Disney / The Jungle Book

Mowgli and his live teddy bear Baloo.

"Here's the novel. Now the first thing I want you to do is not read it."
Walt Disney to his writing staff

The 19th entry into the Disney Animated Canon, released on October 18, 1967.

Based on a collection of stories of the same name published around 1893 by Rudyard Kipling, Disney found The Jungle Book and loved at least some of its ideas, so they chose it for one of their Animated Adaptations. The result was and is widely considered 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 Adaptation Displacement 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.

One of Disney's most publicized features, the film spawned two Animated Series Spin-Offs: TaleSpin, an Anthropomorphic Shift Animated Series that puts three of the main characters from Disney's version of The Jungle Book into an Alternate Continuity, and Jungle Cubs, which focuses on the infant lives of the animal residents of the film. The Jungle Book also received its inevitable sequel titled The Jungle Book 2. In 2013, a stage version was produced; Disney was not directly involved (but might get involved if the show does well enough to get a Broadway run).

Also notable for being the last animated Disney film made while Walt Disney was alive (although not the last he greenlit; that would be The Aristocats).

On April 15, 2016, Disney released a live action adaptation of the film, with an All-Star Cast featuring Bill Murray as Baloo, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Christopher Walken as King Louie and Scarlett Johansson as a gender-flipped Kaa. The teaser trailer can be seen here.

Tropes related to The Jungle Book (1967 movie) and The Jungle Book 2 (2003 sequel):

  • Adaptational Badass: Shere Khan in the film is far more menacing than he was in the original stories, in which he was not so much feared by the other animals as disdained for being lame and a man-eater; not because man are respected, but because they are seen as easy prey. On the other hand, the books' Shere Khan is smarter and a lot more influential, succeeding in turning almost the entire wolf pack against Mowgli and Akela.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Whilst a good guy in both versions, Baloo was much more grumpy and stern in the books, instead of the kind, friendly Gentle Giant of the Disney version.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Kaa was one of Mowgli's allies and mentors in the original book, saving him from the Bandar-log, giving him advice for battle against the dholes, and never threatening to harm him. In fact, Mowgli was the only character able to resist his hypnotic dance. In the movie, he's a more comical villain, but is a genuine threat to the level that Bagheera is afraid of him when he's angry. In the sequel, he's a Butt Monkey and loses almost all of his original menace. All the while, the python threatening to predate Mowgli sounds for all the world like Winnie-the-Pooh with a lisp, and well he should considering they're both voiced by Sterling Holloway and (currently) Jim Cummings.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • Mowgli doesn't do much besides interacting with the more colorful animal characters and ultimately tying a flaming branch to Shere Khan's tail. In the original book his entire life is full of lessons and hardships about how to become a formidable predator, even though he's at a big disadvantage since he lacks the claws, fangs and muscles of the animals of the jungle, and in the end he's able to survive to grow into a man by becoming one of the smartest and strongest creatures the jungle has seen.
    • Kaa the python, who is a powerful Badass and much more deserving of respect in the book. He is the only animal in the jungle that the monkeys fear, and even Baloo and Bagheera are wary when approaching him.
    • Colonel Hathi is a bungling leader to his troop in both films. In the original book he was an aggressive elephant who once destroyed a human village.
    • Bagheera is noticeably less formidable in the movie. In the book, he's one of the jungle's most feared and respected inhabitants — not so much in the movie, where he's more of a Comically Serious Butt Monkey. In the sequel he's become a full-fledged Chew Toy whose sole role is to get beat up a lot.
    • Akela and the wolves also get this, as in the opening of the film they give Mowgli to Bagheera because they feel that they cannot protect him from Shere Khan. In the book, Shere Khan himself comes to demand the child, and the pack stands up to him. Akela remains an important ally to Mowgli until the wolf's death.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Many. Most obviously, Baloo and Bageehra essentially switch personalities, and Kaa becomes a conniving villain rather than a wise mentor for Mowgli.
  • Affably Evil: Nearly all of the Rogues Gallery have some amount of charm to their personality and valid reasons for their wrathful intentions (Kaa for food, Shere Khan for his hatred and self preservation from man).
  • Amusing Injuries: Kaa, when pushed off the branch, gets extreme whiplash, a knot in his tail, and has to walk his way off scene. Twice in as many days.
  • Analogy Backfire: When discussing the idea of letting Mowgli stay in the jungle...
