->''"Now this is the Law of the Jungle -- as old and as true as the sky;\\
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.\\
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back --\\
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack."''

A collection of stories published in 1894 by Creator/RudyardKipling, primarily about a WildChild named Mowgli, and followed by a sequel, ''The Second Jungle Book'', in 1895. The stories detail Mowgli's childhood and youth, of his upbringing with the wolf-pack and his battles with the great lame tiger [[BigBad Shere Khan]], of his friendships with Bagheera the panther, Baloo the bear, and Kaa the python, of his abduction by the Bandar-Log of the Cold Lairs, and his great war against the Dhole, of his meeting with the White Cobra and his vendetta against his old people. Not all of the stories concerned Mowgli; the most well known exceptions being "Rikki Tikki Tavi" and "Toomai of the Elephants" in the first, and "The Miracle of Purun Bhagat" and "The Undertakers" in the second.

In 1900, Kipling wrote a stage adaptation of the Mowgli stories which he never published or produced. It was finally discovered among his papers and published in 2000 as ''The Jungle Play''.

The original work has long fallen out of copyright [[note]]In Kipling's native UK, the copyright originally expired in 1986, 50 years after his death, but then copyright was extended to 70 years so his works went back into copyright until 2006. Which isn't that long really. In the US, the copyright expired in 1951.[[/note]] and Mowgli and friends are now {{Public Domain Character}}s.

''The Jungle Books'' were instant hits and remain popular today, more than a century after they were conceived by Kipling. There are endless debates about the quality of Kipling's prose and poetry, his politics and racial views, but the books are still considered classics.

Zoltan Korda turned ''The Jungle Book'' into a live-action movie using real animals in 1942, giving the part of Mowgli to Sabu, the star of ''Film/TheThiefOfBagdad''. See [[Film/JungleBook Film: Jungle Book]].

Creator/{{Disney}} found ''The Jungle Book'', and loved at least some of its ideas, so they chose it for [[Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon one of their]] {{Animated Adaptation}}s. The result was and is widely considered [[Disney/TheJungleBook a great Disney film,]] the best and perhaps most original animated Disney film of the 1960s. That said, this adaptation of ''The Jungle Book'' was one of the greatest cases of AdaptationDisplacement in history, so great a case that Disney felt free to use some of Mowgli's friends and foes and rivals far, far away from the books and jungles where they were conceived, and so it considers them its own. This is the probable reason why Kipling doesn't receive a credit on ''WesternAnimation/TaleSpin'', an AnimatedSeries that puts three of the main characters from ''The Jungle Book'' (or Disney's version, at least) into an AlternateContinuity. A second series was created using the Disney interpretations ''Jungle Cubs'' [[SpinOffBabies reinventing the childhood lives of the animal residents into comical stories]]. See [[Disney/TheJungleBook Disney: The Jungle Book]].

On the other hand, the great animation genius, Creator/ChuckJones, produced three animated TV specials in the 1970s, ''Mowgli's Brothers'', ''Rikki Tikki Tavi'' and ''The White Seal'' that were much more faithful to the original stories.

There is also a Soviet animated series that is extremely faithful to the stories and to the general mood and style. No human-like mimics in animals here. However, some of the animal characters changed their gender -- most notably, Bagheera is female (since the word "panther" is always feminine in Russian) in this adaptation.

An anime series based on the books was also created. ''Jungle Book: Shonen Mowgli'', though somewhat more faithful to the original novels than the Disney adaption, takes a similar more whimsical atmosphere, as well as [[AdaptationExpansion expanding the cast and plot line to fit its over fifty episode long run]]. The anime aired during the late eighties and early nineties, amusingly around the same time Disney recycled some of their concepts adapted from the books for the DisneyAfternoon series ''WesternAnimation/TaleSpin''.

