Follow TV Tropes


Characters / The Jungle Book

Go To

Characters that appeared in 1967's The Jungle Book. For characters of the 2016 Live Action Adaptation see here.

    open/close all folders 

Main Trio

Voiced by: Bruce Reitherman (original), Haley Joel Osment (The Jungle Book 2), Maxim Knight (Kinect: Disneyland Adventures)

Mowgli is the protagonist of The Jungle Book and its sequel.

  • Adaptational Modesty: Spends much of the book stark naked. For obvious reasons, the Disney version gave him red shorts.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Mowgli in the original book, as well as every other adaptation, survives in the jungle by becoming the strongest and smartest badass the jungle has ever seen. In the Disney film, he is an ineffectual Pinball Protagonist, though the final climax and the sequel show semblances of his book competence starting to arise.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Disney's version of Mowgli is always depicted with no nipples.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: He obstinately refuses to listen to Bagheera and Baloo when they tell him that he needs to go to the man village where he will be safe from Shere Khan.
  • Catchphrase: "Yeah, man!" He picks it up from Baloo, and proceeds to say it several times both in the original movie and in the sequel.
  • Character Development: Gets a lot of this in the sequel.
    • He is far more mature and knowledgeable with the jungle.
    • He's forced to make difficult decisions for himself, choosing between living in the jungle with Baloo and Bagheera or living in the village with Shanti and Ranjan. Mowgli, knowing it's what's best for him, chooses the village, but also decides to simply visit Baloo at the jungle everyday, finally setting an acceptable balance between his life as a jungle boy and a village boy.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: He is always barefoot.
  • Fatal Flaw: Stubbornness. He rarely seems to entertain the possibility that he's wrong, and it lands him into trouble (sometimes life-threatening) on numerous occasions. However, by the end of the film, and throughout the second, he realizes that he should respect the opinions of others.
  • Idiot Hero: Justified because he's a kid. He doesn't listen to Bagheera, and is careless and naive to the point of being Too Dumb to Live.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Through Rotoscoping, Bruce Reitherman (son of the film's director) actually became Mowgli in many scenes.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mowgli is very stubborn and bratty, but is still overall a kind-hearted and happy-go-lucky kid.
  • Kid Has a Point: When talking with Bagheera in the beginning of the first movie about what they're going to do about Shere Khan, Mowgli suggests simply explaining to the tiger that he would never become a hunter. Keep in mind that not only was Mowgli Raised by Wolves, but he has befriended many of the jungle's animals growing up, none of whom can acquire or use guns. Bagheera dismisses this suggestion, but this has more to do with Shere Khan being unable to be reasoned with than any flaw in Mowgli's logic. Baloo later tries to argue the same thing when they talk about sending Mowgli to the man-village.
  • Kid Hero: A kid and the protagonist, although he's hardly seen doing anything heroic in the movie (until the last scene with Shere Khan). He becomes more competent in the sequel.
  • Loincloth: Illustrated editions of the book sometimes depict him this way to avoid showing him naked, but in the Disney film he wears red shorts, which makes Baloo give him the nickname "Little Britches".
  • Love at First Sight: Mowgli instantly loses all control of his mental faculties the moment he sees Shanti and hears her singing.
  • Magic Pants: His loincloth is shown to be made out of pretty tough material. When Bagheera bites down on it to try to drag him to the man village, it stretches about three feet back while Mowgli holds onto a small tree. It just snaps back without any evidence of damage after Bagheera loses his grip.
  • Official Couple: With Shanti by the end of the sequel.
  • Oh, Crap!: Gets a very prominent one in the climax of the first film when Shere Khan decides to attack in earnest, and the Too Dumb to Live boy finally realises how much trouble he's in.
  • Pinball Protagonist: Because of Disneyfication, he spends all his time reacting to the other characters and doesn't instigate any plot events. This is totally ironic if you know the character from Rudyard Kipling's original stories.
  • Raised by Wolves: A literal example, and quite a Trope Codifier (along with Tarzan).
  • Too Dumb to Live: Mowgli taunts Shere Khan with extreme overconfidence about his ability to defend himself from the huge tiger. He nearly gets eaten for his stupidity.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Mowgli thankfully gets more capable in the sequel.
  • Wedgie: Mowgli ends up becoming victim of this twice in the first film.
    • An impatient Bagheera bites down on his loincloth and pulls at one point, while Mowgli holds onto a tree and kicks him in the face until the panther loses his grip.
    • After the monkeys drop Mowgli, King Louie hooks his fingers in the kid's shorts and holds him up at arm's length while Mowgli tries to hit him.
  • Wild Child: The Trope Codifier, again, along with Tarzan.

