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Characters / The Jungle Book (2016)

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Characters featured in Disney's 2016 Live-Action Adaptation of The Jungle Book. For characters of the 1967 animated movie, see here.

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Main Trio

Portrayed By: Neel Sethi

"I'm Mowgli of the Seoni and this is my home!"

A young orphan who found himself raised by a pack of wolves and Bagheera the panther. When Shere Khan poises a direct threat to him, he is forced to undertake a journey to join his own kind.

  • Adaptational Badass: In regards to his '67 counterpart, who was a bratty twerp. This Mowgli, like his original counterpart, is inventive and genuinely brave.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: In this movie, he's very clever, inventive, and skilled at building things. His '67 counterpart never shows any of these traits.
  • Adaptational Modesty: He wears a red loincloth as his '67 counterpart while he goes full frontal in the novel. (Of course it was necessary to keep the film PG rated).
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: His Bratty Half-Pint tendencies are downplayed compared to his '67 counterpart, who was preoccupied with remaining in the jungle regardless of Shere Khan's threat after being sent away by the wolf pack without his input, and ended up confronting Shere Khan (partly) by chance. This Mowgli has less bratty moments and is usually more likable, makes the decision to leave the wolf pack (and find some other animal(s) to live with) by himself in order to spare them from Shere Khan's retribution, and goes after the tiger in order to avenge Akela's death and end Khan's tyranny over the jungle.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Subverted due to undergoing Adaptational Badass as well. In the original book, Mowgli could easily handle fire, and used it to intimidate both Shere Khan and his own pack. He also was far more independent, able to hunt and survive on his own. Here, he is a much more realistic child who has no idea how to handle fire and is far less independent.
  • All-Loving Hero: He is generally a very kind and compassionate child, and it is implied that he's on friendly terms with a lot of animals in the jungle.
  • And Starring: "And introducing Neel Sethi as Mowgli".
  • Badass Adorable: By his guile and fast maneuvering, the sweet little man-cub manages to put down Shere Khan.
  • Batman Gambit: He lures Shere Khan up a dead tree above a raging wildfire by using Shere Khan's own psychotic personality against him, after preparing an escape swing.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Much less than his '67 counterpart, but he still has his moments.
  • Child Prodigy: He manages to invent and perform some very impressive "tricks" to get food and water, and he's only a little kid. Keep in mind, he has no other humans around to teach him how to do it. He just figured this stuff out by himself!
  • Combat Pragmatist: This trope becomes double subverted in the climax: when Mowgli decides to finish off Shere Khan, he steals a burning torch, but when he realizes that the sight of him with the torch gives credit to Shere Khan's claims of him being a threat to the jungle, he smothers the fire in order to destroy that impression. However, when he attempts to attack Shere Khan with the wolves, Bagheera stops him and reminds him that a non-wolf can't fight like a wolf. Encouraged by the panther to "fight like a Man", Mowgli sets up a trap and kills Shere Khan by luring him into it.
  • Cool Big Bro: Grey clearly views him as this, as he is frequently seen by his side and is very upset when Mowgli leaves the pack.
  • Deadpan Snarker: During his Bratty Half-Pint moments, he can be quite snarky.
  • Destructive Savior: His well-meaning act of rushing through the jungle with a burning torch to reach Shere Khan and kill him with the fire results him to set the jungle ablaze. As the tiger points out, the man-cub looks more dangerous than inspiring because of it.
  • The Discovery of Fire: His Coming-of-Age Story concludes when he uses fire to defeat the tiger Shere Khan.
  • Earthy Barefoot Character: He's a friend to animals and always barefoot.
  • Eaten Alive: He's hypnotized by Kaa and very nearly swallowed whole by her before Baloo intervenes.
  • Failed a Spot Check: While running through the jungle with a burning torch, he drops an ember and doesn't notice the resulting forest fire before being informed of it at the Peace Rock.
  • Friend to All Living Things: He's friends with most of the animals of the jungle.
  • Fragile Speedster: His thin and light build makes Mowgli nimble and quick, but is outmatched in physical strength by just about any named character in the movie. While he isn't as fast as other speedsters like Bagheera or the wolves, it comes in handy during the climax.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Using vines, sharpened leaves and pieces of rock, he is able to make some very impressive tools and devices.
  • Guile Hero: This incarnation of Mowgli is a particularly crafty child. Best shown when he invokes Not Afraid of You Anymore to trick Shere Khan into falling to his death.
  • Happily Adopted: He was quite happy living with the wolf pack, even if he wasn't really like them.
  • I Choose to Stay: He repeatedly tries to take this option and remain in the jungle. He gets his wish at the end, once Shere Khan is dead.
  • I Shall Taunt You: He uses this tactic to lure Shere Khan to jump onto a dying tree's branch, which causes the branch to break and the tiger to fall to his death.
  • Kill It with Fire: Double Subversion. When Mowgli decides to confront Shere Khan, he steals from the Man-Village a burning torch, intending to finish the tiger with its help. However, when it's pointed out by Khan that he has (inadvertently) ignited a wildfire and made the rest of the animals afraid of him, Mowgli throws the torch into water. Ultimately though, Mowgli causes Khan's death by making him fall into the blazing flames of the forest fire.
  • The McCoy: Mowgli is easily the most emotional one out of the trio. Justified since he's a kid, but a kid with high morals. He will always do what he deems right, even if it's not the smartest thing. This leads him into conflicting situations with Bagheera and got him outsmarted by Shere Khan. At one point Mowgli tries to attack the tiger with nothing but his bare hands, until Bagheera pins him down and talks some sense into the boy.
  • Motor Mouth: Sharply and humorously contrasting Bagheera's uncommunicativeness. At the beginning of Mowgli's journey from the wolves, the boy starts talking about other animals he could live with. The scenery changes several times, indicating that they were walking for a few hours and Mowgli still hasn't stopped talking.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Mowgli has this reaction after seeing the wildfire that he accidentally started.
  • Nice Guy: He has a compassionate personality with a strong moral compass.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: He steals a burning torch from the Man-Village in order to use it to defeat Shere Khan. Unfortunately, while he's rushing through the jungle with the torch, he drops a few embers that ignite a forest fire, and when he confronts the tiger, the other animals are terrified of him as much as they're terrified of Shere Khan.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: He yells this to Shere Khan in order to lure him into a trap.
  • Raised by Wolves: Literally.
  • Red Is Heroic: He's the main hero, and he wears a red loincloth.
  • Revenge Before Reason: The news of Akela's murder at the jaws of Shere Khan causes Mowgli to throw all cautiousness aside, steal a burning torch and rush back to the Peace Rock in order to finish the tiger off. When the wolves attack Shere Khan, Mowgli attempts to join them without any weapons and has to be restrained and reasoned with by Bagheera.
  • That Liar Lies: He accuses King Louie of lying when the Gigantopithecus informs him of Akela's death at the jaws of Shere Khan.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: He only wears a red loincloth.
  • Weak, but Skilled: While Mowgli lacks claws, teeth or brute strength, he makes up for it by using his "tricks".
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: To Akela and Bagheera, since they both chide him for using "tricks" (tools), even though said "tricks" make surviving in the jungle a lot easier for Mowgli.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After learning from King Louie that Shere Khan has killed Akela, Mowgli calls out Bagheera and Baloo for not telling him about it. Saying that someone has to do something about Shere Khan, he runs off and steals a burning torch from the Man-Village in order to use it as a weapon against Shere Khan.

Portrayed By: Bill Murray

"If anything happens to that kid, I'll never forgive myself!"

A lazy, fun-loving bear who soon grows attached to Mowgli and becomes his best friend.