There was a live-action 1994 film based on the Jungle Book, called ''Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book''. It was directed by Creator/StephenSommers. While taking elements from the original books and the 1967 animated film, it had a very different storyline. It mostly focused on Mowgli's (Jason Scott Lee) life after leaving the jungle: having to become accustomed to life in British-colonial India and attempting to woo upper-class {{love interest|s}} Katherine Anne "Kitty" Brydon (Creator/LenaHeadey). See [[Film/TheJungleBook Film: The Jungle Book]].

An unrelated film called ''The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli & Baloo'' (1997) was released, possibly to cash in on the popularity of the above. It featured a still pre-teen Mowgli (Jamie Williams) pursued by the recruiting agents of a circus. The film performed poorly in theaters, but proved a hit in the video market. Which explains why there was yet another live action film, ''Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story'' (1998), a straight to video production. It featured Brandon Baker as Mowgli and various voice actors speaking for the animal characters. Despite featuring well-known actors such as Creator/ClancyBrown and Creator/NancyCartwright, it seems to be the most obscure of the three (though ironically the nearest Disney got to a faithful rendition of the novel).

More recently (2010), there has been an Indian-made CGI TV series comprising 15-minute episodes, very loosely based on the stories and aimed at younger viewers.

There have also been several [[ComicBooks comic book]] adaptations, including an issue of ''Classics Illustrated'' (1951), three issues of ''Dell Four-Color'' (1953-5), a serialisation in ''Marvel Fanfare'' (1980s), and three ''Second Jungle Book'' stories adapted by P. Craig Russell (1985-96).
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!!The Mowgli stories provide examples of:
%%Please put the Disney movie's examples on Disney/TheJungleBook, not here%%
* TheAce: Bagheera, and to an extent Mowgli himself.
* ArchEnemy: Shere Khan. He's been trying to kill Mowgli since he was a baby. Eventually the feeling is mutual and Mowgli vows to kill Shere Khan.
* ArtifactOfAttraction: The eponymous object in "The King's Ankus", a jewel-studded ivory artifact that Mowgli finds in a lost treasure chamber and then carelessly discards. He soon discovers that the Ankus causes men to kill each other for greed, and wonders why he alone is immune.
* AttentionDeficitOohShiny: The Bandar-log constantly talk about taking over the jungle, but can never focus on this goal long enough to do anything.
* {{Badass}}: Almost every main character.
* BadassBoast: When the aging Akela tries [[HeroicSacrifice to save Mowgli's life]], he says he will not fight back during the KlingonPromotion: "This will save the pack at least three lives".
* BadassCreed: For [[ManlyMenCanHunt predators]]:
-->Now Chil the Kite brings home the night,\\
That Mang the Bat sets free.\\
The herds are shut in byre and hut,\\
For loosed til dawn are we.\\
This is the hour of pride and power,\\
Of talon and tush and claw.\\
Now hear the call, good hunting all,\\
That keep the Jungle Law.
* BearsAreBadNews: Averted with Baloo.
* BerserkButton: Do not. Harm. Mowgli's. Mother. [[spoiler:He will not kill you. He will systematically ruin your ''village'', and send you scurrying for your life.]]
* BigBad: Shere Khan the tiger.
* BigBrotherMentor: Bagheera and Baloo, especially the former. Occasionally, Kaa and Brother Wolf.
* BittersweetEnding: In the first book, [[spoiler:Mowgli kills [[BigBad Shere Khan]], but after refusing to hand over his hide to a hunter, the latter convinces the village that Mowgli is a shape-shifting sorcerer, leading to the village driving Mowgli out. Mowgli is offered to rejoin to wolf pack, but refuses as they had forced him out before and decides to hunt alone, joined only by his four wolf "brothers", but it ends with a mention of him eventually getting married]].
** In the second book [[spoiler:seventeen-year-old Mowgli becomes restless for reasons he does not understand. Later he rediscovers his adopted mother Messua, now widowed and raising her infant son alone. After much soul-searching Mowgli decides he can no longer live with his animal friends and they watch sadly as he returns to Messua and human society.]]
* ButtMonkey: Tabaqui in many depictions tends to see his friendship with Shere Khan as something of "street cred". Since Shere Khan himself is often the butt of jokes from other animals (including ''his own mother''), it's needless to say it doesn't quite work that way. It's also implied that he's rabid, since the book is careful to mention how prone jackals are to catching that disease.
* CasualDangerDialog: When the villagers are turning against Mowgli, it's the wolf Akela who first recognises how much trouble Mowgli is in.