Voiced by: Phil Harris (original), John Goodman (The Jungle Book 2), Scatman Crothers (Disney on Parade), Pamela Adlon (Jungle Cubs), Ed Gilbert (TaleSpin, Jungle Cubs, adult), Brian Doyle Murray (Mowgli's Story), Steve Curtis Chapman (Rhythm'n Groove), Bill Murray (live-action remake), Joel McCrary (2002—present)

Baloo is the deuteragonist of the Jungle Book and its sequel. He is a sloth bear and best friends with Mowgli.

  • Adaptational Comic Relief: He becomes a fun-loving character who has a scatting duel with an orangutan, rather than a serious law teacher like in the books.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: 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.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: In the original book, Baloo was more of a serious and wise (if somewhat bumbling) old mentor, but here he's a happy-go-lucky, fun-loving slacker.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Originally, Baloo was supposed to only have a cameo role as one of the animals Mowgli and Bagheera encountered on their trek through the jungle — but Phil Harris's voicework made such an impression on the moviemakers that the bear was upgraded to one of the main characters.
    • To some extent, in comparison with his book counterpart as well. Baloo of the book was in no way a minor character, but he was never the star of the show the way the Disney version is.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Normally very kind, but harm his friends and he will kick your sorry ass.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Averted. Despite Bagheera's fears of his Toxic Friend Influence on Mowgli, he's not an example of this, see Beary Friendly.
  • Beary Friendly: Baloo becomes a friend to Mowgli.
  • Beary Funny: He epitomizes the "lovable lug" archetype for bears.
  • Big Fun: In bear form.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Quite often.
  • Breakout Character: Baloo eclipsed Mowgli in popularity, being the most heavily merchandised character of the Disney adaptations as well as being promoted to the lead protagonist in spin off TaleSpin.
  • Catchphrase: Baloo's "You better believe it".
  • Disney Death: After his Curb-Stomp Battle with Shere Khan.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": A bilingual example: "Baloo" means "bear" in Hindi, so Baloo could also be known as "Bear, the bear".
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: During "The Bare Necessities", Baloo uses a jagged rock wall to scratch his butt. If you pause at a few frames, you can clearly see that he using the rock wall to scratch not just across his buttocks, but between them as well. Uuuuuummmmmmm...
  • Fun Personified: He's very fun-loving and easy-going, in contrast to Bagheera.
  • Gentle Giant: A gentle, good-natured, big bear.
  • Hakuna Matata: "Bare Necessities" is the best pre-The Lion King example of this trope in Disney.
  • Indy Ploy: His plan to rescue Mowgli from King Louie. Borders on Crazy Awesome.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Like Shere Khan and King Louie, he's heavily based on his voice actor, Phil Harris.
  • The Nicknamer: He calls Mowgli "little britches" and calls Bagheera "Baggy".
  • Nice Guy: Is exceedingly kind and friendly.
  • Papa Wolf: Towards Mowgli. Messing with Mowgli will get you trouble from Baloo. He tells the monkeys outright, "Keep your flea pickin' hands offa my cub!"
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In drag with the monkeys.
  • Parental Substitute: He acts as this to Mowgli for the brief time they are together.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Bagheera's Blue.
  • Scatting: What Baloo is doing when we first meet him, pointing up his identity as The Slacker.
  • The Slacker: In contrast to his book counterpart, Disney Baloo is a Lazy Bum who teaches Mowgli about relaxing, having fun and eating ants.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Bagheera.

Voiced by: Sebastian Cabot (The Jungle Book), Bob Joles (Rhythm'n Groove, The Jungle Book 2), Elizabeth Daily and Dee Bradley Baker (Jungle Cubs), Jim Cummings (Jungle Cubs, adult), Eartha Kitt (Mowgli's Story), Ben Kingsley (live-action remake)

Bagheera is the tritagonist of The Jungle Book. He serves as the guardian of "Man-Cub", Mowgli, for most of the original film and the somewhat reluctant companion of Baloo.

  • Knight In Sour Armor: He grouches and complains almost to the point of being the Grumpy Bear of the movie, but all he ultimately wants is for Mowgli to be safe; and he's willing to go through hell in order to ensure the man-cub's survival. He even resorted to dragging Mowgli by his shorts at one point when he stubbornly refused to let go of a small tree.
  • Narrator: In this version.
  • Only Sane Man: He's certainly much saner than Baloo and Mowgli.
  • Panthera Awesome: In the book, Bagheera the black panther was born in captivity but escaped into the jungle, becoming one of its most feared and respected predators. His cunning and bravery make him one of the best teachers a young man-cub could ever want.
  • Papa Wolf: Not as prominent as Baloo, but he does care deeply about Mowgli and is quite overprotective of him, as displayed by his paranoia regarding Baloo and his actions during the temple scene.
  • Parental Substitute: While Mowgli is Raised by Wolves, Bagheera was the one who found him, and later the one who accompanies him to the man village.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Baloo's Red.
  • Shipper on Deck: When he sees Mowgli falling for a girl from the village, he is all for it, unlike Baloo who doesn't want Mowgli to go away.
  • Stealth Insult: He gives a sharp one to Baloo when he tells him he can take care of Mowgli and saying "I'll learn him all I know!"
    Bagheera: Well, that shouldn't take too long.
  • Straight Man: Compared to Baloo, he's a real stick in the mud.
  • Undying Loyalty: Despite how stubborn and arrogant Mowgli can be, he'll do whatever it takes to keep him out of harm's way.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Baloo.