  • Adaptational Badass: He fights Shere Khan with his brute strength and claws and actually gives the tiger a legitimate challenge! Although the end result is exactly the same as in the animated version, as Baloo loses to Shere Khan and is taken out of the fight by a bite to his neck, the fact that he actually managed to go toe-to-toe with the most feared and powerful tiger in the jungle for as long as he did, unlike the one-sided beatdown in the '67 film speaks volumes to his strength as a fighter. The bite isn't fatal, but the next time we see him, he's on the ground and Bagheera encourages him that he did well enough in the fight, stating that he "stood his ground". He also beats - and presumably kills - Kaa when he rescues Mowgli.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Compared to his '67 counterpart, he is a clever, somewhat manipulative fellow, and he did come up with an escape plan at the Cold Lairs.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Unlike his '67 animated counterpart who never takes advantage of Mowgli, he starts out as a selfish jerk in this film. He gets better after Character Development thanks to his friendship with Mowgli.
  • Acrofatic: When he gets serious in the climax, he shows that he possesses a vast amount of speed, stamina, and finesse at his disposal. He was also able to climb a mountain side with VERY little footing pretty quickly, despite his girth. Truth in Television: bears are surprisingly well-balanced and have known to climb mountainsides in a similar fashion.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • In the film, Baloo is referred to as a sloth bear by Bagheera, which is the same species that he is mentioned to be in the '67 animated version. However in the film, he visually resembles a Himalayan brown bear in order to be truer to the original Kipling novels (which specifically calls him a brown bear rather than a sloth bear) and make him more visually impressive on-screen, although that species does not exist in the Seoni region of India that the film is set in.
    • Invoked In-Universe with Baloo’s frequent claims of needing to stockpile food for his winter hibernation. An annoyed Bagheera growls, “Bears don’t hibernate in the jungle!”
  • Bash Brothers: He teams up with Bagheera in order to save Mowgli from Bandar-Log, engaging in a fight against the entire monkey horde.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Somewhat subverted in that he's a sweetheart, but he's also an extremely powerful fighter.
  • Beary Funny: He's the primary comic relief character in the movie.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He's mostly a comedic character, but he's also a huge and powerful bear, and if Mowgli is threatened, he's a force to be reckoned with. He defeats (and possibly kills) Kaa with no visible injuries afterwards, fights with the monkeys in the temple, sending swarms of them flying with each swipe, and puts up a DAMN good fight against Shere Khan that only ends when Khan manages to get a bite on Baloo's neck. While he did lose the fight, it does legitimately look like he was capable of winning.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He first appears by saving Mowgli from Kaa at the last minute, and afterwards keeps an eye out for the man-cub's safety.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He first appears by attacking Kaa right before she devours Mowgli.
  • The Big Guy: The largest and strongest of Mowgli's trio of friends.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": "Would you PLEASE shut up?!" he tells the smaller animals pestering him during the honey scene.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: After being told that Shere Khan is hunting Mowgli, he agrees to make Mowgli go with Bagheera to the safety of the Man-Village. To that end, he tells the man-cub that he no longer needs him for anything and that he was never really interested to be his friend. After doing that and hurting Mowgli's feelings, Baloo tells Bagheera that what he said was the hardest thing he has ever done, which Bagheera acknowledges.
  • Con Man: In order to keep Mowgli around to collect him honey, Baloo comes up with lies such as he needs that honey in preparation for his nearing hibernation and the bees won't sting. He's also known to have fooled jungle animals in the past in order to get what he wants. Bagheera outright calls Baloo a con artist when he learns of the lies fed to Mowgli.
  • Cool Big Bro: To Mowgli. He's the first to tell him that Mowgli should be himself, instead of trying to be something he's not.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When a pangolin starts to get on his nerves:
    "You have never been a more endangered species than you are at this moment."
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Bagheera. He's mainly indifferent about him (and a little uncomfortable when the panther finds him and Mowgli), whilst the panther is openly hostile towards him, but they share a deep affection for Mowgli; so when he's in danger, they are willing to work together in order to save the man-cub.
  • Foil: To Bagheera. Whereas Bagheera is rule-abiding, reserved and easily irritated, Baloo is easy-going, more charming and more flexible with the jungle's laws. The bear also encourages Mowgli to use his tricks and be himself, while Bagheera forbids him the use of his tools and wants Mowgli to behave more like a wolf.
    • To Shere Khan, albeit to a lesser extent. While the tiger breaks shamelessly any law of the jungle whenever it suits him and yet refers to it when it benefits him, Baloo ultimately respects those laws even though he calls them propaganda and says that they're to be interpreted and bent rather than outright broken.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Downplayed, but he does have Bill Murray's and drooping, hangdog facial features.
  • Good Counterpart: To King Louie. During Mowgli's journey to the Man-Village, both take an initial interests in Mowgli's abilities for selfish reasons: Baloo for a easier way to get access to food and Louie in hopes of learning the secret to create fire. They both put on an affable facade in order to win over Mowgli's trust. And they both also happen to be some of the largest animals in the jungle. The difference is that Baloo gets legitimately attached to Mowgli and even shows him the way to the Man-Village if he really wants to leave. Louie more-or-less holds Mowgli hostage, stating that he'll offer him protection in exchange for learning how to make fire.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's less of a Beary Friendly Nice Guy than his '67 counterpart, and he's initially quite self-serving, but gradually becomes more noble and caring over the course of the movie.
  • The Juggernaut: Just ask King Louie's legions of followers what good numbers will do. Baloo will just lumber on through regardless of your efforts.
  • The Kirk: Baloo is more easygoing and charming than Bagheera, but not as reckless and moral as Mowgli. While he respects the jungle's laws, he's more inclined to bend and interpret them rather than outright break them like Shere Khan or follow them to the letter like Bagheera.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: At the climax of the film, wherein all of Mowgli's allies rally together behind him and recite the Law of the Jungle, Baloo is the first one to take Shere Khan head-on to protect Mowgli. Until he goes down, it even appears as though the fight's just going to be between him and the tiger.
  • Megaton Punch: A more realistic version. In the fight in the temple, Bagheera is speedily taking monkeys out one at a time, as befitting a Fragile Speedster. Baloo however, is sending groups of four or five monkeys flying with each swipe of his paw.
  • Mighty Glacier: Either this or a Lightning Bruiser. It's hard to tell honestly. Baloo's slower that most of the other characters, but most of them are animals that are all known for their speed and grace (panthers, wolves, tigers, monkeys, ect.), and he seems slow and cumbersome when compared to them. However, he can run at good speed when he wants to, even keeping just behind Bagheera, and is pretty quick and surprisingly graceful at moving around in a fight. Bears in Real Life are known to get up to around 40 mph while running. It seems that whilst it might take him a while to build up steam, when he does he gave Shere Khan a tough time of it.
  • Mighty Roar: He does this when he decides to seriously fight King Louie's monkey legions. Though this ultimately doesn't have the desired effect. He gets to do another one in the climax just before he and Shere Khan charge at each other. It's legitimately badass.
  • Noodle Incident: Bagheera and Baloo have met before the events of the movie.
  • No-Sell: Because of his massive bulk, very little is able to budge him. Some examples are when he stands in a rushing river to form a temporary bridge, and when King Louie's monkeys are completely unable to drag him out of the temple.
  • Not So Different: He saves Mowgli from Kaa, but then he tries to beguile him for food too.
  • Odd Friendship: His relationship with Mowgli. At least the other jungle animals think so. He seems to develop this with Bagheera as well. He is also friends with the wolf pack at the end of the film, but YMMV on if that is odd or not.
  • Oh, Crap!: He gives a comical one when the monkeys swarm him after his Mighty Roar.
    • On a more serious matter, he is shocked when Bagheera tells him that Shere Khan is hunting Mowgli. Mowgli had told Baloo earlier that he was hunted by a tiger, and Baloo threw that concern to the sky. But the mention of Shere Khan startles him.
    • He also hears a bird calling while climbing a cliff and sobs "A bird...that can't be a good sign!"
  • Papa Wolf: He grows just as much of a protective streak towards Mowgli as Bagheera as the two grow closer to each other, to the point that he helps Bagheera rescue Mowgli from the Bandar Log as well as give Shere Khan one of his biggest physical challenges yet.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's the relaxed, but more expressive of his emotions Red Oni to Bagheera's stern, though more composed Blue Oni.
  • Rolling Attack: While fighting King Louie's monkeys, he simply rolls over and takes out a few dozen of them.
  • Shoo the Dog: After learning from Bagheera that Shere Khan is the tiger hunting Mowgli, Baloo attempts to get Mowgli to the Man-Village by telling him he was only using him for food and was never his friend.
  • Stealth Pun: A sloth(ful) bear.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: He's a bit more of a jerk at the beginning of the film, but soon is changed by his love for Mowgli.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Mowgli.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Really does not like heights. He gets better, though.
  • You Owe Me: Said word for word to Mowgli when Baloo wanted Mowgli to go after the honey combs. The relationship develops into a more symbiotic one later.

"If you can't learn to run with the pack, one of these days you'll be someone's dinner."
Portrayed By: Ben Kingsley

"I know he's special. I raised him."