    Bagheera: The jungle is not the place for him.
    Baloo: I grew up in the jungle. Take a look at me!
    Bagheera: Yes, just look at yourself! Look at that eye!
  • Animal Gender-Bender: Colonel Hathi leads the troop of elephants. In Real Life elephant bulls are solitary, and only enter a herd to mate, then leave once they've done their business.
  • Animal Talk: One of the few things that's more or less exactly the same as Kipling's original book is that all animals (and Mowgli) can talk to one another. This is taken one step further and goes to ridiculous extremes in the sequel, when both Shanti and Ranjan, who unlike Mowgli have not grown up in the jungle, also automatically understand the animals with no explanation.
  • Animation Bump: Milt Kahl's work with Shere Khan is a notable version of this.
  • Art Shift: Very noticable between the two movies. In The Jungle Book 2, the character designs are mostly the same, but they move slightly differently (most notably Mowgli, who is a lot more agile and often sports some animal-like movements he completely lacked in the original), the "hard scratchy outline" look from the original is replaced with the softer lines of modern Disney movies, and the jungle is overall a lot more lush and colorful.
  • Ascended Extra: Baloo was really supposed to only be a bit part in the original movie, but Walt Disney was so impressed with Phil Harris's vocal performance that the bear was promoted to a major character.
  • Badass: Shere Khan, from head to paw.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Mowgli has no nipples.
  • Beary Friendly: Baloo. Despite Bagheera's fears of his Toxic Friend Influence on Mowgli, he's not an example of Bears Are Bad News.
  • Big Bad: Shere Khan.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Two members of Mowgli's wolf family. In the beginning of the film we see them tackle Mowgli and give his face a good licking.
  • Big Good: Bagheera.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: The main trio in the film; Baloo (big), Bagheera (thin), and Mowgli (short).
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • In the original film Mowgli leaves for the man-village, and is now with his people. Baloo is absolutely heartbroken, with Bagheera reassuring him that Mowgli is safer now. In the end, Baloo and Bagheera stroll away into the sunset, singing a reprise of "The Bare Necessities". It's made more bittersweet once realising that this was the final film Walt Disney ever saw completed in his lifetime.
    • This is softened a bit by the sequel 'cause, well, he does see them again.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Mowgli, who refuses to leave the jungle and continuously runs from his guardians in a stubborn fit (usually straight into danger). He tones down a little in the sequel.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: For reasons said above, Mowgli has one with Baloo.
  • Cats Are Mean: Shere Khan's very name is enough to bring a chill down the other animals' spines. Bagheera however is a key protagonist and one of the most rational and benevolent characters in the jungle.
  • Cats Are Snarkers: Bagheera the panther is easily the snarkiest character in the movie, and Shere Khan the tiger, though he doesn't get many lines, comes across as at least somewhat snarky as well.
    Mowgli: You don't scare me. I won't run from anyone.
    Shere Khan: Ah, you have spirit for one so small. And such spirit is deserving of a sporting chance. Now, I'm going to close my eyes and count to ten. It makes the chase more interesting... for me.
  • Character Exaggeration: Between movies. Kaa's incompetence and cowardliness are greatly exaggerated in the second movie to the point where he becomes something of a Butt Monkey, whereas in the first he was genuinely menacing yet constantly unsuccessful, and his general fear of Shere Khan (the same as everyone else) is exaggerated to not being able to form full sentences around him.
    • Which is an especially ridiculous exaggeration considering Kaa was the only character (besides the elephants who Khan would just avoid) that Shere Khan had anything to fear from. Yes, Baloo tried to fight him because he cared about Mowgli, but was clearly outmatched. But Shere Khan was only able to save himself from hypnosis by Kaa thanks to a very quick reaction.
    • Shere Khan seemed to take the opposite extreme who, while still the greatest threat of the original film, was still somewhat hammy and whimsical in tone. In most later depictions (particularly in the sequel) he is much more stoic and sinister in tone.
    • Bagheera's Chew Toy status is also exaggerated between films.
  • The Chew Toy: Bagheera, somewhat, in part thanks to him being The Comically Serious of sorts.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • King Louie, despite his Ensemble Darkhorse status and appearances in previous media such as TaleSpin and Jungle Cubs, does not appear in the sequel (allegedly due to fears of a lawsuit issued by Louis Prima's widow over caricature of his voice).
    • Colonel Hathi's wife and all of the wolves.