    Shere Khan
"I make my own rules."
Voiced by: George Sanders (The Jungle Book), Thurl Ravenscroft (singing), Candy Candido and Clarence Nash (roars) ; Tony Jay (TaleSpin, Rhythm'n Groove, The Jungle Book 2), Frank Welker (roars, Wonderful World of Disney); Jason Marsden (Jungle Cubs); Sherman Howard (Mowgli's Story); Idris Elba (live-action remake)

Shere Khan is the main antagonist of The Jungle Book. A powerful, suave Bengal tiger, Shere Khan had nothing but disdain for his victims. His reputation was such that he needed only to show himself to intimidate the inhabitants of the jungle. His only fears were man's gun and fire.

  • Abled in the Adaptation:
    • In the original novel, Shere Khan has a crippled hind leg. He is a man-eater specifically because his disability stops him from being fast enough to catch a deer or a bull. In this movie, however, he doesn't have such a disability, making him a more threatening villain.
    • Subverted in other adaptations; the Chuck Jones animated short film makes him a white tiger (which would make hunting in the jungle very difficult), and the 2016 live-action movie has him lose an eye to Mowgli's father's torch.
  • Adaptational Badass: Shere Khan in the film is far more menacing than he was in the original books. This is especially true in the 2016 movie.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: To a much lesser extent than Kaa, but still present. While he was a maneater in the book as well, it was partly out of necessity, since humans were one of the few prey he could catch with his bum leg. His disability is absent in the Disney film, and he kills humans because he hates and fears them, not for survival.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Mowgli
    • In the book, Shere Khan tries to kill Mowgli as a baby which leads to the wolves adopting him. This leads Mowgli and Khan becoming archenemies with their feud lasting for many years.
    • In the Disney animated film, it's Shere Khan's arrival that forces Mowgli to leave the jungle, aka the only home he's ever known. When the two finally meet for the first time, Khan nearly kills Mowgli's friend Baloo and Mowgli ties a burning branch to Khan's tail. This leads to the tiger seeking revenge in the sequel.
  • Basso Profundo: His one-line Villain Song says it all!
  • The Berserker: His default mood is thoroughly calm and affable if shrewdly sadistic. Once he actually decides to fight in earnest, he is absolutely savage.
  • Big Bad: Of the book, Disney movie, and the other film/television adaptations. He hates all humans and wants to kill Mowgli. The plot starts when the wolves learn that Shere Khan is back in their part of the jungle and discuss Mowgli's fate.
  • Cats Are Mean: Shere Khan's very name is enough to bring a chill down the other animals' spines.
  • Cats Are Snarkers: Though he doesn't get many lines, comes across as at least somewhat snarky.
  • Character Exaggeration: While maintaining a menacing presence in all Disney adaptations, it was nuanced slightly in the first film by his more whimsical, playful demeanor. In most later depictions (particularly in the sequel) he is much more stoic and sinister in tone, only having a few subtle comical fluctuations.
  • The Comically Serious: Particularly during his confrontation with Kaa. He can be very funny in a dry way, while still being intimidating.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Delivers a nasty one to Baloo in the climax.
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • Averted in the original film, in which he flees after his tail is tied to a burning branch, and subverted in the sequel, as he survives the fall AND the tiger statue head falling on him.
    • Played completely straight in the 2016 movie.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: One of the reasons why he hates humans.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Everyone and their mother is afraid of him. Well, not everyone, but those who aren't...
    • Zig-zagged in the book; he is considered a bully and a coward by other animals in the jungle. They just don't bother him because for all that he is a laughingstock, he's still a tiger.
  • Embarrassing First Name: In the book, the name his mother gave him is "Lungri", which means "the lame one". His self-given title means "tiger king", and is what all but two characters use to refer to him.
  • Evil Brit: He is not the only character to have a British accent (Bagheera and Colonel Hathi have one,) but he certainly gives off this vibe.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Being voiced by George Sanders and later Tony Jay, both of whom had formidable bass-baritone voices, this is to be expected.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He is well-mannered and polite. Oh, but he still wants to kill you. The fact that he can be so suave and courteous about killing a boy riles Kaa up to no end.
  • Final Boss: In the games.
  • Genius Bruiser: A vicious and bloodthirsty, yet also an intelligent and Faux Affably Evil tiger. This is displayed even moreso in the book when he manipulates the wolves into becoming his minions and turning against Mowgli and Akela.
  • Handicapped Badass: He has a limp that prevents him from hunting most other animals in the book - which is why he goes after humans and cattle, things too defenseless or slow to fight back. In the Disney adaptation this is left out, but other adaptations either leave this in or give him a new handicap.
  • Hero Killer: Nearly kills Baloo in a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: An admitted — and downright uncanny — example.
  • It's Personal: In the first movie, he simply wanted to kill Mowgli for being a human. But in the sequel, he wants to kill Mowgli for the humiliation he suffered at the end of the first one.