A stern, aloof black leopard who found Mowgli as a baby and brought him to the wolf pack.

  • Adaptational Badass: He's more like his original book version than the Butt-Monkey Non-Action Guy portrayed in '67, making a considerable effort to fight Shere Khan twice.
  • Adult Fear: After an ambush from Shere Khan seperates Bagheera and Mowgli, the panther spends a few days looking for him, not knowing if the boy is still alive. In fact, Bagheera actually smiles when he finds Mowgli alive and well, which is saying something.
  • Bash Brothers: He teams up with Baloo in order to save Mowgli from Bandar-Log, engaging in a fight against the entire monkey horde.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Definitely towards Mowgli. After the infant Mowgli's father was killed by Shere Khan, he was found by Bagheera, who instead of harming him, brought him to Akela's wolf pack to be raised by them.
  • Big Heroic Run: Performs a short, yet undeniably epic one, to buy Mowgli more time.
  • Brutal Honesty: He doesn't beat around the bush and won't soften his opinions for anyone, evidenced in his introduction scene, where Bagheera berates Mowgli harshly for his faults at his run with the wolves. Bagheera also tells Mowgli outright that he won't let him decide whether or not he'd like to stay in the jungle. He is, however, capable of taking a more tactful, yet direct approach when it matters, e.g. asking for Baloo's help.
  • Cats Are Mean: A downplayed, heroic version of the trope. Bagheera is a dour, stern mentor, but lays his life on the line numerous times to protect his friends and family.
  • Cats Are Snarkers: He's a leopard with a dry sense of humor, often towards Baloo.
  • Cats Are Superior: Downplayed. He mainly exhibits this attitude around Baloo, whom he deeply disdains for a good part of the movie. Subsequently, the bear is also the recipient of most of Bagheera's snark. In a more heroic fashion, Bagheera goes to great lenghts to assure Mowgli's safety, because he doesn't think the boy strong enough to take on Shere Khan.
  • Cats Hate Water: Invoked. While pursuing the Bandar-Log, Bagheera Comes across a big, wild river, and immedeately freezes. Only when Baloo jumps in, does the panther cross it by using the bear to jump on. Justified, in that the river was to wide for Bagheera to leap over, and that its current was probably strong enough to cause him serious trouble. The novelization also reveals that Bagheera almost drowned in a river when he was Young, so he was likely traumatized by that experience.
  • Character Development: Learns that Mowgli's tricks can be used to help others and don't necessarily interrupt the natural order of the jungle. He thus comes to accept Mowgli for who he is and encourages to use said tricks in order to defeat Shere Khan.
  • Composite Character: A mild one. While Bagheera was jungle-savvy and had a special insight of men in the novel, he didn't have the wisdom he displays in the movie and didn't teach the wolves the jungle law. That part was borrowed from Baloo (and to an extent from Hathi).
  • Dark Is Not Evil: A dark as night no-nonsense yet valiant panther.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not to the same extent as his '67 counterpart, but he does have his moments. Apparently a dry sense of humor is mandatory when dealing with Baloo.
  • Defrosting Ice King: As both, a mentor and a father-figure, he is very strict and intolerable of tomfoolery. Over the course of the movie, however, he warms up to Mowgli's talent and even to Baloo. He is still a little gruff, though.
  • Determinator: Bagheera will do everything in his power to keep Mowgli safe. Not even the prospect of getting killed by the most fearsome creature in the jungle can change that. Shere Khan himself actually becomes fed up with that attitude, after having to go through the panther twice.
    Shere Khan: It's time we put an end to this.
  • Diurnal Nocturnal Animal: Leopards (including black panthers) are quite nocturnal in real life, but Bagheera is shown sleeping at nighttime.
  • The Fettered: He holds himself strictly to an ethical code (namely the jungle law) and is greatly respected among the jungle people. Baloo eventually remarks that Bagheera plays by the rules a little to much, whereas the bear is a little more flexible in his interpretation of the law. This may be one reason why the panther wasn't too fond of Baloo, to say the least.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Baloo. He's openly hostile towards the bear at first, but their shared love for Mowgli (and the latter being in danger multiple times) is what leads the two of them to work together. By the end of the film, Bagheera has visibly warmed up to the bear.
  • Foil: To Baloo. Whereas Bagheera is rule-abiding, reserved and easily irritated, Baloo is easy-going, more charming and has little qualms (at the beginning at least) to use Mowgli - and previous to him other animals - to get honey for him. The bear also encourages Mowgli to use his tricks and be himself, while Bagheera forbids him the use of his tools and wants Mowgli to behave more like a wolf.
  • Fragile Speedster: He is a fast and agile feline, but he can't compete with the likes of Baloo and Shere Khan in brute strength.
  • Glass Cannon: Overlapping with Fragile Speedster. Though not as strong as Baloo or Shere Khan, he has a surprising amount of attack power by leopard-standards, being able to fight legions of monkeys without being visibly exhausted and giving the tiger two legitimate fights.
  • Good Counterpart: To Shere Khan. They are both big and fiercely determined felines well-known in the jungle and tied to Mowgli's life. While Shere Khan is feared because of his savage nature and utter disregard of the laws of the jungle, Bagheera respects those laws to the point of near dogmatism and is respected as a result. They both have a certain amount of alienation towards humanity, but while Shere Khan is openly hostile towards the mankind and adamantly wants Mowgli dead, Bagheera would rather keep the jungle and the things related to the Man separated, resulting in him forbidding Mowgli from utilizing his human ability in making tools.
  • Hates Small Talk: Bagheera speaks in a curt manner, and brushes off Baloo's attempts at small talk.
  • Honor Before Reason: He frequently rebukes Mowgli for inventing tools, thinking of them as unnatural "tricks" that disrupt the order of the jungle. Seeing Mowgli save a baby elephant with his handmade ropes causes him to start warming up to the boy's talent, and at the climax, he encourages use of tools so Mowgli may "fight [Shere Khan] like a man".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Since he's the narrator, his heart of gold becomes very obvious to the audience. Not so much to Mowgli though. While the latter is not afraid of him and genuinely views him as a friend, he's also very aware of the panthers' temper when he misbehaves and tries to make Bagheera promise not to get mad at him. It becomes clear that Mowgli would like to hear a few words of appreciation from Bagheera.
    • Bagheera is also openly hostile and disdainful towards Baloo, and it takes some time and nearly falling in battle to Shere Khan for Baloo to rise in his esteem.
  • Knight in Sour Armour: Given the harsh environment he lives in and is a part of, Bagheera knows the world won't take pity on you because you are small and helpless. Which is why he takes extra care to make sure Mowgli can fend for himself. Adding to that, he mainly sees the destructive and disruptive nature of men's inventions and strictly forbids Mowgli the use of tools as a result. It takes some Character Development for Bagheera to have a slightly more positive view on that matter.
  • Like a Son to Me: This is Bagheera's main motivation, why he is going through all that trouble to keep a member of a species he isn't exactly fond of, safe.
  • The Mentor: To Mowgli. He reprises this role to motivate Baloo, when the latter sobs and slightly despairs while climbing the mountainside, which maes for one of the few heartwarming moments between the bear and the panther.
  • The Narrator: The movie both initiates and concludes with Bagheera's voice narrating.
  • Noodle Incident: In the novelization, Bagheera and Baloo had known each other when they were cubs, but Bagheera had never forgiven Baloo for something that nearly cost him his life. A later chapter reveals that they were crossing a river, and Baloo left Bagheera to go after a papaya...or in Baloo's words, a lot of papayas.
  • Not So Stoic: Usually Bagheera is a no-nonsense panther of few words and fewer visible emotions, but he can lose his temper when Mowgli's stubborness and ignorance of the danger he's in becomes too much.
  • Odd Friendship: With Baloo, possibly. While Bagheera disliked the bear at the beginning, he gradually, if slowly, warms up to him, when he sees that Baloo's affection for Mowgli is genuine. That said, the panther is still somewhat snarky around him, so they may develop to become Vitriolic Best Buds.
  • Panthera Awesome: A wise, brave and noble black leopard is one of the best teachers an orphaned boy in the jungle could ask for.
  • Papa Wolf: Bagheera will do anything he feels necessary to protect Mowgli, even taking on a tiger twice his own size, knowing that usually, that would be suicide.
  • Parental Substitute: Less hands-on than the wolf pack, but he still acts as a parental figure to Mowgli, looking out for him and teaching him the ways of the jungle.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Comes with his no-nonsense attitude. He smiles exactly once in the entire movie, when Mowgli hugs him on reuniting after being separated during the boy's escape from Shere Khan.
  • The Quiet One: Ironically, because he's also the narrator. In-universe though, Bagheera doesn't talk much more than he really needs to, contrasting Baloo's long winded speeches. At one point Mowgli accuses the panther of keeping information from the boy.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He's strict and kind of a hardass, to be sure, but he only wants what's best for Mowgli, and unlike Shere Khan, he's more respected than feared.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue Oni to Baloo's Red Oni. Though more irritable, he's generally not as emotional as Baloo.
  • The Smart Guy: He's very knowledgeable about the jungle and its inhabitants. Also, when he senses Shere Khan's presence, he quickly gives Mowgli a few instructions to follow, allowing Mowgli to make a safe escape. Like Shere Khan, he's also aware of the threat Man poses to the jungle, even without the "red flower".
  • So Proud of You: After he witness Mowgli saving the baby elephant, the expression on his face says it all.
  • The Spock: He sticks strictly to the rules (as noted by Baloo) and doesn't tolerate irresponsible, reckless behaviour. Also, Mowgli's safety is his number one priority; so while being perfectly aware that the people in the Man-Village could spoil Mowgli and the latter would probably have a hard time adjusting to them, it's the only place Shere Khan wouldn't dare follow, so he will bring him there. Furthermore, Bagheera is the most reserved one of the trio and usually wears a stoic expression.
  • Stern Teacher: Bagheera is this to the wolves and Mowgli (especially to the latter).
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: While Bagheera snaps at Mowgli for using human tricks with Baloo and tries getting him to go with him to the man village. Mowgli protests that he doesn't want to go, and Bagheera ends up roaring, "YOU DON'T HAVE A CHOICE!"
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: He does have a soft spot for Mowgli and, to an extent, even for Baloo, well hidden under his gruff, hardass exterior.
  • Team Dad: To Mowgli with Baloo, and to Akela's wolf pack.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Downplayed. He is a very capable fighter, but also a Fragile Speedster. When he takes on Shere Khan the first time, he evades the tiger's blows and even gets the first hits on him. However one good hit from Shere Khan sends him down. He also holds his ground against legions of monkeys, which is remarkable comparing to his novel-counterpart, who was desperately fighting for his life.