-->The old Tower musket went off with a bang, and a young buffalo bellowed in pain.\\
"More sorcery!" shouted the villagers. "He can turn bullets. Buldeo, that was thy buffalo."\\
"Now what is this?" said Mowgli, bewildered, as the stones flew thicker.\\
"They are not unlike the Pack, these brothers of thine," said Akela, sitting down composedly. "It is in my head that, if bullets mean anything, they would cast thee out."
* CatsAreMean: Zigzagged. Shere Khan the man-eating tiger is the [[BigBad main villain]], but Bagheera the black panther is a wise and trustworthy friend.
* DoesNotLikeShoes: Mowgli. In fact, he's pretty unimpressed by clothing in general.
* DragonHoard: It may be no mere coincidence that the lost treasure chamber of "The King's Ankus" is guarded by a very old and unusually large cobra.
* TheDreaded
** One of the things Disney's adaptations conveniently left out is the fact that Bagheera is one of the most feared (and respected) creatures in the entire jungle.
** The giant rock python Kaa (who is first an ally and later a friend of Mowgli's) is feared by many, but absolutely ''terrifies'' the monkeys. When they outnumber their enemies a hundred to one, they'll fight Baloo or Bagheera, but they ''will not'' fight Kaa - at any odds.
* EloquentInMyNativeTongue: In the prototype Mowgli story, "In the Rukh", when the German Muller is speaking English, his accent is rendered atrociously, but when he's speaking to Mowgli (presumably in Hindi) it's translated in the same archaic and poetic English Kipling uses to render most non-English languages.
* EverythingsWorseWithBees: Used as a battle tactic against the dholes in the story "Red Dog."
* ExactEavesdropping: Mowgli overhears that his adoptive human parents are to be executed, and immediately sets about saving them.
* FantasticCasteSystem: Each species acts a little like an Indian caste and has parts of the law of the Jungle designed specifically for it.
** Later subverted when Mowgli lives with the humans and helps out the potter, as he didn't know the potter was an untouchable.
* FullFrontalAssault: Just about any time Mowgli attacks, since he generally doesn't wear clothes at all.
* GrowingUpSucks: A recurring theme notable at several points: when Mowgli is first kicked out of the pack at the end of the first story; when he divorces ''himself'' from the pack and the villagers at the climax of "Tiger! Tiger!"; and when he must leave the jungle behind at the end of the second volume.
* HandicappedBadass: Shere Khan.
* HeldGaze: ''The Jungle Book'' references the direct gaze that when an animal views it that in RealLife it signals a threat to the animal; and it comes into play during the wolf-pack meeting at the beginning when Mowgli is allowed into the pack. His ingenuous, even gaze is unsettling to the animals gathered when he looks at them, meeting their gaze for only a few seconds, as most look away quickly except for ones like Bagheera, who knows something of the ways of men. And by the time Mowgli's grown up even Bagheera has to look away.
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: Not really avoided, but it's clear that the animals would rather just ignore humans. Mowgli himself, however, comes to feel this way about the villagers who take him in and then drive him out again, except for Messua, the woman who adopted him and the only one to oppose his expulsion.
* HypnoticEyes: From the reaction of the beasts, Mowgli seems to have a mild version. The trope is played full-force with Kaa.
* IGaveMyWord: Mowgli's motivation in more than one story.
* TheIgor: Tabaqui, the jackal who kisses up to Shere Khan.
* TheImp: Again Tabaqui, being a cowardly little jackal amist a bunch of Earth's most formidable predators, his activities consist largely of teasing the wolves and spreading word of Shere Khan's wrath.
* IntellectualAnimal
* LamarckWasRight:
** In "Kaa's Hunting", Mowgli is able to show the monkeys his skill at weaving sticks together because he is a woodcutter's son.
** In "Red Dog", Mowgli cuts off the leading red dog's tail and then taunts him by telling him "There will now be many litters of little tailless red dogs, yea, with raw red stumps that sting when the sand is hot." (Since a wolf ends up killing him anyway this theory is never put to the test.)
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: "Tiger! Tiger!" may be an allusion to "[[Literature/SongsOfInnocenceAndOfExperience The Tyger]]" by Creator/WilliamBlake.
* LonelyAtTheTop: Referred to: the wolfpack is led by Akela, which means "Alone."
* ManlyMenCanHunt: "Remember the wolf is a hunter, go forth and get food of thine own."
* MamaBear: Or rather, Mother Wolf.
* ManiacMonkeys: The Bandar-log.
* ManipulativeBastard: Shere Khan's plan to turn the wolf pack against Mowgli is a pretty clever one. It nearly succeeds too.
* ManlyTears: In more senses than one.
* MassHypnosis: Kaa does this to the Bandar-log (and Baloo and Bagheera, who were watching).