  • Joker Immunity: A rare example of a Disney movie Big Bad having this. He not only survives both films, but every Disney adaptation in general, at least until the 2016 remake but that's another story.
  • Kill All Humans: He hunts down and kills humans who enter his jungle due to his hatred of them.
  • Knight of Cerebus: As Faux Affably Evil as he is, his appearance in the original film stops much of the fun and silly mood and makes things darker and more tense. This is carried Up to Eleven where he's concerned in the sequel.
  • Lack of Empathy: He has absolutely no qualms about murdering a young boy, due to his extreme misanthropy.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Is able to nearly outrun Mowgli even while dragging Baloo (who probably weighs more than he does) along behind him.
  • Manipulative Bastard: In the book he turns almost the entire wolf pack against Mowgli and Akela.
  • Meaningful Name: Shere Khan's name in Hindi means "tiger king" or "king of tigers" ("shere" means tiger, "khan" means king).
  • Never My Fault: In the sequel, he believes Kaa knows where Mowgli is (after hearing the snake grumble "man-cub"), but truthfully, Kaa has no clue 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, of course, nowhere to be found, he angrily growls "That snake lied to me!" Well, Shere Khan, you didn't believe Kaa when he told you "I don't know where Mowgli is" Sometimes you just gotta believe the snake when he tells you the truth for once.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: He becomes this in the sequel, where his personality is much darker and has no comedic quirks.
  • No-Sell: Kaa's hypnosis doesn't affect him. Whether's he's naturally immune or just makes sure to break eye contact before any damage is done is not clear.
  • Oh, Crap!: Has a moment when he realises Mowgli has managed to tie a flaming branch to his tail.
  • The Only One Allowed To Kill You: Has this attitude regarding Mowgli and implicitly threatens Kaa under pain of death should he learn that the python has so much as encountered the boy without informing him first, let alone eating him.
  • Panthera Awesome: Big time! This tiger is afraid of almost nothing and is implied to be capable to curb-stomp a wolf tribe on his own. And his treatment of Baloo is nothing to sneeze at.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: And an incredibly chilling one at that, considering the Lighter and Softer sequel.
    (having Lucky by the throat and grinning)
    Shere Khan: Isn't it ironic that your name is Lucky?
  • Roar Before Beating:
    • His first pounce towards Mowgli is accompanied by a Mighty Roar. Justified because he's not trying to conserve his strength or be sneaky, and has gotten so incensed by Mowgli's defiance that he clearly wants to scare him. It works.
    • Averted in his opening scene; he stalks a deer in total silence (like a real tiger) rather than loudly charging it, suggesting that he's happy to rely on stealth when he's hunting to eat rather than to satisfy his personal enmity with humans.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Becomes stuck in a tiger statue at the end of the sequel. Had there been a third movie he would have escaped somehow.
  • Sissy Villain: Downplayed. He's a genuinely feared predator of the jungle (he's mentioned as being stronger than the entire wolf pack combined), but his wrath is hidden by an amusingly flamboyant, playful, and soft spoken demeanor. It's outright averted in the sequel, where he's much more serious.
  • Slasher Smile: Bares a nasty one straight before he mauls Lucky in the sequel.
  • Smug Smiler: While he's in Faux Affably Evil mode however, this is his default expression.
  • Smug Snake: While much more dangerous than most examples of this trope (his fearsome reputation is fully justified), his overconfidence is nonetheless his undoing; in both films, he had many chances to kill Mowgli, but decided to toy with him instead.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Throughout the first film, he raises his voice only twice.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • He's Killed Off for Real at the end of the original book (though he appears in a flashback story in the sequel), yet he not only survives both animated Disney films, but every adaptation by Disney in general.
    • In an alternative ending (storyboarded for the Diamond Edition Blu-Ray), Shere Khan is killed by Mowgli after Mowgli accidentally pulls the trigger on a hunter's gun.
    • In the 2013 stage version, he does in fact burn to death after Mowgli accidentally sets him on fire.
  • Sugary Malice: Almost always outwardly affable and gentlemanly, but his cryptic threats and idle flexing of claws make very clear what his intents are. His interactions with Kaa in particular stand out.
  • Tranquil Fury: While his actual combat behaviour is that of The Berserker, he is very calm and collected before that times. Particularly pronounced in the sequel, where his slow-burning fury is palpable in every appearance.
  • Ultimate Evil: For much of the film he 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 if a Knight of Cerebus.
  • Weak to Fire: Fire is the only thing Shere Khan truly fears.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He has no problem killing Shanti.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Why? Because they're human, and still "young and helpless".
  • Villain Has a Point: Subverted. In his deleted song, he starts with the very logical argument that it is unfair to shun and fear him without knowing much about him, only to smugly note that all those who do know him well are justified in hating him.