Seoni Wolf Tribe

    In General 
  • Adaptation Species Change: They are based off of Grey Wolves whereas Indian Wolves are much leaner and comparatively smaller. Probably due to Rule of Cool, since they would have been no real threat to Shere Khan and considerably less effective in direct combat against him otherwise, even though they'd still be bigger than their real-life counterpart.
  • Badass Creed: The Law of the Jungle.
    "The strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack!"
  • Fragile Speedster: They are very fast, but don't have much of a muscular physique, so they rely on teamwork to take down their opponents. During the climax, Shere Khan slaps each individual wolf down effortlessly, but together they manage to slow him down for a few seconds.
  • Noble Wolf: They're honorable, loyal and a pretty good adoptive family for Mowgli, standing up to protect him from Shere Khan in the climax alongside Baloo and Bagheera.

Portrayed By: Lupita Nyong'o

"No matter where you go or what they may call you, you will always be my son."

Akela's mate and the adoptive wolf mother of Mowgli.

  • Adaptational Wimp: The movie's Raksha is a far cry from the she-demon of the Seoni pack in the novel, who made Shere Khan back down once. Justified, since Shere Khan himself is portrayed significantly more badass than he was in the books. That said, she does have her moments of awesome. Raksha openly defies Shere Khan (who was established to be feared even by the rhinos and buffalo) at the Peace Rock, even calling him a "Burned beast", which visibly angers the tiger.
  • Adult Fear: She's understandably terrified when Shere Khan threatens Mowgli's life. And then he kills her mate and makes himself at home in their territory, even playing with her cubs...
  • Ascended Extra: In the 1967 film, she had no spoken lines, and vanished from the movie once Mowgli left the pack with Bagheera.
  • Big Damn Heroes: She and the pack manage to save the injured Bagheera from being killed by Shere Khan.
  • Big "NO!": When Bagheera is about to be killed by Shere Khan, she shouts this seconds before her Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Mama Bear: Do not hurt Mowgli or any other members of her pack. Don't try to waltz in and take them away from her, either.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: It's not mentioned in the film, but her nickname in the original 1894 book is "The Demoness". The narrator even mentions that Shere Khan could take on Father Wolf but backed down from fighting Raksha because she would fight him to the death.
  • Noble Wolf: As always.
  • Parental Substitute: She's the only mother Mowgli's ever known. He seems pretty okay with that.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The impulsive Red Oni to Akela's level-headed Blue Oni.
  • White Wolves Are Special: Her bright, almost white fur makes her both stand out from the rest of the wolves and emphasize her gentle, motherly personality.
  • You Are in Command Now: At the end of the film, she appears to take over the pack after Akela and Shere Khan's deaths.


The Alpha and leader of the pack of wolves Mowgli grew up with.

  • Badass in Charge: Implied. In the book it was clearly stated that Shere Khan would have never challenged the Free People when Akela was in charge and this is referenced in the film, albeit subtly. See Worthy Opponent. Shere Khan only killed him when he was able to get him in a one-on-one situation, and his death is a big shock to those who hear about it. Khan even uses his murder of the wolf to instill fear throughout the jungle.
  • Composite Character: He's made to be Raksha's mate, taking the place of Father Wolf (Rama in the 1967 film).
  • Deadpan Snarker: When Gray (the runt of his litter) shows off his little howl, Akela playfully jokes that in some packs, the runts get eaten.
  • Death by Adaptation: Akela was left unharmed in the original Disney film.
  • Death by Irony: Is quick to recite and teach the Law of the Jungle and that the strength of the wolf is the pack. He's killed when he parleys alone with Shere Khan.
  • A Father to His Men: Bagheera states that nothing has ever divided the wolf-pack, and with Akela as their Alpha, who lives up to his reputation of being a "just and noble leader", it's not hard to believe. He cares deeply about the well-being of each and every member of his pack, including Mowgli.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Downplayed. While he knows full well that Shere Khan is dangerous, Akela trusts in their sense of honor that the tiger will be fine with him sending Mowgli to the Man-Village. Instead, Shere Khan kills him for not turning over the man-cub to him.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: He is both, a father figure and a mentor to Mowgli, and his death at the hands of Shere Khan is what drives Mowgli to get revenge on the tiger.
  • Nerves of Steel: While all of the wolves are visibly hostile and on their toes when Shere Khan shows up to their den, Akela is sitting down and making casual conversation with the tiger. Pity it didn't help in the end.
  • Noble Wolf: A benevolent and fair leader for his pack.
  • Papa Wolf: A given, considering he's the alpha. He had no issues with taking Mowgli into his pack and stood up to Shere Khan when the tiger threatened the boy. He did agree with Bagheera to send Mowgli away to the Man-Village, but that was only to keep both him and his entire pack safe.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Bagheera refers to him as "the noble and just leader of the wolves". That said, he does have a few prejudices, such as dislike for Mowgli's "tricks" (meaning his handmade tools).
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The level-headed Blue Oni to Raksha's impulsive Red Oni.
  • Sacrificial Lion: His death in the first act of the movie shows that Shere Khan means business.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Just as it seems that his pack's quarrel with Shere Khan is settled, the tiger grabs and throws him off a cliff.
  • Tempting Fate: "You and I no longer have a quarrel, and, most importantly, we have peace." (immediately gets thrown off a cliff)
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Only shows up in a couple of scenes before Shere Khan kills him.
  • Worthy Opponent: He and Shere Khan seem to view each other as this. In the Peace Rock scene, Akela stands up to the tiger with the pack behind him — who by the way have absolutely no signs of fear — and Shere Khan looses some bluster and asks how many wolves will Akela lose to save Mowgli, implying that he believes the Free People could possibly defeat him in a straight fight, though at a cost. Akela is also hesitant to engage in a fight with Shere Khan for this reason. When Khan kills him, the morale of the wolves vanishes and they stop posing a serious threat.
  • You Killed My Father: Mowgli considers Akela to be his father, and hearing of his murder at the jaws of Shere Khan motivates him far more to revenge rather than hearing that the tiger killed his human father, whom Mowgli doesn't remember.