* MeaningfulName: In the story "Mowgli" (a name Kipling made up) means "frog", which refers both to his hairless skin and to his "amphibious" life between the worlds of the Jungle and that of Man.
* MightyWhitey: Subverted, Mowgli is Indian (though it's implied that he acts "whiter" than other Indians).
** Subverted in one line from 'Letting in the Jungle'. "He knew that when the Jungle moves only white men can hope to turn it aside."
** The first story he appears in, "In the Rukh", takes place after the books, and Mowgli impresses his white, British boss, Gisborne. Then the boss's German boss, Muller, with a thick FunetikAksent pays a visit, recognizes what Mowgli is, and tells Gisborne to give him free rein.
* NakedOnArrival: Mowgli first appears as a naked baby, and goes on to spend most of his childhood and adolescence naked too.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Mother Wolf is called "the Demon" -- and not just as a compliment.
* NoNameGiven: Messua's husband, Mowgli's adoptive father, is never given a name, despite being the richest man in the village. (This likely reflects the fact that he and Mowgli, the point-of-view character, never really connect.) By contrast, Kipling gives names to a couple of minor characters who are never seen again.
* NobleWolves: Mowgli's foster family is a pack of wolves that is depicted as wise, courageous and honorable.
* NotSoHarmlessVillain:
** While an InformedAttribute for the most part, Tabaqui, often an irritating coward that serves as a bigger laughing stock of the Jungle than Shere Khan, is noted for his occasion bouts of insanity (suggested to be formed from rabies), biting and attacking anything in his path, during which point the wolves and Shere Khan himself are fearful of him.
** Shere Khan himself, though considered an egotistical fool by many, he's still a great hulking tiger whose a known man-eater responsible for the deaths of many people to the point he was known amongst the people of India and the government even offered a reward for whoever killed him. The animals also did not in any way consider him harmless either, as even Bagheera had to repeatedly remind Mowgli that Khan was a very dangerous enemy.
* OldMaster: Kaa, who is the oldest creature in the jungle -- his sheer size only makes sense when you realise this.
* PantheraAwesome:
** Shere Khan, despite being regarded by the rest of the jungle as a bullying coward
** Bagheera, who can saunter into a wolf pack during one of their meetings and have their immediate and respectful attention
* PapaWolf: It's generally Akela, rather than Mowgli's actual wolf dad.
* PhysicalScarsPsychologicalScars: Hathi the elephant has a large white scar from the time he fell into a spiked pit trap and felt humiliated enough that when he escaped he razed three villages.
* {{Prequel}} and {{Sequel}}: Kipling had first created Mowgli for the short story "In the Rukh", which was republished in 1893 in the collection ''Many Inventions''. In that story Mowgli meets a British forestry official, marries and has a child.
* ProfessionalButtKisser: Jackals, particularly Tabaqui.
* RaisedByWolves: Mowgli is not the TropeMaker (that's probably Romulus and Remus), but he can probably be considered the TropeCodifier for modern media.
* RetiredBadass: Mother Wolf is strongly implied to be this.
* ShirtlessScene: Mowgli lives in a tropical climate and has no concept of clothing: this follows.
* SinkOrSwimMentor: Everyone who tries to teach Mowgli sometimes takes on this role, since he's sure to die if he doesn't learn.
* SpeciesSurname: Most of the animals of ''The Jungle Book'' are referred to by the name of that animal in Hindi. A few of the wolves are exceptions in having individual names.
* SycophanticServant: Tabaqui to Shere Khan.
* UnspokenPlanGuarantee: Averted. Mowgli's plans to kill Shere Khan and defeat the Red Dogs are laid out to the reader in great detail, and both are pulled off without a hitch.
* UnusualEuphemism: A classic one:
--> By the Red Flower Bagheera meant fire, only no creature in the jungle will call fire by its proper name. Every beast lives in deadly fear of it, and invents a hundred ways of describing it.
* {{Veganopia}}: According to the legend Hathi tells in "How Fear Came", in ancient times, all animals ate only "leaves and flowers and grass and fruit and bark".
* TheVillainMakesThePlot: [[BigBad Shere Khan]] kicks off the story by attacking a campsite, causing Mowgli to wander in the jungle and be adopted by wolves.
* WhoWillBellTheCat: When the head wolf fails to take down the prey, the pack can take him on -- but, as he reminds them, it is his right that they come one by one.
* WildChild: Mowgli.
* WorthlessYellowRocks: In "The King's Ankus," Mowgli can't see why the ancient treasure trove is worth guarding. He later sees why it needs a guardian -- not for its innate value, but for the way other humans will murder each other for it.
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe

!!The other stories provide examples of:
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: The cobras in ''Rikki-Tikki-Tavi'' are implied to be King Cobras, but they are described as looking like Indian Cobras. (Five foot long adult size, a white marking on the hood, etc.)
* {{Badass}}: Almost every main character. Also the cobras in ''Rikki-Tikki-Tavi''.
* BadassBoast: The snake villains have these in spades. See BadassCreed below.
* BadassCreed:
** One is said by Karait, a minor villain.
--->"Be careful; I am Death!"
** From Nag, the cobra:
--->"Who is Nag? ''I'' am Nag. The great God Brahm put his mark upon all our people, when the first cobra spread his hood to keep the sun off Brahm as he slept. Look, and be afraid!"
* BeastOfBattle: "Parade Song of the Camp Animals"
* BigDamnHeroes: Rikki arriving to stop Nagaina from threatening the humans at the dinner table.
* CueTheFlyingPigs: At the beginning of "Toomai of the Elephants", the title character is told by Petersen Sahib that he may one day go into all elephant stockades "when thou hast seen the elephants dance"; although there is evidence that such events occur, no human has yet witnessed it, thus the statement equates to "never". Sure enough, though, by the end of the story, Little Toomai has seen the dance of the elephants.
* ExactEavesdropping: Rikki-Tikki-Tavi the mongoose overhears the two cobras' entire plan to rid the bungalow of humans. Granted, he was warned to go listen in by another animal, but that seems a bit ''too'' convenient, no?
* FriendToAllLivingThings: In "The Miracle of Purun Bhagat", the title character renounces his worldly goods and becomes a holy man, befriending all of the animals that live in the hills near his shrine.
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: "The White Seal" gets downright anvilicious about it.
* IntellectualAnimal
* ManlyMenCanHunt:
-->The Jackal may follow the tiger, but cub when thy whiskers are grown\\
Remember the wolf is a hunter, go forth and get food of thine own
* NoNameGiven:
** In "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi", Teddy's father isn't named, although Teddy's mother's name is Alice, as given in dialogue.
** In the Inuit story "Quiquern", there's a girl from a tribe whose womenfolk are rescued after their men die on a hunt. Despite accompanying the hero Kotuko on a dangerous mission, and eventually marrying him, she's only ever called "the girl".
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: Played straight in "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi".
* SlidingScaleOfVillainThreat: Averted in "Rikki-Tikki Tavi," considering Rikki's first battle was against Karait, the Dust Brown Snakeling, a small highly venomous snake whom the story notes is a deadlier threat than the cobrae.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: Each anthology has a story that has nothing whatsoever to do with the jungle or India: in the first, it's ''The White Seal'', set in the northern oceans; in the second, it's ''Quiquern'', which is about huskies and Inuits.
* UnholyMatrimony: The two cobras in ''Rikki-Tikki-Tavi'' are mates who wish to assassinate all the humans in the house so that their children will have room to grow.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: In the stories, all animals have sapient intelligence like humans. But humans are still treated as objectively worth more than non-human animals. Especially in ''Rikki-Tikki-Tavi'' (A mongoose goes to kill two cobras who want to kill the humans in a bungalow so that they can raise their children.) Probably justified in this case, since the cobras would also be a potential threat to Rikki Tikki as well. Plus, the humans had saved the mongoose's life and so they deserved his protection for that matter at least.