"He won't be here in the morning."
Voiced by: Sterling Holloway (The Jungle Book); Hal Smith (1977-1983); Jim Cummings (1990 - current), Scarlett Johansson (live-action remake)

Kaa is an enormous python and the secondary antagonist in The Jungle Book.

  • Adaptational Comic Relief: Adaptational Villainy aside, the Disney movie's goofy if Not So Harmless villain is quite different from the wise, serious python from the books.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Kaa provides the trope's page image. In the original book by Rudyard Kipling, he was one of Mowgli's friends and a benevolent Badass Old Master, even saving his life twice.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Kaa was also much more badass in the original book - he's not intimidated by anyone, is near-unstoppable, and he's one of the most powerful and feared animals in the jungle because of his vast knowledge and hypnotic powers.
  • Affably Evil: Despite wanting to eat the hero, he comes off as very polite and soft-spoken.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: He just can't compete with Shere Khan.
  • Butt-Monkey: Especially in the sequel, where every time he tries to eat Mowgli he suffers countless Amusing Injuries. Later on, he's brutally beaten up again when he tries to eat Shanti and his last appearance has him being threatened by Shere Khan.
  • Character Exaggeration: 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.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: A known villain who uses a soothing voice/demeanor and the "You can trust me" angle to lure children into his clutches...
  • The Dreaded: Not to the same level as his book counterpart, but in the first film Bagheera is genuinely horrified when he sees him hypnotizing Mowgli and is rendered too afraid to move when Kaa turns on him instead.
    Kaa: (in a stern, but calm voice) Look me in the eye when I'm speaking to you!
    Bagheera: (absolutely terrified) Please, Kaa...
    Kaa: Both eyes, if you please.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He finds it despicable that Shere Khan wants to kill Mowgli, as opposed to him, who wants to eat him. However, eating natural prey is different to killing for the sake of it.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Quite fond of Evil Gloating.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: He has these type of eyes in the Disney movie, as shown in this clip, starting at 0:20.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: More so in the sequel. In the original movie, while still ineffectual and Laughably Evil, he was more threatening.
  • Laughably Evil: A silly, cowardly snake with a lisp who is very funny and entertaining.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: People tend to forget that despite Kaa's comical attitude and subservience to Shere Khan, he is considered a very legitimate threat by everyone in the jungle due to his hypnotic eyes, and almost succeeded in eating Mowgli alive twice. In the original film he handily neutralized Baghera, who even cowers before him.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: Unlike Shere Khan, who causes the plot of the movie with his mere existence, Kaa is nothing more than another obstacle who reminds that danger always lurks in the jungle.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: In the book, Kaa was one of the main mentors for Mowgli. In the Disney adaptation, he was transformed into a villain because apparently it was thought by Disney that audiences wouldn't accept a snake as a heroic character.
  • Sissy Villain: He's pretty damn camp.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: A complex example - the original book averted the trope, but all three Disney adaptations play it straight. As a result of Adaptation Displacement, this has bled into other portrayals of his character. However, more book-faithful adaptations like The Jungle Book and Adventures of Mowgli also avert the trope by presenting Kaa in his original role as an ally.
  • Sssssnake Talk: Particularly during the song "Trust in Me".
  • Villainous Rescue: He ends up hiding Mowgli from Shere Khan while the latter was looking to kill the man cub, although he did it for obviously selfish and nefarious reasons (he wanted to eat Mowgli for himself).
  • Villain Song: "Trust In Me".
  • Would Hit a Girl: After all the failed attempts to eat Mowgli, he also tries to eat Shanti in the sequel
  • Would Hurt a Child: ...or eat a child.