    Grey Brother 
Portrayed By: Brighton Rose
One of Raksha's wolf pups and Mowgli's adoptive brother.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the novel, he grows to be a strong, powerful wolf and greatly helps Mowgli in taking down Shere Khan. Here, he stays as a cute, adorable puppy who doesn't do much.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: He'a a cute wolf pup.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: He's the runt of Raksha's litter and the only one smart enough to stay away from Shere Khan. He's also very interested in Mowgli's tools.


    Shere Khan
"Have I got your attention now?"
Portrayed By: Idris Elba

"Does my face not remind you of what a grown man can do?"

The main villain of The Jungle Book. A vicious man-hating tiger who wants to kill Mowgli.

  • Abled in the Adaptation: Zigzagged. On the one hand, like his '67 animated counterpart, this version of Shere Khan lacks the crippled hind leg he had in the original novel. On the other hand, he is blind to one eye due to his face getting burned, which neither the book version nor the '67 animated version was. Not that it slows him down.
  • Adaptational Badass: Compared to his '67 animated counterpart, this Shere Khan has a body count that we see him rack up over the course of the film. In the final confrontation, he goes through a pack of wolves who tried to attack him at the same time but still failed to stop him; Baloo whom he out-muscles and incapacitates with a bite to the neck for the rest of the fight; and Bagheera whom he also very nearly killed with a bite to the neck. He did all of this one after another without slowing down; though he was injured, he just didn't let it stop him. (Although the only reason he did none of this in the '67 film was that everyone was too terrified of him to challenge him). Also noteworthy - both versions hate and fear "man's red flower" above all else, but while the '67 version flees in a mad panic when confronted with fire, the '16 version braves charging through a wildfire in his determination to kill Mowgli.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Shere Khan's portrayal is significantly darker than in the original film. He still wishes to kill Mowgli, but is more psychotic and vicious and lacks the charming and affable nature that he had in the original film. He kills Akela for refusing his demands to give Mowgli to him, and it is later revealed that he also killed Mowgli's biological father. And he implies to Raksha that he will kill her pups as petty vengeance for allowing Mowgli to escape his wrath. All in all, he is an Ax-Crazy sociopath rather than the Faux Affably Evil his original counterpart was, even at his worst.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Compared to the '67 film, he appears in many more scenes to give him a more active role, and he's also given a backstory.
  • Arch-Enemy: The most dangerous one of Mowgli's enemies, the one who's the reason for him having to find a new home, and the one who killed both his biological father and his adoptive father Akela.
  • Ax-Crazy: He's hyper-violent even by tiger standards.
  • Bad Boss: Double subverted in the novelization. A jackal (most likely Tabaqui) comes to Shere Khan to tell him the whereabouts of Mowgli in exchange for scraps from a fresh kill. Shere Khan seems to praise him for his work... but then he kills and eats the jackal.
  • Beard of Evil: The hairs hanging from his jaw are long enough to resemble a beard.
  • Berserk Button: Raksha calling him a "burned beast" makes him give a pissed-off growl. He also hates it when other animals don't give in to his commands.
  • Big Bad: The tyrant of the jungle who seeks to kill Mowgli. What's more, it turns out he caused Mowgli's orphaning and subsequent adoption by the wolf pack in the first place.
  • Big "NO!": Lets out a demonic sounding version of one as he falls to his death.
  • Blood Knight: He hunts for pleasure.
  • Breaking Speech: His taunts to Mowgli when he has the torch most certainly have shades of this, especially when he gloats that the animals are more afraid of Mowgli than him.
  • Cats Are Mean: In Shere Khan's case, they're downright psychotic.
  • Cold Ham: Being slightly less composed than his 1967 counterpart, he shuffles between speaking in an eerily calm and low tone to bellowing at the top of his lungs when particularly enraged.
  • Composite Character: He has the angry, vicious and arrogant personality of his book counterpart and the suaveness, notoriety and able-bodiedness of his animated movie counterpart.
  • Create Your Own Hero: He hardly would have crossed teeth with Mowgli had he not killed the boy's father and as a result, caused him to be raised by the Seoni wolf pack.
  • Determinator: It's hard to see, but he is injured in the climax. He even screams in pain when the wolves attack him, but he doesn't allow it to stop him from trying to kill Mowgli. He even chases the man-cub to the fire that Mowgli started, which was what he was afraid of.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation: Unlike other incarnations, he's blind in one eye.
  • Disney Villain Death: He meets his end when a branch breaks beneath him and he's plunged into the flames below.
  • The Dreaded: When he shows up at the water truce, every single animal goes silent and gets out of his way. It's also clear that his fearsome reputation is down to him personally rather than his species; when Mowgli tells Baloo that he's being hunted by a tiger, Baloo is unconcerned. When Bagheera later clarifies that the tiger in question is Shere Khan, Baloo's attitude changes immediately.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Three of them near the start of the film. First, he threatens the wolves at the Truce Rock for sheltering a man-cub, despite the rules against it. Then, when Bagheera is attempting to escort Mowgli to safety, he lays out the panther in one swipe. Finally, he returns to the wolf pack and murders Akela in order to lure Mowgli back.
  • Evil Brit: He speaks in a British accent (albeit a less posh one than in the animated version) courtesy of Idris Elba and is the main villain of the movie.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In his very first scene, he regards the wolf pack with contempt for adopting a man-cub. Also in the climax, when the jungle animals rally to Mowgli's defense against the tiger after the boy extinguishes his torch, you can tell from Shere Khan's expression that he wasn't expecting that to happen (not that it makes him back off at all).
  • Evil Counterpart: To Bagheera. They are both big and resolute felines well-known in the jungle and tied to Mowgli's life. While Bagheera respects the jungle's laws to the point of near dogmatism and is respected as a result, Shere Khan's savage nature and disregard of those laws makes him feared and hated. They both have a certain amount of alienation towards humanity, but while Bagheera prefers to keep the jungle and the things related to the Man separated, resulting in him trying to teach Mowgli to act like a jungle animal, Shere Khan openly hates humanity and wants Mowgli dead, full stop.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: It does when it's voiced by Idris Elba.
  • Eye Scream: He has a nasty scar from being burned in the eye. Yeeesh.
  • Fantastic Racism: Really, really, really hates humans. Well, he does have a point since the real-world humans have made his kind an endangered species.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Very calm and polite, but still an absolute savage, even by jungle standards. Best seen when he visits the wolf pack, where he casually lounges with Akela, murders him, and that same night plays with his cubs.
  • Foil: To Baloo. While Baloo often speaks against the Jungle Law, referring to it as "propaganda" and stating that it was made to be "bent and reinterpreted", he still follows it, and is the first to recite it in the climax. However, while Shere Khan speaks of the law, for example pointing out that man is forbidden in the jungle, he truly holds little regard for it and violates it whenever it suits him.
  • For the Evulz: One of the reasons he's so feared is because he's known to not stick to the principal of hunting for survival, but for sport as well.
  • General Ripper: He will do anything to get at Mowgli, even break every tenet of Jungle law.
  • Genius Bruiser: In addition to being able to defeat a bear, a panther, and an entire wolf pack in one fight, he is dangerously smart as well. Despite not knowing Mowgli at all, he could predict his behavior well enough to realize the boy would come back once he learned about Akela's death. He also manipulated the boy so well that Mowgli didn't have much of a choice than to throw the torch away. Lastly, the way he managed to gain the trust of Raksha's pups, hours after killing their father makes Baloo's manipulation-attempts look rather pale by comparison.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The left side of his face has noticeable burn scars, and his left eye is whited out.