    • Bagheera gets this in TaleSpin.
    • And let's not say anything about poor Rocky the Rhino.
  • Closer to Earth: Winifred, the only shown female resident of the jungle is much less befuddled and pompous than her husband. Though Bagheera seems to act as the Only Sane Man no contest.
  • Cloudcuckooland: The jungle seems to be filled with a rather dominating amount of bizarre and whimsical residents, especially in the original film.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Baloo does this several times, when Bagheera talks to him about Mowgli.
    • First, during Mowgli's fighting lesson with Baloo:
      Bagheera: Fine teacher you are, old ironpaws.
      Baloo: (brightly) Oh, thanks, Bagheera.
    • Second, when Bagheera urges Baloo to return Mowgli to the man-village:
      Bagheera: Baloo, birds of a feather should flock together. You wouldn't marry a panther, would you?
      Baloo: I don't know. (amused) Come to think of it, no panther ever asked me.
  • The Comically Serious: Shere Khan, particularly during his confrontation with Kaa.
  • Composite Character:
    • Kaa's more villainous characterization has a few notable character traits more similar to, ironically, Shere Khan's book incarnation (a cunning Manipulative Bastard who is, however, somewhat arrogant and pathetic). His characterization, particularly his snivelling, cowardly personality and the way he sucks up to Shere Khan, also recalls Tabaqui, Khan's jackal sidekick from the book, who is absent from the movie.
    • Much lower scale example, Mowgli's father (merely Father Wolf in the book) is referred to as Rama, the name of an unrelated bull character in the original stories.
  • Cowardly Lion:
    • The vultures are terrified of Shere Khan, but that doesn't stop them from directly attacking him when he goes after Mowgli and Baloo.
    • Despite his pyrophobia, Shere Khan attempts to take out the fire before finally panicking.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Baloo doesn't have a chance against Khan in the climax.
    • Ranjan does such a number on Kaa in the sequel that even Shantai (who he was previously trying to devour) thinks he's had enough.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Bagheera. See Stealth Insult section. Also...
    Baloo: Oh, stop worrying, Baggy! Stop worrying! I'll take care of him.
    Bagheera: Yes, like you did when the monkeys kidnapped him, huh?
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • The wolves, despite their prominent role raising Mowgli in the original book, only appear at the beginning of the original film and do not appear at all in the sequel or spin offs. Akela in particular: easily one of the most important characters in the book, here he appears for only a single scene and winds up being incredibly forgettable (he also gets a key appearance in an episode of Jungle Cubs however).
    • Bagheera in the sequel. Though he's one of the most important characters in both Kipling's book and in the original movie, in the sequel he's barely involved in the plot and only shows up to get beat up a lot.
  • Designated Villain: King Louie and his posse. While they are pranksters that kidnap Mowgli, they don't really do anything evil and are just party animals.
  • Disney Death
  • Disneyfication: As the quote atop the page shows, Disney was aiming for a Lighter and Softer flick instead of following Kipling too much - complete with ditching (for delivering material deemed too dark) both the writer (who had worked on all Disney features that far) and the composer (though a cheery tune he delivered was kept and became the film's Signature Song, "The Bare Necessities").
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Baloo is a lazy, good-natured slacker who lives in harmony with nature, loves music to the point that if he hears it playing he can't resist dancing, thinks human civilisation is severely corrupting, and is profoundly irresponsible. Although the film was made in the mid-late 60s and Baloo talks like a 40s hipster, his characterisation reflects Uncle Walt's loathing of the counterculture.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: After being interrupted in his meal of Mowgli, but before receiving extreme whiplash when Mowgli shoves his coils off the tree branch:
    Kaa: (to Bagheera) You have just sealed your doom.
  • The Dreaded: Shere Khan.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The elephants in this film actually all made an appearance in the short subject Goliath II before actually making their official debuts here.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Kaa dislikes Shere Khan's wrathful reasons for hunting Mowgli rather than hunting merely for food and criticizes him for "picking on that poor defenseless boy" once he knows he's safely out of earshot. Then he remembers that he's currently got that "poor defenseless boy" in his coils.
    Mowgli: (once out of Kaa's grasp) You told me a lie, Kaa! You said I could trust you!
    Kaa: (scornfully) It's like you said: you can't trust ANYONE!