Content exclusive to the books

  • Badass Boast: Gives one in "Red Dog":
    Kaa (to Mowgli): I have seen a hundred and a hundred rains. Ere Hathi cast his milk-tushes my trail was big in the dust. By the First Egg I am older than many trees, and I have seen all the Jungle has done. [...] I have seen all the dead seasons, and the great trees and the old elephants, and the rocks that were bare and sharp-pointed ere the moss grew. Art thou still alive, Manling?
  • Big Damn Heroes: His arrival at the Cold Lairs completely changes the tide of Bagheera and Baloo's battle against the Monkey-people.
  • Cool Old Guy: Kaa is over a hundred years old and thirty feet long. His age hasn't slowed him down one bit.
  • Creepy Good: He's one of the most dangerous and feared animals for good reason, and the scene where he hypnotizes the Bandar-log to eat them is deeply unsettling. He's still one of Mowgli's most powerful allies and saves his life twice.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kaa is noted as often being rather moody and is sometimes easily offended, but he treats Mowgli rather well after Mowgli compliments him for his rescue and the two are rather close afterwards.
  • Mass Hypnosis: He uses a hypnotic dance called "The Dance of the Hunger of Kaa" to hypnotize and consume a large number of monkeys. Only Mowgli is unaffected.
  • Old Master: Kaa is over a hundred years old, and is considered one of the wisest and most powerful animals in the jungle. He is the only animal the monkeys truly fear, and helps Mowgli defeat a pack of dholes who threaten the Seeonee wolf pack. He's also every bit as much a mentor to Mowgli as Baloo and Bagheera are, engaging in friendly wrestling matches.
  • The Omniscient: Kaa is stated to be all-knowing. Again, his age probably contributes to this.

Other Characters

    King Louie
Voiced by: Louis Prima (The Jungle Book), Jim Cummings (TaleSpin, Rhythm'n Groove), Jason Marsden (Jungle Cubs), Cree Summer (Jungle Cubs), Christopher Walken (live-action remake)

King Louie is a rowdy orangutan who was crowned King of the Apes. Unlike most characters in the film, Louie was created by The Walt Disney Company and there was no ape king in the original tale. Louie was animated by Frank Thomas who used Louie's voice artist Louie Prima, to design and animate the character.

  • Affably Evil: Despite wanting to take the gift of Man's Red Flower for himself, he is a genuinely chipper and nice guy who truly loves to party.
  • Animal Gender-Bender: He does not possess the cheek flanges of male orangutans in real life.
  • Breakout Character: Even though he made a small appearance, he's the second most popular character below Baloo. Indeed, he appears also in TaleSpin.
  • Canon Foreigner: Louie did not appear in the book.
  • Canon Immigrant: He has appeared in a few other works based on the stories that the Disney film is based on, most notably Fables, which, as an afterthought, the creator Bill Willingham described as, "a very good example on why it's best to go back to the source material before one embarks on a major story, rather than rely on often faulty memory of which characters were original canon and which weren't."
  • Driven by Envy: He kidnaps Mowgli because he wants to become more human - specifically, by making fire.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Disney's original addition to the movie, yet arguably, he feels very much as if he belongs to Mowgli's world.
  • Fun Personified: Even more energetic than Baloo.
  • I Just Want to Be You: He sings a musical number "I Wan'na Be Like You" about how much he envies humans.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: At least the movements, as the dance of Louie and his apes is based on Prima with his bandmates.
  • Large Ham: At least during "I Wan'na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)".
  • Misplaced Wildlife: The story is set in India, but orangutans live in Indonesia.
  • Not So Different: From Baloo, which explains why they're such good friends in the spin-offs.
  • Out of Focus: Louis Prima's widow was unhappy with Jim Cummings' unpermitted likeness to her husband in TaleSpin and Jungle Cubs and threatened a lawsuit. As such Louie was omitted from the sequel, and limited to sparse silent cameos elsewhere to appease this.
  • Put on a Bus: In the sequel, due to a lawsuit threatened by Louis Prima's widow.
  • Soul Brotha: Even though he was voiced by an Italian American Jazz Singer named Louis Prima, he had some stereotypical African American attributes like speaking street slang, also being able to dance really well, but since he was an Ape, many people found those characteristics offensive.
  • Tuckerization: He is named after his voice actor, Louis Prima.

Voiced by: J. Pat O'Malley (The Jungle Book), Jim Cummings (The Jungle Book 2), Rob Paulsen (Jungle Cubs), Stephen Furst (Jungle Cubs), Marty Ingels (Mowgli's Story)

Colonel Hathi is shown to be the leader of a herd of Indian elephants, and he runs the herd similarly to a military squadron. Every day from dawn, Hathi has his unwilling herd march all over the jungle. However, his strict orders and constant marching sometimes cause members to consider a "transfer to another herd". Hathi also has a mate called Winifred and a calf called Hathi, Jr., with both appearing to be part of the army.