!!Adaptations with their own pages include:
* ''Film/JungleBook'' (1942)
* ''Disney/TheJungleBook'' (the Disney version)
* ''Film/TheJungleBook'' (1994)

!!Other adaptations provide examples of:
* AdaptationDistillation: ''The Jungle Play'' is mostly based on four stories, "Mowgli's Brothers", "Tiger! Tiger!", "Letting in the Jungle", and "The Spring Running". He also created a new character, Dulia, a girl from the village, as Mowgli's love interest, and actually weaves her into the plot nicely (for instance it is she who brings news of what the villagers are doing to Mowgli's adoptive human mother to Council Rock).
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: The cobras are portrayed far physically larger than life in both cartoon adaptations.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: On top of how animated depictions usually skip over or tone down the family unfriendly parts, this is somewhat AVERTED, in the most ironic of instances, in at least one young children rewrite of the story released in the U.S, which not only leaves in the creepy mass hallucinate and feast scene with Kaa eating a ton of simians completely intact, but even includes a lovingly drawn scene of Mowgli and the wolves killing Shere Khan.
* TheFilmOfTheBook: Not just the Disney version or the 1994 version, but there was one done in 1942 with Sabu as Mowgli. It is much closer to the original story than the Disney version obviously.
** 1967 saw 'two' animated adaptations released the well known [[Disney/TheJungleBook Disney]] one, and a lesser known (over here), but rather more faithful [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventures_of_Mowgli series]] ('67-'71) in Russia.
* HeroKiller: [[BigBad Shere Khan]] will sometimes kill a major character close to Mowgli to make their feud even more personal.
* HijackedByGanon: [[BigBad Shere Khan]] sometimes does this in television series adaptations
* ShesAManInJapan: Bagheera is female in the Russian translation, mostly because the Russian word for "panther" is grammatically feminine.
** Same in Spanish; the word "pantera" is grammatically feminine and thus Bagheera is refered to as a "she".
** Bagheera has a female voice in Disney's ''Mowgli's Story'' as well.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: Most famously Shere Khan in the Disney animated film (he survives in the later live action variant too).
** Tabaqui's death at the hands (sic) of Brother Wolf is also absent in the Russian adaptation, and is shown having a conversation with Shere Khan prior to his own death (granted whether Tabaqui survives the stampede just after is left ambiguous).
** In the 1955 Dell Comics adaptation of "The King's Ankus",[[note]]the second story in Dell Four-Color #620, Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli: Jungle Book[[/note]] some of the men who steal the ankus survive and Mowgli has to steal it back from them.
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