrics of the song — the character blossomed into this braver, more self-assured personality. And after we got through writing it — and we fell in love with the melody and fell in love with the feel of the song —
Sharon: Loved it, loved it.
Matt: But it almost gave too much away of Shanti.
Sharon: And that actually brings up another point which is that ultimately this is Mowgli’s movie. This is a story about Mowgli and the choices he has to make about his life, and unfortunately we had to take the song out — as much as we didn’t want to — because we really needed it to be a story about Mowgli.
Matt: So what you’re going to hear is a rough demo — again two years ago — with scratch vocals, keyboard synth, pieced together with the storyboard of Shanti trying to make her way through the jungle.
“Braver” video plays.