  • Adaptational Comic Relief: Hathi in the books is a mighty elephant respected by every animal in the jungle. In the Disney film he's a bumbling, absent-minded military commander.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the original book he was an aggressive elephant who once destroyed a human village, and is respected by the other animals, even Shere Khan. In the Disney movie he is a pompous and bumbling leader to his troop.
  • Badass Boast: The story of Hathi's reception of the Victoria Cross is a lengthy one. And, according to the rest of the herd, it's Improbably Predictable.
  • Bumbling Dad: Subverted. He is a military leader, but a bit scatter-brained, as he easily forgets his son when leaving the grasslands.
  • Colonel Badass: The Disney movie turns him into the Colonel of a pack of elephants.
  • Demoted to Extra: Has two scenes in the sequel.
  • Fantastic Racism: A small, downplayed example is shown when he is utterly unnerved to see Mowgli, a human child, in his ranks.
  • Honorable Elephant: Along with his troops.
  • Hypocrite: Boldly upholds the thesis that an elephant never forgets, yet he is the most scatterbrained one among his herd.
  • Incoming Ham: "Company, sound off!!!"
  • Irony: Claims that Shere Khan is far away from the region in which his troops are marching, yet the tiger is right under his very nose, and attentively listening to him and Bagheera blurting out every little detail about Mowgli's predicament.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Stubborn and pig-headed as he may be, he is a genuinely kind-hearted character who truly loves his mate Winifred and, especially, his little son, Hathi Jr, and with a bit of persuasion from them, he agrees to help Bagheera find Mowgli.
  • Large Ham: He really chews the scenery when he gives out orders, or when he is angry, or confronted.
  • Mildly Military: The theme, "Colonel Hathi's March", is even a parody of military marches.
  • No Indoor Voice: When giving out orders to his whole squad aloud. On one occasion, the troops' heads rang from the Colonel's blaring yell.
  • Oh, Crap!: In the sequel, he and his entire herd break into a panicked retreat when they realize that a group of people is in the jungle (unbeknownst to them, they're looking for Mowgli, Shanti and Ranjan).
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Colonel Hathi's "military band" does little else than march around obnoxiously while singing their song.

Voiced by: Darleen Carr (The Jungle Book), Mae Whitman (The Jungle Book 2)

Shanti starts off as a minor character in the first movie and was the reason behind Mowgli agreeing to stay in the Man Village. She is Mowgli's best friend and sweetheart.

  • Ascended Extra: A One-Scene Wonder in the first film, one of the main protagonists in the sequel.
  • Bare Your Midriff: She wears a short white short-sleeved kofta that opens her belly. She also wears a long violet skirt that covers her belly button.
  • Big Sister Instinct: To Ranjan, to the point of punching Baloo (a full-grown bear) when she thinks he poses a threat to him.
  • Characterisation Marches On: In the original film she is basically a pre-teen Fille Fatale. Presumably uncomfortable with the implications of this, the sequel's filmmakers remade her into a Dutiful Daughter.
  • Designated Love Interest: In the original film, since she only appears in one scene.
  • Disappeared Dad: Her father wasn't seen or mentioned in the sequel, although she mentions him in her song in the first film.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Like Mowgli, Shanti doesn't wear any shoes.
  • Generation Xerox: She mentions she's always sent to get the water, and that when she has a daughter, she'll send her to do the same.
  • Girlish Pigtails: In the original film. In the sequel she has a braided ponytail.
  • Love at First Sight: She invokes the trope in Mowgli, but she herself is also quite recipient.
  • Nice Girl: A sweet girl who is shown to be very protective of her loved ones.
  • No Name Given: She wasn't given a name in the original movie.
  • Official Couple: With Mowgli by the end of the sequel.
  • Only Sane Man: She acts more like an adult than most of the other kids in the sequel.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Her dress is dark pink, and she's very much feminine.
  • Satellite Love Interest: She only has the one scene, after all. But it's iconic! It's justified, too; not only is escorting Mowgli to a safe human village the goal of the first film, but she's also the first human girl (if not the first other human, period) Mowgli ever saw, so it makes sense he'd fall for her at first sight.
  • 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.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Shanti has great fear of the jungle in contrast to Mowgli's obsession of it. She fears nearly every animal the jungle has to offer including snakes, tigers, bears, and even bats. She gets over it at the end.

    The Vultures
Voiced by J. Pat O'Malley, Lord Tim Hudson, Chad Stuart, & Digby Wolfe (The Jungle Book); Jess Harnell & Jeff Bennett (The Jungle Book 2)

Buzzie, Flaps, Ziggy and Dizzy are four vultures and minor characters in Jungle Book. They appear also in the sequel, this time accompanied by a new member, Lucky.