  • Everybody Lives: There are no deaths in either film, which is admittedly odd even for a Disney adaptation.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: King Louie and his monkeys subvert this because they did kidnap Mowgli.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Shere Khan.
  • Exact Words: "I can see to it that you never have to leave this jungle."
  • Excuse Plot: Enforced: Walt Disney specifically told the story artists to not read or follow the book, and even chewed them out when they had concerns over the simplistic story, saying the characters and entertainment were more important. Floyd Norman, who worked on the film, summed it up on his blog:
    "With Pixar's string of successful movies it became popular among animation buffs to quote the familiar mantra, story, story, story. But, I remember it was no less than Walt Disney himself who chewed us out back during the development of "The Jungle Book." Because we thought we had legitimate concerns about the films' simple plot line. Well, we caught the wrath of the Old Maestro head on. "You guys worry too much about the story," Walt shouted. "Just give me some good stuff." And, what was that good stuff Walt Disney was talking about, you ask? Fun, humor, entertainment. In a word, Walt was speaking of gags. "The Jungle Book" didn't need a more involved story line because we already had great characters to work with. Let the humor come out of the situation, the characters, and the story will take care of itself."
  • Expy: The elephants are actually expies of the elephants from the animated short Goliath II. In fact, all of the elephants' designs from this short were actually reused for this movie!
    • Baloo's personality is basically Phil Harris' comic persona developed on The Jack Benny Program, minus the heavy drinking. In fact, this movie is much more entertaining if you're familiar with Phil on that show before seeing it.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Subverted at the end, where at first Baloo appears to have died a gruesome death at the hands of Shere Khan, but then it turns out that he survived.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: You can see Mowgli's buttcrack during both wedgie scenes if you pause at the right frames.
  • Force Feeding: A relatively humorous example occurs when upon capturing Mowgli, King Louie holds his mouth open to feed him a banana.
  • Friendship Song: "That's What Friends Are For", sung to Mowgli by a quartet of vultures (who bear an astounding resemblance to The Beatles) in the style of a barbershop quartet.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Baloo is getting visibly sexually aroused during Bear Necessities, when he starts scratching his back and butt with the rock wall.
    • One of Col. Hathi's elephants is clearly stoned.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: During Baloo's Disney Death scene.
  • Hakuna Matata: Baloo's way of life, as he looks "for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities".
  • Happily Ever Before
  • Honorable Elephant: Colonel Hathi and his troops. Particularly Hathi, himself.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Shere Khan's attitude towards humans, which is why he wants to kill Mowgli.
  • Human Knot: Happens to Kaa. He's a rope-like snake, which helps.
  • Human Traffic Jam: Happens to the elephants when they're ordered to halt.
  • Humiliation Conga: Happens to Kaa - he is pushed off of a tree, hitting his head several times, gets a knot in his tail, and the momentum causes him to fold up like an accordian. Mowgli is quite amused.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Kaa.
  • I'll Kill You!: Uttered by Shere Khan at the end just right before he attacks Baloo.
  • Incoming Ham: "That's what frieeeeeeeeends...aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaare for."
  • I'm Melting: Implied to be Shere Khan's ultimate fate.
  • Indy Ploy: Baloo's plan to rescue Mowgli from the monkeys.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Baloo, Shere Khan, and King Louie are heavily based on their respective voice actors (Phil Harris, George Sanders, and Louis Prima). Also, Mowgli's animation is based on Bruce Reitherman, at times employing Rotoscoping.
  • In-Name-Only: The film bears little resemblance to Kipling's original. To Wit:
    • It turned Kaa into a literal Smug Snake, Baloo into a hedonist, and Bagheera into something of a godfather.
    • Mowgli is changed from a Noble Savage to a Bratty Half-Pint.
    • At one point in the Kipling stories, Kaa the python hypnotizes a troupe of monkeys into becoming his helpless (ahem) dinner guests; later on, Mowgli singes Shere Khan's fur with a burning branch, and when that fails to get rid of him, Mowgli and the wolves stampede a herd of water-buffalo over him. As if that wasn't enough, in the story "Red Dog", Mowgli causes the marauding dogs of the title to be attacked by millions of angry bees; those who survive this by jumping into the river are attacked by Mowgli with a knife, and any that are left must then face Mowgli and his enraged wolf pack. Incidentally, Mowgli does most of this while he's naked. It should come as no surprise that none of this makes it into the Disney version.