  • Handicapped Badass: He's half-blind, but don't think that makes him any less dangerous.
  • Hero Killer: Shere Khan kills Akela effortlessly and during the climax, he nearly does the same to Baloo and Bagheera as well.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He goads Mowgli into bringing "man's red flower" into the jungle. His eventual defeat is directly caused by this.
  • Hypocrite: He states that he protects the jungle from humans, but he is all too happy to hunt for sport, kill an innocent child and murder someone for simple defiance, which are all things humans are capable of doing. And while he berates the wolves for breaking the law of the jungle by housing a human child, he himself has no problem of breaking the law when it suits him. Even his hatred of man's use of flower becomes less sympathetic given the man burnt Shere Khan's face because the tiger was trying to kill him and his child.
  • Implacable Man: Absolutely nothing puts down Shere Khan for long. Bagheera and the wolf pack barely slow him down, and he even manages to incapacitate Baloo.
  • It's Personal: Holds an insane grudge against Mowgli for his father using a torch to put out his eye, even when he was the one who threatened both in the first place. He's perfectly aware of this, but is so Ax-Crazy that he doesn't even care.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: When he learns Mowgli's name from Akela, he shows disdain that the wolves have named "it" (the man-cub). This is also an inverted example because it is an animal referring to a human as an "it".
  • Jerkass: There's no legit reason for his less-than-charming personality and monstrous actions. It serves as a large motivator for the jungle's inhabitants to side with Mowgli against Shere Khan.
  • Karmic Death: Fire, the very thing that caused him to lose an eye and hold a grudge against Mowgli, is what kills him in the end. He also does fall from a height when doing so, similar to the fate he gave Akela.
  • Kick the Dog: His act of murdering Akela for sending Mowgli away instead of handing him over to be killed by the tiger destroys any sympathy the viewer may have had harbored towards him earlier. Later he subtly threatens the life of one of Raksha's pups just to show he can kill them whenever he likes.
  • Kill It with Fire: He eventually dies when the branch he's standing on snaps under his weight, sending him roaring down to the conflagration raging in the forest below.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Every time he appears, the mood significantly darkens.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Very much so. He's very strong and tough, (given the facts that he survived getting his face burned, and how he defeats Baloo, who is a a massive bear, in a one-on-one battle of strength), as well as very quick (seeing how fast he kills Akela and nearly catches the very agile Mowgli).
  • Manipulative Bastard: While he's first and foremost a savage, he can use subtlety to make himself unpredictable (like he does with the sudden murder of Akela). He also tricks Mowgli into extinguishing his torch out of honor, and his usage of the story of a cuckoo chick on wolf pups could have sowed discord between them and Raksha had it been taken further.
  • Meaningful Name: Shere Khan's name in Hindi means "tiger king" or "king of tigers" ("shere" means tiger, "khan" means king).
  • No Song for the Wicked: While King Louie and Kaa have their own villain songs, Shere Khan hasn't any, and it helps to establish him as the no-nonsense main antagonist.
  • Not So Different: Shere Khan breaks the Laws of the Jungle left and right, hunting for sport and killing for pleasure, just as humans do.
  • One-Man Army: At the climax he fights Baloo, Bagheera, and the entire wolf pack. He wins.
  • Panthera Awesome: As evil as he is, one cannot deny his formidability.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Axe-Crazy Red Oni with little regard for rules and laws to Bagheera's rule-abiding, reserved Blue Oni.
  • Red Right Hand: A human (Mowgli's father) burned his left eye and surrounding face. The resulting look can't get any more Obviously Evil.
  • Revenge by Proxy: The person who actually scarred him was Mowgli's father, who died protecting his child. Not that he really cares about who specifically did it considering that he's still angry about his eye being put out and just wants to kill Mowgli in order to take his anger out on somebody.
  • Slasher Smile: He is a master of sadistic and terrific grins of a cat playing with its prey.
  • The Sociopath: He fills the classic criteria of this trope. Even for a predator, he's bloodthirsty to the point that he doesn't hunt merely out of necessity, but also for sport. He can feign reasonableness, yet suddenly and without hesitation murder someone a second later (as shown with Akela). He shamelessly breaks the jungle's laws, yet refers to them whenever it suits him. His vindictiveness towards Mowgli is out of proportion, given how he refuses to leave the man-cub be after being told that Mowgli is going to be away from the jungle. He holds humanity in general responsible for blinding his eye, when in reality, it wouldn't have happened to him if he had just left Mowgli and his father alone. And finally, he displays his lack of empathy through his contempt towards the wolf pack's decision to adopt a man-cub and his total lack of remorse or shame for any of his actions.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: Just before he kills Akela, Shere Khan drops the pleasantries and shows his true colors.
    Shere Khan: Well I guess it's done then. Unless I can draw him BACK OUT!
  • Super Toughness: Aside from fire, nothing does any real damage to him. A brief fight with Bagheera does no real damage to him. Getting trampled by a herd of buffalo only slows him down. Baloo slashing him and biting him on the shoulder hurts him, but fails stop him. The entire wolf pack biting him just makes him mad and he throws them all off. The wolves even give up attacking after that because they realize they can't hurt him.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: After a failed attempt to kill Mowgli, he murders Akela and takes command of his wolf pack.
  • The Unfettered: The reason everyone fears him is not just his vast power, but his perfect willingness to violate the jungle law when it suits him.
  • Unstoppable Rage: It's obvious that he is greatly offended by Mowgli's father scarring and blinding him in one eye, and although he keeps it barely seething in a mass of barely restrained Tranquil Fury, in the Final Battle he goes completely off his rocker and tries to tear Mowgli apart, going through a bear twice his mass, a panther, an entire wolf pack and a wall of flames to see it through. The flames quickly extinguish the "unstoppable" part though.
  • Villain Has a Point: He is quite correct about Mowgli's destructive potential as seen when Mowgli unleashes a fire through the jungle when he comes to challenge him.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After the rest of the animals stand up to him, he goes berserk and tries to kill Mowgli himself. As per the book, he fails, but unlike in the book, he doesn't live to learn his mistake. Or a tomorrow.
  • Would Hurt a Child: His first scene has him threatening to murder Mowgli, and he spends much of the movie trying to fulfill that promise. He also not-so-subtly implies to Rashka that he'd harm her pups if she displeased him.
  • You Have No Chance to Survive: He corners Mowgli (or so he thinks) in a dead tree's branch with the forest fire blazing below them during the climax and taunts the man-cub this way, unaware that he's being led into his own demise.
    "Did you think I would let you grow old? Either I'll devour you or the red flower will. It's just a matter of time. How long did you really think you'd survive against me? Longer than your father did? Longer than... Akela?"
  • You Killed My Father: Murdered both Mowgli's human father, and then his adoptive father Akela.
  • Worthy Opponent: See Akela's page above.
    • To a lesser extent, Baloo and Bagheera. Despite their great fear of the tiger — and for good reason —, they each give the tiger a respectable challenge when it comes to a fight. Baloo manages to slam Shere Khan down, slug him a few times, and bite down on his shoulder before going down. Even when he gets knocked off his feet, the bear keeps fighting until he's bitten on the neck. Bagheera also puts a good fight twice. The first time, Bagheera tackles Khan and uses his superior speed to land a few good hits on the tiger, and in the second fight, he kicks Khan's face and even when he gets slammed down twice, he still tries to get up and fight again.

    King Louie
"Kid, I got ears. My ears got ears."
Portrayed By: Christopher Walken

"I am the king of the Bandar-Log. Call me Louie."

A Gigantopithecus who rules a clan of monkeys from an abandoned stone temple and kidnaps Mowgli so that the boy can teach him the secret to creating fire.

  • 100% Adoration Rating: His entire Bandar-Log seems to both adore and fear him. When the temple collapses on him, the entire monkey clan starts digging him out.
  • Acrofatic: His physique gives him a somewhat corpulent appearance, but he's still an ape and can swing his way around when necessary.
  • Adaptation Species Change: His species has been switched from orangutan to Gigantopithecus because, unlike orangutans, the extinct ape genus was native to India, at least in prehistory. That said, orangutans also occurred in India in prehistoric times.
  • Adaptational Badass: Far more menacing than his cartoon counterpart.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The original King Louie was a bumbling troublemaker who wanted to be human and still partied around with Mowgli after he refused to give him fire once. Here, he's a smooth-talking, power-hungry tyrant who runs the now mafia-esque Bandar-Log with an iron fist and implicitly wants to take over the jungle.
  • Adipose Rex: He's a fat Gigantopithecus who's the ruler of the Bandar-Log.
  • Ambition Is Evil: His greatest trait, and one that he freely admits to having in his Villain Song.
    "I've reached the top and had to stop
    And that's what botherin' me"
  • Animals Not to Scale: Even given that he's a Gigantopithecus in this adaptation and not an orangutan, he's absolutely gigantic for a member of his species. The largest of Gigantopithecus were about twice the size of a gorilla, and King Louie is even bigger than an elephant.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: In the film, he's tall enough to rival the buildings of the ruins he lives in. In fact, he can't stand upright in the hallways that are at least twice Baloo's height. In fact, this is what allows Mowgli to defeat him.
  • Bald of Evil: A downplayed trope: Louie's fur seems to be thinning out, resulting in his scalp being visible through it.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He's plenty goofy, exemplified by his Villain Song. He's also a giant ape who has no qualms threatening children, and wants to learn how to use fire to become the dominate power in the jungle.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: He's much more dangerous than his cartoon counterpart, but pales in comparison to Shere Khan.
  • The Brute: He's the hugest of the antagonists (or second, depending on how big Kaa is), and his attempts at manipulation are clumsier than those of Shere Khan and Kaa, resulting in him backing up to his intimidating size, brute strength and the Bandar-Log.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: The steel-blue eyes of Christopher Walken on the face of this orangutan-like creature helps to indicate that this Louie is far less jovial than the original deal.
  • Death by Looking Up: He seemingly meets his end when his lair collapses on him, though the credits seem to imply that he's still alive.
  • The Discovery of Fire: King Louie is an ape that believes that learning how to make fire will make him "rise up to the top of the food chain" and become as powerful as a human.
  • Disney Death: He shows up alive and well in the credits.
  • The Don: Seems to have this general vibe going on.
  • Emerging from the Shadows: He's first shown concealed in the shadows of his temple, with it only being clear that he's huge. He shows his face only when telling Mowgli his name.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Baloo. They are both amongst the largest animals of the jungle, and they have an ability to use charm and a broad vocabulary in order to trick others to do things for them, in addition to being lazy creatures of comfort who can still be formidable when properly motivated. They both take interest in Mowgli's human abilities for their own selfish reasons (with Baloo wanting easy access to food and Louie wanting fire for his own use), use affability to make him see things their way and are the first ones to encourage him to use his human abilities instead of trying to be like other jungle animals. However, Baloo becomes truly attached to Mowgli, shows him the way to the Man-Village and says that he can go there whenever he wants to (and later breaks his heart in order to make him go to the safety of the village). Louie on the other hand offers Mowgli a protected life in the jungle in exchange for the secret of making fire, but has no intention to take no for an answer or allowing the boy to leave his lair. Also, while Baloo is content with his current, carefree way of life, Louie aspires to gain more power than he already has, and their respective signature songs serve to empathize this difference.
  • Evil Is Bigger: To the point even Baloo and Bagheera seem small next to him. Also, he's at least thrice bigger than the original, buffoonish orangutan.
  • Fat Bastard: Befitting a humongous Gigantopithecus who is attended to by vast legions of Bandar-Log, he's become quite fat and has considerable strain even getting up. Heck, he's been there for so long that he even leaves behind some fur, which sticks to the rocks while he's getting up. Once he's up and moving, however, his enormous strength allows him to simply ignore most obstacles in his way as he pursues his targets.
    Baloo: It is magnificent to see all that… flesh sitting there!
  • Faux Affably Evil: He acts as amicable as possible towards Mowgli all as a ploy to obtain the secret of fire. Once Mowgli says he can't make fire, he drops the act and turns hostile. He tries it again when chasing Mowgli through his temple.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Think of the original version of King Louie, combine it with strength and maliciousness, and you get this trope.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: While chasing Mowgli, he recklessly destroys the buttresses in a section of his temple, causing the entire structure to fall on him.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: While all the animals of the jungle have this problem when compared to Mowgli, King Louie is the most important example. He wants to be like a man: he lives in a ruin of a grand temple built by men, surrounds himself with the "treasure" of man, not knowing it's mostly junk, and he covets "man's red flower", thinking it's an object which can be possessed to give him the power of men. All of this just makes him like a parrot - able to mimic words but not understand the meaning. He doesn't grasp at all that man's power is not a thing that can be owned and given to an animal, because man's genius is the true power.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: His blue eyes resemble those of his actor Christopher Walken.
  • Intrigued by Humanity: He's obviously pretty obsessed with mankind and what they can do, what with all the human objects he's collected, as well as his residence in the ancient temple, featuring carvings of human warriors. He's especially intrigued by the "red flower", as he knows the power it holds.
  • Jump Scare: He pulls off a pretty startling one during the chase scene. When Mowgli hides behind a pillar, he assumes that the coast is clear... until he turns around and sees King Louie's gigantic face waiting for him. "GOTCHA!"
  • Kick the Dog: While telling Mowgli that Shere Khan killed Akela, he adds casually that it was probably the man-cub's fault.
    Louie: ...Akela? You didn't hear? He's dead. Shere Khan killed him....Musta been on account of you.
  • Killer Gorilla: A gigantic and vicious ape.
  • Large and in Charge: He's much larger than anyone else in the jungle (barring elephants) and far moreso than his monkey subjects. So much larger that several of them live in his fur.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He wants to maliciously use Mowgli to obtain the secret of using the "red flower". Guess who doesn't get to see the "red flower" and its effects at the finale of the show, because he was buried under a pile of rubble?
  • Mighty Glacier: Downplayed. While Louie is overweight and has difficulty rising up from a sitting position, he retains some basic simian agility, though his size and laziness make him pale in comparison to the suppleness of his subjects and Bagheera. While the low corridors of his temple force him to crouch, he is able to stay on Mowgli's trail while chasing him, and he nearly manages to catch the swift man-cub several times. He also makes up for the aforementioned limitations by shattering stony obstacles in his way (though doing this is what brings him down, and yet the credits imply that the stone rumble hasn't killed him).
  • Mighty Roar: Has a very impressive one he lets out when he joins the battle escalating outside his chamber that stops everyone in their tracks.
  • Oh, Crap!: He makes this expression just before he's buried by the temple structure he unwittingly set to crumble.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Unlike his happy-go-lucky animated counterpart, King Louie doesn't smile a single time throughout the film, even when he sings.
  • Prehistoric Monster: He's a Gigantopithecus; a huge, extinct prehistoric ape native to India. He's also more menacing and malicious and less silly than his original counterpart, and way bigger.
  • Race Lift: Technically not a member of a human "race", but the original film portrayed him as a jazz singer partly modeled on Louis Armstrong (and partly on his voice actor Louis Prima), generally giving African-American vibes. While he still sings, he's now The Don, much more similar to an Italian-American stereotype.
  • Shadow Archetype: To Mowgli. He represents the very worst aspects of the human world that Mowgli spends his life running away from, while Mowgli represents its best aspects. Louie is an ape doing his best to emulate humanity, living in an abandoned human city, ruling over his fellow apes as a king, hoarding material possessions, and trying to learn the secret of fire; he has all of humankind's greed and ego with none of its intellect or creativity. As a human doing his best to emulate the animals of the jungle, Mowgli is the opposite; he rejects civilized society, but takes advantage of his human ingenuity to survive in the wild.
  • Slouch of Villainy: When first shown, he's sitting comfortably on the floor of his temple. He is a king after all.
  • Smug Snake: Unlike the cunning manipulator Shere Khan and the dangerous but unaligned Kaa, King Louie is more of a schemer who has others do his bidding for him. When he decides to go after Mowgli himself, however, it's pretty darn terrifying.
  • Stout Strength: He's so overweight that he has trouble raising up from a sitting position, but he's strong enough to shatter stone structures.
  • Too Important to Walk: It doesn't look like Louie walks much considering his army of Bandar-Log that regularly feed him and do his bidding. When Baloo and Bagheera try to escape with Mowgli, Louie gets up off his ass, but it takes a huge amount of effort to lift himself off the ground. He even leaves some fur from his rear on the ground where he'd been parked for who knows how long.
  • Villain Has a Point: While chasing Mowgli around his temple and trying to coerce the man-cub to give him the secret of the "red flower", Louie tells Mowgli not to run away from who he is. While Louie said that in order to tempt Mowgli, identity is one of Mowgli's major struggles, and it's not until the climax that he decides who he is and uses his human ingenuity to defeat Shere Khan.
  • Villain Song: "I Wanna Be Like You" is definitely in this category this time around, with the implication that Louie intends to rule and/or destroy the jungle once he has the secret of fire. His rendition of it during the Creative Closing Credits when he's revealed to have survived, however, doesn't qualify as it's just a fun, full reprise of the classic song to close the film.
  • We Can Rule Together: He offers Mowgli a chance to stay in the jungle with his protection in exchange for the secret of making the "red flower". As he explains in his villain song:
    "Now you might think it's ridiculous
    That me, a Gigantopithecus
    Would ever dream I'd like to team
    With the likes of you, man-cub
    But together, we'd have powers
    All the jungle's treasures, ours
    I got desire, you got the fire
    But the dream I dream takes two"
  • Would Hurt a Child: Implied. When Mowgli tries to explain he can't make fire, Louie forcefully insists that he will implying he isn't shy about hurting Mowgli to get what he wants.