  • Blinding Bangs: Dizzy has gray hair that covers his eyes.
  • Canon Foreigner: The vultures aren't present in the book; the most prominent bird character is Chil the Kite.
  • Catchphrase:
    Buzzie: So what we gonna do?
    Flaps: I don't know, what you wanna do?
  • Circling Vultures: Averted. While they do show interest when a lonely, depressed and vulnerable Mowgli shows up in their territory, it's more to sate their boredom than their hunger. Aside from a few laughs at his expense, they're otherwise very friendly.
  • 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. Sort of Truth in Television, as scavengers like vultures tend to steer clear of larger, stronger carnivores.
  • Nice Guys: They sympathize with sad and alone Mowgli and then sing a Friendship Song to cheer him up.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: They are patterned after The Beatles. Oddly, while they do have a musical number, it's a barbershop quartet song as opposed to something sounding similar to the Beatles rock tunes.
  • No Sense Of Humour: Dizzy.
    Buzzie: Things are right dead all over.
    Ziggy: You mean you wish they were. (vultures laugh)
    Dizzy: Very funny.
  • Scavengers Are Scum: Averted. Usually (especially in Disney movies) scavengers like vultures are depicted as Always Chaotic Evil, but these ones are depicted as friendly and helpful.
  • True Companions: They have a musical number about it.
  • Unexplained Accent: The vultures have English accents and use UK words like "blimey", "lads" and "bloke". It's a nod to them being designed after The Beatles, but there's no in-universe explanation for it.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The Friendship Song they sing to cheer Mowgli up also ends up attracting Shere Khan's attention.

Voiced by: Phil Collins

A vulture who only appears in the sequel.

  • Bullying a Dragon: In the sequel Lucky gets the brilliant idea of openly mocking Shere Khan to his face. Once he tells Shere Khan where Mowgli is headed just to taunt him... Lucky didn't live up to his name shortly afterwards.
  • Disney Death: He is attacked and apparently killed by Shere Khan, but near the end of the film it's revealed that he's still alive.
  • Ironic Name: Shere Khan tells him "Isn't it ironic that your name is Lucky?" before attacking him.
  • Sixth Ranger: He joins the other vultures in the sequel.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He 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).

"He is our brother in all but blood, and you would kill him. Indeed... I have lived too long."
Voiced by: John Abbott (The Jungle Book); Rob Paulsen (Jungle Cubs); Clancy Brown (Mowgli's Story); Giancarlo Esposito (live-action remake)

Akela is the leader of the wolf pack that adopted Mowgli and raised the child for 10 years.

  • Big Good: In the book.
  • A Day in the Limelight: To compensate for his minor role in the film, he gets a prominent appearance in an episode of Jungle Cubs.
  • Demoted to Extra: In the Disney movie, along with the rest of the wolf pack. In the sequel he's absent altogether.
  • The Mentor: In the book he's by far Mowgli's oldest and wisest ally. While we don't see much of it in the Disney film, it's very much implied with his characterisation.
  • Noble Wolf: A Big Good wolf.

Voiced by: Ben Wright

A wolf who is Raksha's mate and Mowgli's adoptive father.

  • Adaptational Name Change: In the book, Rama was the name of a water buffalo, and his character's name was originally Father Wolf.
  • Papa Wolf: A literal example because he's a wolf; when a meeting is held to determine Mowgli's future and the wolf elders intend to send Mowgli away, Rama speaks up, saying that Mowgli is entitled to the pack's protection because they have raised him as though he were their own son, showing that he deeply cares for Mowgli's safety.
  • Parental Substitute: He and Raksha raise Mowgli alongside the other wolf cubs as their own adopted son.

Voiced by: Connor Funk

Mowgli's adoptive brother from the Man Village. He appears only in the sequel, joining Shanti when she ventures out in the jungle to look for Mowgli.

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Curiously enough, even though he is Mowgli's adopted brother, he plays this role more to Shanti than to Mowgli. Mowgli never seems to find him tiresome, but Shanti sometimes gets enough of his antics, and has a number of Big Sister Instinct moments towards him. Justified, in that Shanti would have known him for longer, having grown up in the same village.
  • Big Brother Worship: He greatly admires Mowgli.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: In a different way than Mowgli was in the original movie. Where Mowgli would sulk and argue when told things he didn't want to hear, Ranjan just ignores well-meant advice and charges ahead with great enthusiasm.
  • Canon Foreigner: He has no equivalent in the original book.
  • Fearless Fool: Though he does have just enough sense to realize that charging Shere Khan would be a bad idea.
  • Keet: He's certainly an energetic little guy.

Example of: