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Film / The Jungle Book (2016)

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This is the law of the jungle, as old and as true as the sky.
The wolf that keeps it may prosper, and the wolf that breaks it will die.
Like the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the law runneth over and back.
For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.
The Law of the Jungle (preamble)

The Jungle Book is Disney's 2016 CGI Adaptation and remake of their animated adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's original story, directed by Jon Favreau, and following the recent success of Disney's live-action remakes. It is the first CGI adaptation of The Jungle Book made by Disney.

While Mowgli is portrayed by a human actor, the rest of the film is portrayed almost entirely through computer animation, with extensive motion capture and highly photorealistic animation to create the Indian jungle and its inhabitants.

Not to be confused with Warner Bros.' Mowgli, directed by Andy Serkis, which was delayed to 2018 in response to the release of this movie (in spite of being announced first). Nor should it be confused with Disney's earlier live-action Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, released back in 1994.

Its cast includes:

Richard M. Sherman, the surviving Sherman brother, wrote updates to the songs for the film.

The first teaser can be seen here. The official trailer can be seen here.

Plans for a sequel are being discussed, with Jon Favreau potentially returning to direct.

The Jungle Book provides examples of:

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    Tropes A to F 
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole:
    • Mowgli, who was raised by wolves, has no idea how to work with fire. This is a major plot point, given that it means he can't help King Louie and he doesn't understand that it will burn the jungle down if he doesn't control the embers. When it comes time for him to throw the torch away, however, he seems to understand perfectly well that throwing it into the jungle would just make more fire, while throwing it into the water will put it out.
  • Adaptation Species Change:
    • King Louie is no longer an Orangutan. He is a Gigantopithecus in this movie, with Word of God's reason being that orangutans aren't native to India.
    • Baloo is supposed to be a sloth bear, but he looks much more like a brown bear in the movie. This may be because the original publication specifically referred to Baloo as a brown bear rather than a sloth bear (although it could be argued that by "a sleepy brown bear", Kipling was merely referring to Baloo's fur colour, not his species. The Other Wiki has a whole section on this, concluding that most of the evidence supports Baloo being a sloth bear).
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: The movie ends with Mowgli deciding to stay in the jungle with his animal family rather than returning to the man-village like in the version it's remaking.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the animated film, Mowgli left the wolf pack he grew up in without fanfare and never mentioned them again. The film has a scene where he says goodbye to them before Bagheera takes him away and cries while he hugs his mother one last time.
  • Adaptational Badass: Go ahead and read the list below for specifics, but the short answer is: everybody, when compared to their animated counterparts.
    • Bagheera, who fights Shere Khan to protect Mowgli, helps Baloo fight off King Louie's minions, and again fights off Shere Khan during the climax. Whereas in the animated film Bagheera was a Non-Action Guy for all intents and purposes. In the original book, however, he was significantly more badass, putting the remake more in line with the original book's portrayal.
    • Kaa is considerably larger and more dangerous than her incarnation from the animated film. The animated Kaa was a comedic villain who twice gets outsmarted by Mowgli. This Kaa is a huge, all-knowing, hypnotic monster who isn't the least bit funny, and who comes very close to eating Mowgli alive.
    • King Louie was already larger than his monkey clan in the original animated film, but here, he's huge and hulking due to being a Gigantopithecus now. Case in point, he's bigger than Baloo.
    • Baloo remains the comedic and happy-go-lucky character he was in the animated version, but he's much of a real bear this time around: he saves Mowgli from Kaa, no sells the efforts of King Louie's minions to throw him out of the temple, and in the climax, he puts up an actually serious fight against Shere Khan himself.
    • In the animated film, the elephants were comical blusterers. In this film, they're treated with reverence by all the animals, and are powerful enough to reshape the forest and put out the wildfire at the end by diverting the river. Again, this is more like their characterization in the original books, where no one messed with them.
    • Although he was never a pushover, this remake establishes Shere Khan as possibly his most fearsome yet; in the final confrontation, he takes on Baloo, the wolf pack, and Bagheera all at the same time, yet they can do little more than slow him down for a few seconds from his pursuit of Mowgli. Overall, he's far more ruthless and less comical than his animated counterpart.
  • Adaptational Explanation: The 1967 film does not explain why King Louie believes that a boy raised by wolves would know how to create fire. Here, Louie demands that Mowgli "summon" it, implying that he believes humans produce fire naturally, rather than learning to make it.
    Mowgli: I can't!
    King Louie: You can't, or you won't?
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Baloo. While he keeps the animated version's laid-back personality in this film, he also gets a selfish, cunning side, such as tricking Mowgli into getting honey for him, unlike his animated counterpart who never takes advantage of Mowgli.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • Mowgli's Bratty Half-Pint tendencies are downplayed compared to his '67 counterpart. He has less bratty moments and is usually more likable.