    • Using fire against Shere Khan does show up in the movie. The branch was tied to his tail, but he was never directly singed. Well, not that we see, at least...
    • Hathi is a bumbling but benevolent Modern Major General, rather than the heavily scarred, human-hating Shell-Shocked Veteran from the stories.
    • Shere Khan is a suave and dangerous badass, rather than the crippled but occasionally dangerous shadow of a once great predator from the book.
    • King Louie is an original character; the monkeys in the book, called Bandar-log, have no leader. The vultures aren't present in the book either; the most prominent bird character is Chil the Kite.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Baloo and Mowgli, and Bagheera and Mowgli.
  • Irony: This exchange:
    Bagheera: But Shere Khan the tiger! He's sure to pick up the boy's trail!
    Hathi: Shere Khan? Nonsense, old boy. Shere Khan isn't within miles of here!
    Shere Khan: (in the brush behind them) (laughs)
  • I Was Named "My Name": Human example. Mowgli is called that (or Man-Cub) throughout the whole movie by all the animals. In the sequel, his adopted human family has named him Mowgli.
    • Well, Mowgli can talk to them...
  • I Will Tear Your Arms Off: When Baloo and Bagheera are trying to rescue Mowgli from King Louie and the apes, Baloo actually tells himself, "I'm gonna tear him limb to limb..."
  • Jungles Sound Like Kookaburras: A kookaburra laugh is heard in the opening scene, just as Bagheera narrates that the story takes place in the jungles of India.
  • Kavorka Man: How Shanti and Ranjan's hirsute, obese and middle-aged dad ever ended up with his very attractive young wife is a mystery. Partly justified in that he's an Ink-Suit Actor of his voice actor, John Rhys-Davies.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Shere Khan. As Affably Evil as he is, his appearance in the original film stops much of the fun and silly mood and makes things more tense and dark. This is carried Up to Eleven where he's concerned in the sequel.
  • Large Ham: King Louie, at least during "I Wan'na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)".
  • Line in the Sand: The elephant brigade all step back, (except for one, who immediately steps back, as well), when asked to volunteer.
  • Load-Bearing Hero: Baloo and King Louie are stuck holding up the ruins that Louie uses as his headquarters. (Louie might count as a Load-Bearing Boss, though).
  • Loin Cloth: Mowgli's standard outfit. It's proven to be pretty tough, too, since it didn't get damaged when Bagheera bit down on Mowgli's shorts trying to pull him off the tree. It just stretched three feet back and went back in it's original position when Bagheera lost his grip.
  • Lost in Imitation: A lot of later adaptions of the original stories, while usually more faithful to the original source material, tend to borrow elements from the Disney movie. Variations of King Louie appear in the live-action movie and Shonen anime for example. Characterizations such as that of Shere Khan and Baloo are also occasionally borrowed vaguely from their Disney interpretations. And let's not get into the characters from the sequel.
  • Mercy Lead: Impressed by Mowgli's lack of fear of him, Shere Khan decides to give him a ten second head start. However, when he gets to four, as soon as it becomes clear that Mowgli really isn't scared of him and plans to fight back, he quickly counts down the rest and attacks Mowgli; if it wasn't for Baloo, Mowgli would most likely be tiger food at that very moment.
  • Mildly Military: The elephants. Their theme, "Colonel Hathi's March", is even a parody of military marches.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Anyone whom Kaa hypnotizes. Also Baloo when caught up in the music of King Louie and the Monkeys.
  • Misplaced Wildlife
    • Orangutans are only found in Borneo and Sumatra (although they did live in India in prehistoric times, but probably went extinct long before the arrival of mancubs).
    • The sequel's big dance number has both hippos (native to Africa) and ocelots (South and Central America).
  • Mistaken for Dying
  • Na´ve Animal Lover: The Disney version of Mowgli insists he has all the necessary skills to survive in the jungle when he clearly doesn't, and as such, he thinks he can handle animals that want to kill and/or eat him on his own. The most notable example of this is before the final battle with Shere Khan. Despite the Vultures' insistence to run away, Mowgli refuses to move. Khan probably would have succeeding in killing him, too, if not for Baloo holding him back by his tail at the last second.
  • Narrator: Bagheera in this version.
  • Nerves of Steel: When Mowgli meets Shere Khan face to face, he states straight out to the tiger that he isn't scared of him, and when Shere Khan decides to give him a Mercy Lead, Mowgli instead grabs a stick and tries to fight him directly.