A vast clan of monkeys that serve as King Louie's underlings.

  • Artistic License – Biology: The langur Mowgli encounters before the kidnapping is shown brachiating (i.e. swinging by its arm). Langurs in real life lack the flexible shoulders enabling brachiation that apes and spider monkeys have.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Several of them are seen a couple of times, observing Mowgli from trees unnoticed. It turns out that they were acting as ears for King Louie's ears (to quote the mentioned Gigantopithecus).
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: While there's more than a hundred of them, they're unable to subdue Bagheera and Baloo.
  • Decapitated Army: The sight of their king being buried under a pile of stone makes them forget all about capturing/defeating the heroes.
  • The Mafia: They're like the jungle's monkey version of this trope, with King Louie having The Don vibes.
  • Maniac Monkeys: They carry out their king's order to kidnap Mowgli in a not so kind way.
  • Mooks: They serve King Louie, gather him information on what's happening in the jungle, bring him people he wants to meet and dispose of those he isn't pleased with.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Their ranks include some relatively obscure species, like western hoolock gibbon, lion-tailed macaque, pig-tailed macaque, golden langur and Nilgiri langur.
  • Undying Loyalty: Towards their enormous Gigantopithecus ruler. When Louie is buried under a temple structure, all the monkeys abandon their fight with Baloo and Bagheera in favor of digging their king out.
  • Zerg Rush: They attempt to take down Baloo and Bagheera in this fashion.

"Let go of your fear now...and trussst in me..."
Portrayed By: Scarlett Johansson

"I know what you are. I know where you came from. Would you like to see?"

A giant snake with hypnotic eyes.

  • Adaptational Badass: Closer to her book counterpart in power, though not so much in personality.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: While the 1967 film's Kaa was cunning, he was also bumbling and arrogant. This version of Kaa has her book counterpart's borderline omniscience.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Once again portrayed as an antagonist. Granted, she's at least more menacing and more of a legitimate threat than her animated Sterling Holloway counterpart.
  • Adaptational Wimp: While she's certainly more badass than her '67 animated counterpart who was something of a joke, Kaa in the books was unstoppable; both Baloo and Baghera were terrified of him, and the whole of Bander-Log wouldn't challenge him. Here, Baloo manages to fight her off on his own, and doesn't make too big of a deal out of it.
  • Affably Evil: Sssssinister she may be, but no one said she wasn't polite.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Because she ultimately hasn't much screen time, it's hard to determine how malicious her personality is overall. She nearly eats Mowgli after luring him into a false sense of security and immobilizing him hypnotically, but she speaks to him in a soothing way for the entire time and truthfully reveals him his origins. She's not trying to kill the boy out of hatred like Shere Khan or to use him to gain power like King Louie; she just wants a meal. Any hungry predator would eat such a vulnerable prey when it walks right into their territory.
  • Animals Not to Scale: She's an unnaturally large snake. Her age may have contributed to this, since snakes never stop growing throughout their lives.
  • Aroused by Their Voice: Invoked. It's much easier to hypnotize someone if you've got them entranced by your smooth, beautiful voice, after all.
  • Breakout Villain: Check out all these tropes associated with her and remember that she only appeared in one scene.
  • Composite Character: A combination of the incarnation of the character from the animated film (a hypnotic villain out to eat Mowgli) and the character from the book (an ancient, all-knowing creature feared by the rest of the jungle).
  • Eaten Alive: Has Mowgli in her coils, and comes very, very close to this, along with Swallowed Whole, before Baloo intervenes.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Her tone suggests that even she doesn't seem to approve of Shere Khan murdering Mowgli's father for sport, than for food. She's also not a fan of man's red flower, as despite its beauty, destroys everything in its path.
  • Gender Flip: Kaa is a female in this version.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: With flashbacks in them!
  • Metaphorically True: She promises to arrange things so that Mowgli can remain in the jungle, permanently.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: Both on a meta and biological level — this incarnation of Kaa is much stronger and smarter than her '67 counterpart (though not as much as her book counterpart), and this could indeed be linked to her sex; biologically, female snakes tend to be larger and more aggressive than their male counterparts.
  • Ms. Exposition: Mowgli learns from Kaa about the "red flower" (fire) and what it can be used for, how he came to live in the jungle and how Shere Khan was scarred.
  • The Omniscient: A trait she borrows from her book counterpart.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite having it in mind to kill Mowgli, she does show his past to him and tries to make his death more like a Mercy Kill, before she's stopped.
  • Psychic Powers: A variant. Through hypnosis she's able to unlock memories of those under her spell. Even ones buried deep inside her victim's subconscious, that they themselves cannot recall. She easily revealed to Mowgli moments from his life as an infant, showing the boy his human father.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Downplayed. She no doubt hypnotizes Mowgli, but she's the least harmful out of the film's villains.
  • Seers: Possibly, given that her eyes have reflections of the past in them.
  • Smug Snake: Averted. Kaa is an actual snake and dangerous, but she's soft-spoken and doesn't display any arrogance whatsoever.
  • Snakes Are Sexy: Especially when they're voiced by Scarlett Johansson.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Continuing her most known characterization.
  • Sssssnake Talk: Always hissssses when speaking with "s" words.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: She speaks with a very soft, soothing voice that tricks Mowgli into a feeling of safety. Thank Scarlett Johansson for driving it home.
  • The Vamp: Expect nothing less from a snake voiced by Scarlett Johansson.
  • Villains Never Lie: Played with; she was telling the truth when she showed Mowgli his origins. She was lying when she said she'd keep him safe.
  • Villain Song: One of the songs sung during the credits is her version of "Trust in Me". In the movie itself, the title is the last thing she says before Baloo comes to the rescue.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: She's last seen when Baloo attacks her in order to rescue Mowgli. It's left unknown if she's killed or allowed to live.
  • Wild Card: She's not on anyone's side, she just wants a meal.
  • Would Hurt a Child: She nearly eats Mowgli whom she has hypnotized.
  • You Will Be Assimilated: In a truly Nightmare Fuel fashion, this is what Kaa considers her devouring and digestion of Mowgli to be. She doesn't want there to be any distinction between the predator, and its prey.

Other Characters

    Mowgli's father
Portrayed By: Ritesh Rajan

Mowgli's biological father who traveled through the jungle with his infant son and died when Shere Khan attacked them.

  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Bagheera, Baloo and the Wolf pack all bearing down on Shere Khan did nothing except piss him off and scuff him slightly. This guy managed to partially cripple him and send him packing, even if it was at the cost of his life.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Died protecting baby Mowgli from Shere Khan.
  • Kill It with Fire: He used a burning torch as a weapon against Shere Khan. It didn't save him from being killed by the tiger, but he blinded Shere Khan's left eye with it.
  • No Name Given: The closest thing he has to a name is by Kaa calling him the traveler.
  • Papa Wolf: He tried to keep Mowgli safe from Shere Khan when the tiger snuck up on them. Though he was killed, his act of striking Shere Khan's left eye with fire caused the tiger to flee in pain afterwards and forget the boy, who was soon taken to safety by Bagheera.
  • Posthumous Character: He has been dead as long as his son has lived in the jungle, but his final act of burning Shere Khan's eye works as one of the reasons the tiger is so obsessed with killing Mowgli.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: His death at the teeth of Shere Khan is shown this way.

    Elephant herd 
A herd of elephants revered by the other jungle animals.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: The elephants in the 1967 Disney film were a bumbling military troop used for comic relief. Here they are much more serious and dignified characters.
  • Androcles' Lion: Mowgli earns the friendship of the elephant herd after rescuing a calf from a pit.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Many of the herd members are portrayed with large tusks that only male elephants have, but only female elephants form herds, males are solitary. Additionally, the ones with the short tusks are clearly meant to be females, but these tusks are too big.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: They help Mowgli put out the fire that he accidentally caused.
  • Honorable Elephant: The elephants are respected by all animals and act like benevolent leaders of the jungle especially when they put out the fire at the end of the film.
  • Physical God: The other animals view the elephants as this. Bagheera tells Mowgli a legend according to which the elephants created the jungle.

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