  • Never My Fault: In the sequel, when Shere Khan interrogates Kaa on Mowgli's whereabouts. He believes that Kaa knows where Mowgli is (after hearing the snake grumble "man-cub"). But truthfully, Kaa has no idea where Mowgli is, but Shere Khan won't believe him and continues to threaten the snake. So to save his skin, Kaa fearfully lies to the tiger that Mowgli's at the swamp, allowing him to flee. When Shere Khan arrives at the swamp with Mowgli nowhere to be found, he angrily growls "That snake lied to me!" Well, Shere Khan, you didn't believe Kaa when he told you the truth: "I don't know where Mowgli is". Sometimes you just gotta believe the snake when he tells you the truth for once.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: A subversion, as they didn't know he was listening in, but it's because of Bagheera telling Colonel Hathi about Mowgli running away that Shere Khan found out about the man cub's presence in the jungle in the first place.
  • Noble Wolf: The wolf pack that took in Mowgli when he was a baby and raised him as one of their own, only to have to cast him out thanks to Shere Khan.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: Bagheera does this, as there are a bunch of statues of panthers in the ruined human city, with one conveniently empty spot for him to sit in and assume the same pose as the statues. Even though he's solid black and they are light gray, he goes unnoticed by the monkeys who pass right by him. But then Baloo opens a door onto him.
    • To be fair, they weren't really paying attention as they walked by. They all had their eyes closed as they were grooving to the music.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • Shere Khan, claws extended, fighting Baloo near the end:
      Shere Khan: I'll kill you for this!
    • Also implied again in the sequel, this time on heckling vulture Lucky:
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Shere Khan doesn't even show up until the beginning of the third act, and even when he does, he's Affably Evil except for his fight with Baloo. His reputation is what sets the plot into motion.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Mowgli's name is actually pronounced MAO-gli, not MOH-gli. Mow rhymes with cow. Rudyard Kipling's daughter allegedly never forgave Disney for this mistake, though it's hardly their fault—the mispronunciation of Mowgli's name could be heard as far back as Zoltan Korda's 1942 live action adaptation.
  • Not So Different: Baloo and Louie, which explains why they're such good friends in the spin-offs.
  • Odd Friendship: Baloo and Bagheera, who start the first movie knowing but not particularly close and end the movie good friends through taking care of Mowgli - though if Jungle Cubs is to be believed they were always friends but not too close in the movie's beginning. Whether or not they are the Odd Couple or just an Odd Friendship depends on whether one considers them or Mowgli the major protagonists.
  • Oh Crap!: Most epically with Shere Khan after he discovers a big burning bush on his tail.
  • "Oh, Crap!" Smile: When Baloo notices that one of the columns in King Louie's domain has come loose and is about to collapse, he smiles this way as he waves goodbye to Louie vainly holding up the ceiling.
  • Old Windbag: Col. Hathi.
  • Only Sane Man: Bagheera.
  • Pale Females, Dark Males: The wolves and the elephants.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Baloo in drag with the monkeys.
  • Parental Substitute: Baloo acts as this to Mowgli for the brief time they are together. Prior to him, he was Raised by Wolves, his adoptive father Rama even referring to him as being "like a real son".
  • Pigeonholed Voice Actor: Phil Harris would go on to play Baloo again in Disney's Robin Hood as Little John and in The Aristocats as O'Malley.
  • Pinball Protagonist
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Colonel Hathi's "military band" does little else than march around obnoxiously while singing their Ear Worm. How did Colonel Hathi get his Victoria Cross? In the movie, Hathi reminisces about being part of a British elephant troop and was presumably released into the wild when he got older; he just kept up his military habits with the herd he became part of (never mind that bull elephants are almost always loners in the wild).
  • Please Wake Up
  • Premature Eulogy: Bagheera does this when he thinks that Baloo is killed by Shere Khan. It turns out that Baloo is rendered unconscious by the injuries inflicted on him... for a short while.
  • Real Award, Fictional Character: Colonel Hathi claims to have gotten the Victoria Cross while serving in the British Army.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The film's overture was a piece called "Serengeti Serenade" written for an exhibit of miniatures Disney created as part of the Ford Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Baloo is Red, Bagheera is Blue.
  • Retcon: An obscure foreign-language novelization rendered the village girl's name as Jasmine. Obviously this wouldn't fly after 1992, so the DTV sequel and subsequent merchandise and press material for the first film gave her a different name.
  • Role Reprisal: Tony Jay, who provided the voice of Shere Khan in The Jungle Book 2, previously voiced a different variation of this character on The Jungle Book spin-off TaleSpin.
  • The Runt at the End: Colonel Hathi's son, who brings up the end of the column of marching elephants.
  • Scatting: "I Wanna be Like You" devolves into a scat duel between Louis Prima and Phil Harris. Also, Baloo's opening line:
    Baloo: [singing] Well it's a doo-bah-de-doo, yeah it's a doo-bah-de-doo, I mean a doo-bee, doo-bee, doo-bee, doo-bee, doo-bah-de-doo!
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Bagheera loses his temper with Mowgli and leaves him to fend for himself twice over. He quickly darts back at the thought of leaving him with Baloo however.
  • Shout-Out: Near the end of the film, Bagheera delivers a eulogy to the apparently dead Baloo as the background music plays. Surprisingly, this background music is a Grief Song called "Chorale for Snow White", a shout-out to the 1937 film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  • Show Some Leg: Shanti blatantly does this to Mowgli at the end of the first movie (which she attempts to deny in the second). Lampshaded by Baloo and Bagheera.
    Baloo: (furious) She did that on purpose!
    Bagheera: (smiling) Obviously.
  • Sidekick Song: "The Bare Necessities"! Also, "I Wan'na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)" and "That's What Friends Are For (The Vulture Song)".
  • Sissy Villain: Kaa and to a lesser extent, Shere Khan. Both are genuinely feared predators of the jungle (Shere Khan mentioned as being stronger than the entire wolf pack combined) however in both cases, their wrath is hidden in an amusingly flamboyant, playful and soft spoken demeanor. In the sequel, Shere Khan is a more bitter villain, though still plays around with this at times.
  • Slasher Smile: Shere Khan seems to have grown a skill for these in the sequel (most notably before he seemingly beats Lucky mercilessly).
  • Smug Snake: Kaa is a literal example. Shere Khan is debatable too.
  • Sound Off: "Colonel Hathi's March", sung by the Elephant Patrol whenever they make their entrance in the film.
  • Spanner in the Works: Kaa and Shere Khan each accidentally foil the other's attempts to catch Mowgli simultaneously. Kaa comes across Mowgli and pulls him up into his lair just as Shere Khan passes through hunting for him, and his lie causes Shere Khan to just miss him. At the same, Shere Khan distracts Kaa just as he is about to eat Mowgli, which allows Mowgli to escape.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the original book Shere Khan was killed by Mowgli, to the point of he almost Dropped a Bridge on Him. However the tiger survives in all of Disney's adaptions of the stories and character to date.
    • Not in the 2013 stage version.
    • Also Akela, albeit owed more to the shortened timespan and the fact he appears all of once.
  • Spelling Song: "W-I-L-D" in the sequel.
  • Sssssnaketalk
  • Stealth Insult: Bagheera delivers a sharp one when Baloo is trying to make himself look like someone who can be trusted to raise Mowgli...
    Baloo: I'll learn him all I know!
    Bagheera: Well, that shouldn't take too long.
  • Stock Footage: As seen here, the movie copies from a few other Disney movies and was reused in later ones.
    • The scene where Mowgli is licked by the two wolves uses the same animation sequence from The Sword in the Stone where Wart gets licked by Tiger and Talbot, the castle dogs. (doubles as an Actor Allusion, as both were voiced by the same boy). Shere Khan also spends some time sneakily stalking a deer whose death had already traumatized a generation of Disney Kids. (Thanks again, Bambi). Various shots were also recycled within the movie, chiefly those involving the elephants and Kaa.
    • Watch closely at the animation of almost all the scenes involving the wolf pups. Seem familiar?
    • Also, animation from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad was actually reused for the scene where Baloo and Bagheera rescue Mowgli from the apes.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Shere Khan tracks Mowgli all throughout the jungle in both movies, but both times he is out to kill him for being human rather than hunting him for food. Meanwhile, Kaa (who is hunting for food) only chances upon the main characters and quits pursuing them once they prove to be more trouble than they're worth.
    Kaa: If I never seen that skinny little shrimp, it'll be too soon.
  • Tempting Fate: Mowgli does this a lot. The most obvious example: Kaa first appears immediately after Mowgli tells Bagheera "I can take care of myself", and he nearly gets himself (and Bagheera) killed.
    • Also:
      Baloo: Yessir, nothin' or nobody's gonna come between us again! (cue Shanti)
    • Both of those examples are also Inadvertent Entrance Cue of one sort or another.
    • Shanti says "Tigers don't come into the village" and later in the film, Shere Khan does that exact thing.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: In the sequel, when Shere Khan is interrogating Kaa on Mowgli's whereabouts
    Shere Khan: Oh, please don't insult my intelligence; it makes me irritable.
    • Kaa, on the other hand, truthfully has no idea where Mowgli is, but Shere Khan won't believe him. So, out of fear, Kaa lies to the tiger that Mowgli's at the swamp, allowing him to flee
  • Tickle Torture: First Mowgli on Baloo. Later, when King Louie is holding up a section of the ruins, Baloo tickles him. An accidental example occurs when Shere Khan tries to pat Kaa down.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Mowgli to an extent for aforementioned reasons. Especially during his second encounter with Kaa, where, knowing Kaa wants to eat him, he still takes him at his word that he wants to help him, and even looks into his eyes long enough to be hypnotized. If Shere Kahn hadn't shown up, Mowgli would have been dead.
    • Lucky in the sequel is a brainless Screwy Squirrel who spends the majority of his role taunting Shere Khan over his defeat at the hands of Mowgli as up close as possible inadvertently giving him directions to the mancub's location in the process (before falling victim to a rather nasty beating).
  • Took a Level in Badass: Mowgli thankfully gets more capable in the sequel.
  • Tranquil Fury: Disney picked George Sanders specifically for his ability to give Shere Khan a sinister yet simultaneously suave and gentlemanly demeanor. He finally loses his cool during the climax, if still more in the form of a haughty snit fit than an outright Villainous Breakdown.
  • Tummy Cushion: Mowgli lies on Baloo the bear's stomach as they're floating in the river, as seen here.
  • Ultimate Evil: For much of the film Shere Khan isn't seen or heard. We only hear and see from other characters that he's the most feared, dangerous creature in the jungle, and even the mention of his name often results in a more serious tone. Towards the end the tiger finally appears, and while he's Faux Affably Evil, he's every bit of the Badass he's hyped up to be, especially when he shows his true colors in the final fight. He gets more screentime in the sequel, where he's even more of a Knight of Cerebus.
  • Villain Ball: Kaa twice over was nearly successful in making a snack out of Mowgli, his tendency for aloud and attention grabbing Evil Gloating or catchy Villain Songs always foils his plans however.
  • Villain Song:
    • Kaa has "Trust in Me (The Python's Song)".
    • Khan himself would have had one in an early version of the film, "The Mighty Hunters".
  • Walk Into Camera Obstruction: Twice. Once with Baloo as he is walking inside the temple. "Step aside and I'll show you what a real rug cutter can do". Again with Baloo during the song WILD. Does it after he knocks off Timon & Pumbaa look-alikes.
  • Weak-Willed: Mowgli and Shanti are both easy victims for Kaa (this is ironically in contrast to the original stories where Mowgli was the only one resistant to Kaa's hypnotic dance).
  • Wedgie: Mowgli is victim of this twice.
    • When Mowgli wraps his arms around a small tree while refusing to go to the man village, Bagherra bites down on his shorts and tries to pull him off and drag him there. The underwear stretches about three feet behind him, and Mowgli is just barely holding on and trying to kick Bagherra in the face. Good thing Bagherra slipped and lost his grip, or things might've gotten worse.
    • After the monkeys bring Mowgli to King Louie, he picks up Mowgli by the loincloth and holds him up at arms length while the man cub tries to hit him.
  • What Song Was This Again?: "Bear Necessities", having a pun-based title, really doesn't translate well. In the Swedish version, the gist of the song is the same, but the pun is replaced by a different bear-related pun. The French version is entirely punless, as is the German version, whose title translates as something like "Let's try it the cozy way".
  • With Catlike Tread: The elephants searching for the lost man-cub.
    Shere Khan: Element of surprise? Oh, I say... (laughs)
  • World's Shortest Book: This exchange:
    Bagheera: And just how do you think he (Mowgli) will survive?
    Baloo: How do you think he will... What do you mean how do you think he... He's with me, ain't he? And I'll learn him all I know.
    Bagheera: Oh? That shouldn't take long.

Alternative Title(s): The Jungle Book 2