    • Whereas Mowgli's '67 counterpart was preoccupied with remaining in the jungle regardless of Shere Khan's threat after being sent away by the wolf pack without his input, this version makes the decision to leave the wolf pack (and find some other animal(s) to live with) in order to spare them from Shere Khan's retribution by himself. While the '67 version ended up confronting Shere Khan (partly) by chance, this version goes after the tiger in order to avenge Akela's death and end Khan's tyranny over the jungle.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: In the animated film, King Louie was a laidback, fun-loving party animal. Here, he's a lot more serious and malicious, with his personality mirroring that of a mob boss's. Though in the closing credits, whether or not it actually happened, upon coming out of the rubble, he behaves more like his '67 animated counterpart; even singing "I Wanna Be Like You".
  • 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 whereas the original Shere Khan was never shows to have killed any humans or animals (except for when he has to eat for food of course). And he implies to Raksha that he will kill her pups as petty vengeance for allowing Mowgli to escape his wrath.The original was an Anti-Villain who was implied to have a good reason to hate men whereas this version kills for sport. And unlike the 1994 film where he's an Anti-Villain who preserves the jungle law and even made Mowgli the new keeper, this portrayal willfully breaks the law if it doesn't suit him.
    • King Louie was a misguided idiot in the original film, but here he is more open about his plans to use the destructive capabilities of fire to conquer the jungle and make all its inhabitants bend to his will. And when Mowgli insists that he doesn't know the secret of fire, his politeness quite quickly fades and he becomes more hostile. Once Baloo enters the temple, Louie also orders the monkeys to throw Baloo off the cliff. This is more in line with the Bandar Log's intentions in the book.
    • Kaa is still portrayed as a villainous character rather than an ally and mentor as in the original book. Kaa has the same goal as her counterpart in the original animated film; to eat Mowgli. But she is far more sinister and lacks the campy and humorous personality her animated counterpart had.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • Raksha's role in the original book is small, but she is ferocious and protective enough to drive off Shere Khan when he attempts to threaten her and Rama into giving up baby Mowgli. In the 2016 film, she is unable to stand up to him when he threatens her and her cubs - though that has just as much to do with Shere Khan being an Adaptational Badass compared to his crippled book counterpart.
    • One of Mowgli's wolf brothers - apparently the youngest - is called 'Grey' here. This is presumably supposed to be the wolf from the books whom Mowgli calls 'Grey Brother', except that in the books he grows up into a capable hunter and helps (indirectly) kill Shere Kahn. Here he is only shown as a tiny cub.
    • Mowgli himself. In the book he 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. Movie Mowgli is a much more realistic child who has no idea how to handle fire and is far less independent.
  • Advertised Extra: Kaa is featured prominently in the trailers (she did most of the narration in both trailers), but in the movies, she appears only for precisely that one scene and is never seen again.
  • Aerith and Bob: Let's see, we have Akela, Bagheera, Baloo, Raksha, etc. and then there are King Louie and Fred the pygmy-hog.
  • Affably Evil: Kaa is something like this; she wants to eat Mowgli, but seems to be telling the truth about his origin and speaks more comfortingly than mockingly when telling it to him (though the latter might just be her trying to lure Mowgli into her coils).
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Almost all the animals think and talk on a human level, using complex concepts and words. King Louie even refers to himself as a Gigantopithecus, when that name should have absolutely no meaning to him or anyone else in the jungle because it's a human word. Yet none of them ever really grasp how Mowgli's tricks work.
  • Anachronistic Animal: King Louis is depicted as a Gigantopithecus, an extinct species of ape that predates modern humans (such as Mowgli and whoever could have constructed the ruins) by at least a couple of hundred millennia.
  • And Starring:
    • Christopher Walken gets the "And" in the first trailer's credits sequence.
    • The second trailer does the "And Introducing" variety with Neel Sethi.
  • Animal Religion: Elephants seem to be treated as godlike beings by the other animals; Bagheera tells Mowgli a myth according to which the elephants created the jungle.
  • Animals Not to Scale:
    • As a rule, most of the animals in the film are about 1.5 times the size of their real life counterparts. Word of God says this is to help the audience see the jungle through a child's perspective - the already-small Mowgli seems even smaller among such large creatures.
    • Louie and Kaa are beyond massive. A Gigantopithecus is already much bigger than an orangutan, and Louie is even larger than that (a good 12 feet tall sitting down, while a Gigantopithecus was 9 feet tall standing up). For Kaa, this is in keeping with her book portrayal; the original Kaa was about that size and said to be hundreds of years old, and since reptiles grow their entire lives, it's possible, though improbable, that an exceptionally long-lived python could eventually get to that size.
    • The various monkey species in the Bandar-log are not in scale with each other. The gibbons and macaques have been slightly scaled up so that they are large enough to kidnap Mowgli, but the langurs, which in real life are slightly larger than macaques, have been significantly scaled down.
  • Animals Respect Nature: The animals follow rules to ensure the overall health of the jungle, such as the Water Truce in which prey and predators are not allowed to kill at the watering hole during a drought. The villainous Shere Khan distinguishes himself from the other animals by how he doesn't obey the laws of the jungle and kills for sport.
  • Animal Stampede: When Shere Khan ambushes Mowgli, he escapes from the tiger by jumping on a water buffalo during a stampede. The scene is inspired by a similar scene from the book.
  • Animal Talk: An oddly zigzagged example. Most animals, both predators and prey, appear to be able to talk, but a few (notably, the monkeys and the elephants) only make animal sounds.
  • Arc Words: The Law of the Jungle. "The strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack!"
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • The herd of Asian elephants depicted is a bit odd as it's a combination of individuals with both long and short tusks. Generally only females will form herds like this, as males leave the herd upon reaching maturity. However, the longer tusks shown in the film only appear in males, while female Asian elephants are usually tuskless or have very small tusks (called tushes). This implies we're being shown either a mixed-sex herd (with the short-tusked ones being females), or one that is made up entirely of bulls which makes it unusual to see them with a calf in tow. Because this would imply the calf was orphaned, wasn't adopted by another female, and can survive just fine without milk. In addition, the elephants are portrayed with a "saddlebacked" profile typical of African elephants; Asian elephants have an arched back.
    • One langur is shown brachiating, i.e. moving through the trees while hanging from branches by their arms. However, this is a form of locomotion mostly employed by gibbons and spider monkeys. Macaques and langurs typically run and leap about on all fours along the tops of branches.
    • The cuckoo chick is shown sitting in a nest on a branch, when its foster parent, depicted by a green bee-eater, arrives to feed it. However, while there are many different cuckoo species in India and they are nest parasites of a fairly wide variety of birds, bee-eaters are not among those species known to be targeted by cuckoos. Also, bee-eaters don't build nests; they breed in burrows excavated in riverbanks and sandy areas.
    • The bee-eaters are also depicting picking food from inside a crocodile's jaws. The supposed behaviour of birds cleaning a crocodile's teeth is believed to be a myth, since there has never been any verifiable record of it ever occurring, on top of the fact the behaviour is ascribed to plovers, not bee-eaters.
    • When Mowgli returns to the wolves after several months away, the cubs have not grown at all. In reality wolf cubs grow rapidly - they're almost full-sized by their first winter, having only been born in spring.
    • The wolves are depicted with appearances that make them far more closely resemble Alaskan timber wolves or Eurasian wolves, being large in size and with thick fur, rather than actual Indian wolves, which are smaller and scrawnier, with much thinner fur due to the warm climate.
    • Similarly, Baloo is explicitly stated to be a sloth bear, but in terms of size and appearance, he looks much more like a brown bear, since he lacks the sloth bear's characteristic shaggy mane, white muzzle, and crescent-shaped chest marking, is brownish rather than black, and has a brown bear's fatter body shape. Brown bears live in India, but nowhere near the region the story is supposed to be set.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: King Louie is depicted with a big pile of fruit as food, when Gigantopithecus mostly ate bamboo in real life (that said, they probably ate fruit as well). Possibly justified as bamboo is extremely non-nutritious, and he has minions to gather tastier food for him. This would also explain his obesity.
    • Also, Gigantopithecus has been extinct for at least 100,000 years.
  • Ascended Extra: While minor, the wolf pack that Mowgli originally grew up with have more screen time in this adaptation than in the original 1967 movie and they even have more spoken lines. They even aid Mowgli in combating Shere Khan during the climax.
  • Ax-Crazy: He doesn't show it until he goes on the offensive, but Shere Khan is pretty infamous for it amongst the jungle populous.
  • Badass Creed: The Law of the Jungle becomes this, at the final showdown. "The strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack!"
  • Bait-and-Switch: Shere Khan prowls through the wolves' territory, climbing the rock and intimidating every wolf in his way until they all back down, approaches Akela growling and angry...and then calmly lays down, settling himself in a patch of sun. Switched again when, after Akela lays next to him and just as calmly informs him of Mowgli's whereabouts and explains that they no longer have a quarrel, Shere Khan jumps up and throws him off the rock, killing him.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Baloo is a pretty laid back, carefree guy that for all intents and purposes likes to chill in the most silly ways possible. The fact remains though, he's still a bear.
  • Big Bad: Shere Khan. Not only is Mowgli's journey triggered by the tiger's threat to kill him, but Shere Khan turns out to have caused Mowgli's adoption by the wolf pack in the first place by killing his human father.
  • Big Good: The elephants. It is said that they created the jungle by carving it out of their tusks and trunks. Their treatment of Mowgli, first with apathy, then with anger, then with gratitude, reflects his acceptance from the jungle as a whole.
  • Blatant Lies
    • Baloo has Mowgli climb up to get honey from a hive.
    Mowgli: Lotta bees up here!
    Baloo: Yeah, but these ones don't sting!
    Baloo: Oh, those must have been females!
    • He also tricks Mowgli into believing that he hibernates, at least until Bagheera shows up.
      Bagheera: Bears don't hibernate in the jungle!
      Baloo: Not full hibernation, but I nap, a lot.
  • Bloodless Carnage:
    • A black panther and a bear fight a bunch of monkeys, biting, slashing at (and in the bear's case, rolling over and crushing) them. There's no blood (or any dead monkeys for that matter) resulting from the confrontation.
    • Shere Khan kills Mowgli's father with a bite to the throat, which should definitely leave some blood at his fangs. There isn't.
  • Bookends:
    • The film ends as it began, with Mowgli being chased by Bagheera, except now he's the one ahead of the wolf pack and teaching them how to run.
    • The soundtrack album is topped and tailed by by cover versions of "The Bare Necessities" the first one by Dr. John, the second by Bill Murray.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: After he is convinced by Bagheera to send Mowgli to the village for his own safety, Baloo tries to convince Mowgli to go with Bagheera by claiming that he was never his friend and he doesn't need him anymore. Baloo is clearly torn by having to act coldly to him.
    Baloo: It was the hardest thing I ever done.
    Bagheera: I know.
  • Brick Joke: A porcupine in the film is obsessed with claiming ownership of sticks and rocks. During the climax, where the forest is on fire, he's seen with a smouldering stick in his mouth.
  • Casting Gag: Ben Kingsley plays Bagheera, who is a wise, kind, highly-respected Indian character. Similar to Gandhi.
  • Cats Are Snarkers:
    • Bagheera. Despite coming off as having No Sense of Humor he still has his snarky moments, mainly around Baloo.
    • Shere Khan has moments also whenever he's not trying to murder somenone, especially regarding Mowgli.
      Shere Khan: Mowgli? They've given it a name.
  • The Charmer: Baloo is a charmingly laidback bear, and not above tricking Mowgli several times; he tells Mowgli honey bees don't sting in order to get him to retrieve honeycomb, and then asks the man-cub to stay with him for a number of weeks in order to prepare for the so-called winter hibernation.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The dead tree that Mowgli fell from at the beginning when running from Bagheera. At the climax he lures Shere Khan onto it and escapes with a rope invention (which he crafted to help Baloo get honey earlier)while the tiger falls to his death.
    • Mowgli reciting to Baloo the Law of the Jungle, which Baloo does in the climax to inspire himself and the wolves to attack Shere Khan.
  • Child of Two Worlds: Mowgli, a human with human tendencies who was raised a wolf and grew up in the jungle. Several characters discuss if he belongs to one or the other, and by the end Mowgli chooses both by embracing his humanity and staying in the jungle with the pack.
  • Children Are Innocent: The other animals, especially the wolves, argue that even though humans are monsters, but Mowgli clearly has done nothing to the animals. Shere Khan doesn't care though.
  • Circling Vultures: They herald Shere Khan's appearance, likely because he kills a lot, and often not for eating.
  • Composite Character:
    • Akela in this movie is a composite of the Akela from the animated movie and book, merged with Rama from the same two sources.
    • Similarly, Shere Khan combines the angry and vicious personality from the original books with the able-bodied predator feared by the entire jungle from the animated movie.
  • The Corruptor: Raksha is woken up one night to see Shere Khan playing with her pups, not long after he murdered their father. Not only is he subtly trying to turn them against her, but she knows full well that he could and would kill any of them in an instant and there would be nothing she could do about it.
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning: "I Wanna Be Like You" is now Louis' Villain Song when he offers Mowgli to rule over the jungle.
  • Create Your Own Hero: Shere Khan wouldn't have even had to contend with Mowgli, let alone be killed by him if he had let the traveler and his son be that night.
  • Creepy Jazz Music: King Louie's jazzy song "I Wanna Be Like You" from the original movie makes a return. However, as Louie goes through Adaptational Villainy, the song has new lyrics that are more villainous in nature. Despite this, the music itself is still very upbeat.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the plot mostly follows the 1967 Disney adaptation (see Lost in Imitation below), the overall tone seems much more faithful to Kipling's original text, with far less goofy comedy and more epic dialogue and gritty action scenes.
  • Death by Adaptation: Shere Khan, Akela and (initially) King Louie are all dead by the end of the movie, whereas as they all survive in the original 1967 movie. In the Kipling stories, however the former two eventually die, making this an oddly zig-zagged trope.
  • Death by Looking Up: King Louie dies this way, being crushed by the falling rubble of his collapsing temple. However, he's seen alive and gets himself out of the rubble in the credits.
  • Decapitated Army: Once the monkeys find out that King Louie got buried in rubble, they immediately give up attacking Baloo and Bagheera to try and get him out.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Hathi Jr. the kid elephant was a friend of Mowgli's in the animated film. In this one, the kid elephant that appears to be an analogue for him only appears briefly, with no lines.
    • While Kaa didn't get much screentime in the original either, here, she only appears in a single scene.
    • The quartet of vultures from the original cartoon do appear, but they no longer speak, and lack their comical, lighthearted personalities. They merely act as regular vultures that periodically follow Shere Khan.
  • Destructive Savior: When Mowgli decides to confront Shere Khan with the Red Flower he turns into this. Unfortunately, a six-year-old raised by wolves has no idea how to handle fire safely, and burns down much of the jungle by accident. Though he throws it into the water afterwards.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: When Bagheera and Shere Khan fight for the first time, Bagheera gets the first hit in, but Shere Khan's reaction says it all: You done screwed up.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Furious at being defied, Shere Khan employs a Xanatos Gambit. Either the animals of the jungle will deliver Mowgli to him to be slain, or the boy himself will return at news of his terrorizing the wolf pack. When his target himself returns, bringing the red flower. The tiger laughs knowing he's lost all his friends and family in the process, they all fear and hate him now. Appalled and angry Shere Khan has pushed him down this desperate dead-end road, Mowgli deposes of the torch, stating he is of the wolf pack, he is of the jungle and always will be. The tiger scoffs again as his prey has rather nicely disarmed himself, only to have the entire jungle unite against him and overthrow his tyranny.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: Shere Kahn and Akela end up being killed off differently from how they are in the novel.
    • Instead of being squashed by a stampede like in the novel, Shere Khan falls into a pit of fire.
    • In the novel, Akela dies following the battle with the Red Dogs. Here, he is thrown off a cliff by Shere Khan.
  • Disney Death: Downplayed with Baloo. While the animated film has him passed out for longer, with a comical scene of him waking to hear his own eulogy, this film has him only briefly thought dead in the climax and turning out to have survived afterward with little fanfare.
  • Disney Villain Death: Fittingly, this is how Shere Khan meets his end, after doing the same to Akela earlier. However, one could argue it wasn't the fall but rather the fire at the bottom he had to worry about.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Baloo first takes Mowgli to the man-village, the bear cautions the boy to stay away from the "red flower" because of its destructive potential. One almost expects his next line to be "Only you can prevent forest fires."
  • The Don: Christopher Walken plays Louie as something akin to this.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Shere Khan, naturally, is given a wide berth by all the animals at the watering hole, even a crocodile. Also Baloo's reaction: when Mowgli mentions a tiger is hunting him, Baloo dismisses it as no big deal, but when Bagheera later tells him just who that tiger is, Baloo is now very concerned. note 
    • The "red flower", to the point that even mentioning it is done in hushed tones. When Mowgli shows up bearing a burning torch, the animals all cower before him and even Shere Khan keeps his distance while taunting him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Subverted with Shere Khan, who won't hunt Mowgli during the water truce, stating that he deeply respects the jungle law. However, it's heavily implied that Khan was simply being pragmatic and reminding everyone that Mowgli's presence is against the law, as he is pretty infamous for breaking every law in the jungle if it doesn't suit him. Raksha accordingly calls him out for being a fraud. Though played straight in that he never attacks other animals during the water truce at least.
    • Played straight with Kaa. Not only is she arguably the least malicious of the film's antagonists, she sounds quite disapproving of Shere Khan attacking and killing Mowgli's father for no real reason, much like her animated counterpart.
  • Evil Brit: Just like the '67 counterpart played straight with Shere Khan, voiced by Idris Elba and averted with Bagheera.
  • Eye Recall: Kaa's' eyes are a window to Mowgli's past.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Mowgli manages to miss the entire jungle being set on fire from his torch.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Evil or not, that tiger still burns to death. And King Louie is crushed by his collapsing temple.
  • Faux Affably Evil:
    • Shere Khan can be polite and charming up until the instant before he savagely murders someone as shown with Akela.
    • King Louie. He is friendly to Mowgli when he is first brought to him, offering him a papaya fruit and explaining that, although he is a king, Mowgli can simply call him Louie. But this is all later proven to be an act; Louie is interested in power and ambition, and gets quite nasty when Mowgli defies him.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The film opens with Bagheera chasing Mowgli to teach him for when he faces a hunting predator. In the climax, Mowgli is put on the run now by Shere Khan, in the same forest area even, which leads to it becoming a Chekhov's Gun.
    • Man's affinity with fire is spoken of in hushed tones throughout the film, leading Mowgli to trying to harness it to use against Shere Khan.
    • At the start of his journey, Mowgli witnesses a passing elephant herd and locks eyes with a baby elephant. He later saves that same elephant child after it falls into a pit, earning the gratitude of the herd.
    • Just before Shere Khan ambushes them, Mowgli asks if the tiger knows him. As it turns out, Khan does know Mowgli, as he recognized him from when he killed his father, even mocking Mowgli by mentioning the murder.
    • After getting separated from Bagheera, Mowgli discovers an enormous shed snake skin. Easy guess for who appears a scene later...
    • Throughout the film, monkeys are in the trees watching Mowgli's escapades. They're spying for King Louie and reporting back what's transpiring.
      King Louie: I got ears, my ears got ears.
    • When the rains come back and Peace Rock begins to submerge, Mowgli watches a tree go over a cliff, temporarily stopping the water. Near the end, the elephants dam up the river with fallen trees to put out the wildfire.
    • Bagheera explains to Mowgli why they should hold the elephants in high reverence, stating that they brought life to the jungle and made rivers with their tusks. Near the end, they do a variant of this by damming/diverting the river to put out the forest fire.
    • When Baloo learns that Mowgli is going to the man-village, he warns Mowgli to be careful with fire. Mowgli later steals a torch and accidentally sets the forest ablaze.
    • When Mowgli sees humans for the first time, they're indistinct, creepy silhouettes speaking an unknown language and dancing around a huge, frightening bonfire, much in the way a wild animal would see them. In the end he stays in the jungle because while he is human, they are no longer his people.
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • The wolf-pack in general. They are very fast, but don't have much of a muscular physique. One-on-one, Shere Khan slaps each wolf down like they were nothing, so they have to rely on teamwork to take down their opponents. They're implied to be usually quite effective at that, but even that only holds the tiger back for a few seconds.
    • To a lesser extent, Bagheera. While being about the same size as the wolves, he's a bit more muscular, and shown to be surprisingly strong, even by leopard-standards. However, compared to animals like Baloo and Shere Khan, his speed and agility are more outstanding and his main advantage.

    Tropes G to L 
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Mowgli's talent is in creating tools, and it's the one area where he surpasses the animals. However, Bagheera and Akela see it as "tricks" that disrupt the natural order of the jungle, and to some extent they're right – Mowgli using his 'tricks' to help Baloo wipes out an entire cliff face of beehives in just a few hours. Eventually, Bagheera comes to accept his inventions as a part of him and encourages Mowgli to use them to gain an advantage over Shere Khan.
  • Gender Flip: Kaa is a female in this version.
  • Good Is Not Soft:
    • The wolf pack. Although they adopt Mowgli into their pack and raise him as one of their own, when the time comes to fight Shere Khan. They demonstrate the effective pack teamwork that allows them to stall the tiger even as they are overpowered by him.
    • Baloo probably stands out the most for coming across as one of the most laid-back characters and preferring honey to animals as food. However, threaten to harm Mowgli and he won't hesitate to come to his defense in full fury. He is a bear, after all.
    • Bagheera is also a noteworthy example, especially compared to his '67 counterpart who never participated in a fight. Here he makes it clear from the very beginning that he is a very capable fighter, who will quickly come to the defense of his protégé, to the extent of pouncing Shere Khan when he tries to make a move.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Akela has three thin dark lines running over the right side of his nose, while Shere Khan is half blind and missing bits of fur on his face.
  • The Great Serpent: Kaa the Python is depicted as being so massive that her body is draped all over the tree, and she could easily fit Mowgli in her mouth, which is fitting, seeing as she tries to eat him before Baloo intervenes.
  • Greed: King Louie's reason for wanting the secret of the red flower (fire). Despite having a magnificent temple as his home, hundreds of monkey minions serving his every whim and clearly living a lavish lifestyle, it apparently isn't enough. He wants the power and control the red flower will bring so he can rule the jungle.
  • Greater-Scope Paragon: The elephants only appear a few times and are regarded by the animals of the jungle as near-gods for their size and power. When they first appear, Bagheera tells Mowgli a Creation Myth of how they formed the jungle and carved the rivers with their tusks. At the end, due to Mowgli saving one of their young, they appear and do just that, redirecting a river to save the jungle from the Red Flower.
  • Handicapped Badass: This version of Shere Khan is blind in one eye instead of partially lame, like in the book. Doesn't make him any less scary, though this is partially due to the fact that it doesn't seem to mess with his depth perception at all.
  • Headbutt of Love: Mowgli and Raksha share one as the mother and son say goodbye to each other.
  • Honor Before Reason: Invoked by Shere Khan before his fight with Mowgli. After Mowgli has stolen a torch from a human village to fight Shere Khan with, he accidentally burns the jungle, with Shere Khan taunting him about how the animals of the jungle now fear Mowgli more than him. Mowgli proceeds to throw the torch into the lake, and Shere Khan states that that was the stupidest thing Mowgli could have done, before lunging at him. Fortunately for Mowgli, him refusing to use the Red Flower made the other animals realize that Mowgli really was one of them and they all rally against Shere Khan.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Kaa has them. For bonus points, it turns out they have flashbacks in them.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: Besides Mowgli and his father, the humans are shown only at a distance, featureless, and spoken of by the jungle animals with reverence, fear and awe. The human appreciation for fire, the 'Red Flower', is especially highlighted as a frightening and unnatural occurrence.
    • Louie is also under the impression that humans can summon fire at will.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters
    • Shere Khan certainly views them as this, and there certainly is a lot of evidence to back that view up. However though, that doesn't justify his repeated murder attempts on Mowgli, especially since the human attack that caused him to lose an eye was his own fault for attacking Mowgli's torch-bearing father first.
    • Shere Khan takes advantage of Mowgli and the other animal's belief in this to get Mowgli to throw away the torch he stole from the man village before their fight. Khan immediately tells Mowgli that he made a stupid decision before attacking the now-defenseless human.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Exploited. Shere Khan taunts Mowgli, telling him to use the torch to burn him just as his father did and establish himself definitively as a man. Mowgli defies him by throwing the torch into the river... but now he has no weapon, which is exactly what Shere Khan wanted.
  • Ignorant About Fire: Mowgli grabs a lit torch so he can fight Shere Khan. Unfortunately, he accidentally sets the jungle ablaze from a few embers landing on a tree.
  • Incorrect Animal Noise:
    • While Baloo and Bagheera are climbing the cliff in pursuit of the Bandar-log, the call of a red-tailed hawk (a species not found in India) is heard.
    • Bandar-log make chimp sounds.
  • Informed Species: Bagheera refers to Baloo as a sloth bear, his species in the books. This version of Baloo looks even less like a sloth bear than any of his previous adaptations.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • When first hearing Mowgli chant the Law of the Jungle, Baloo dismisses it as "propaganda". Then at the climax, when it appears Mowgli's all by himself to fight Shere Khan, Baloo recites the Law as he and the wolves join Mowgli's side.
    • On a lighter note, one of the excuses Baloo gives for intruding on the Bandar log is that he “wants to be like you”.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Inverted due to them all being animals, but when Akela tells Shere Khan that Mowgli is part of his pack, Khan sarcastically retorts, "Mowgli?! They've given it a name..."
  • It's Personal:
    • It's clear from the start that Shere Khan has a bone to pick with humans due to one burning him in the face. However, it eventually becomes more clear that Mowgli stirs his hatred specifically, because his father was the one who blinded him. Not that he was all that kindly disposed toward humans to begin with.
    • Mowgli's attitude towards Shere Khan becomes this too. He was, at first, terrified of Shere Khan and willing to flee from him. However, after he discovers that he has killed Akela, the only father he has ever known, he becomes outraged and steals a torch from the man village, now willing to fight and kill the tiger.
  • Jerkass: Shere Khan is known to be this by the jungle. It's mentioned that he kills for fun and sport instead of just for food, likes to intimidate for no reason other than to strike fear, and kills Akela even after he was told they sent Mowgli away so he wouldn't have to be bothered by his existence.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Bagheera loves Mowgli dearly, but his strict, harsh attitude towards Mowgli (and pretty much everyone) else makes him come across as a straight-laced jerk, especially next to Baloo's much more charming demeanor.
    • Baloo starts out as one himself who is shown to be a manipulative hustler in the beginning, shamelessly using Mowgli (and previous to him other animals) to get honey for him. The novelization takes it even further, explaining that Bagheera (previous to the events of the movie) nearly died in a river while Baloo left him for a papaya. This makes it even sweeter when Baloo, seeing Bagheera hesitate when the chase for Mowgli leads them to a fairly powerful river, jumps in first so that Bagheera has a steady platform he can use to brace off of and cross unharmed.
  • Jump Scare: King Louie pulls one off during the temple chase. Mowgli is hiding behind a pillar. He peeks out to look, only to find Louie right beside him, as Louie yells, "GOTCHA!"
  • Jungle Jazz: "Bare Necessities" and "I Wan'na Be Like You", the two famous swingy numbers from the original movie, make their return, now accompanied by lush CGI jungle scenery and animals!
  • Karmic Death: Shere Khan is ultimately killed by the very reason (presumably among others) that causes him to hate humans so much, and all thanks to the son of the man he killed after being scarred for life by said man.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • When Raksha calls her pups to move away from Shere Khan, the tiger deliberately holds one of the pups back, just to prove he can. He eventually lets it go, but the threat is clear.
    • Louie coldly informs Mowgli of Akela's death and tells him it was probably his fault.
  • Killer Gorilla: Or rather, killer Gigantopithecus: King Louie threateningly chases Mowgli through his temple, smashing through it with his immense size.
  • Kill It with Fire: This trope is what solidifies Shere Khan's hatred of man in general. The "red flower" is the only thing he truly fears. It eventually does kill him in the end. King Louie knows how powerful it is as well, and wants Mowgli to provide him with the means to master it.
  • Large and in Charge: King Louie is ten times the size of any of the primates in his clan. No wonder he stays in charge.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Baloo is as lovable and lazy as ever, but he's still a bear, and when Mowgli's in danger he's a force to be reckoned with.
  • Lost in Imitation: Though a more faithful adaptation of the Kipling story than the 1967 Disney film was, the film still displays clear signs of being a remake of said film, such as Baloo being a laid-back and comedic character, Kaa being a villain, and King Louie existing at all.
  • Logo Joke: As a part of the throwback aspect of the film, the Disney logo is a hand-painted, cel-animated replica of the logo.

    Tropes M to R 
  • Magical Eye: The movie shows that Kaa's eyes, just like the animated version, have a hypnotic effect on Mowgli - they also have the ability to give him a flashback vision of his own past.
  • Maniac Monkeys: King Louie's monkeys who kidnap Mowgli and take him to their leader. And King Louie himself, who wants to use Mowgli for rather malicious purposes.
  • Meaningful Name: Some of the names are obviously Hindi-derived. "Hathi": elephant, "Raksha": demon/protector (fitting for Mama Wolf), "Sher Khan": tiger king, "balu": bear.
  • Mighty Glacier: A downplayed version. King Louie is indeed strong and large, but he's still faster than you'd expect him to be. He even gives Mowgli a Jump Scare!
  • Mighty Roar: King Louie gives one upon emerging from his temple to chase down Mowgli. Everyone drops what they're doing and takes notice. About a minute after this, Baloo himself gives an impressive one while fighting the monkeys, complete with rearing up onto his hind legs. It stuns them for a bit... before they end up dogpiling him.
  • Misplaced Wildlife:
    • India covers a wide range of climates, ecosystems, and biogeographic regions. Consequently, you can throw in a whole bunch of animals that are all found in India, yet don't actually meet each other in the wild. The Jungle Book (both Rudyard Kipling's original stories and this movie) are set in Seeonee (more typically spelt Seoni) in the state of Madhya Pradesh, central India. A number of Indian wildlife depicted in the movie aren't native to this area itself, such as Indian rhino and pygmy hog (both more typical of the grasslands of the northern and northeastern states), as well as a great deal of the various primate species that make up the Bandar-log (see below for details).
    • The wolves themselves look quite out of place - they have the fur coats of wolves from more temperate climates. Indian wolves are much leaner and look quite different from European and North American wolves.
    • The flying squirrel species shown is a red and white giant flying squirrel, which is found in China, not India. There are various flying squirrel species in India, but they aren't as distinctively marked as this species.
    • The jerboas, which show up at several points in the movie, must be quite lost; not only are they not found in India, they aren't even jungle inhabitants! They're found only in desert environments, and while some species are found in the arid parts of western Pakistan, that's the closest they ever get to Seoni.
    • The frog seen hopping on the ground after the rains return does not look like any known species of frog from India. Instead, it appears to be an European tree frog.
    • King Louie was changed from an orangutan to a Gigantopithecus in this movie in order to avert this trope, as while orangutans aren't native to India, fossil findings show that Gigantopithecus was. He is, however, now an extinct species — and still looks a lot like a dominant male orang-utan.
    • Baloo doesn't look like a sloth bear, but a Himalayan brown bear (though Bagheera once refers to him, perhaps sarcastically, as a sloth bear.) As the name suggests, they live in the Himalayan Mountains, not the jungle (they are found in northern parts of India though). Word of God however still describes Baloo as a sloth bear, regardless of how un-sloth bear-like he is in the movie. Then again, perhaps it's a Stealth Insult: calling him a sloth bear because he's lazy.
    • The Bandar-log consists of a number of exotic-looking monkey species that while Indian, don't occur in the Seoni area at all. The western hoolock gibbon, the northern pig-tailed macaque and the golden langur are native to the northeastern part of India, while the lion-tailed macaque and the Nilgiri langur are native to the southwestern part of India. Only the gray langurs fit biogeographically - the southern plains gray langur is native to central India. Meanwhile, the rhesus macaque, which is found in central India, is omitted. The sounds they make include the calls of siamang, a gibbon species found in the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra, not in India, as well as chimpanzees (a species restricted to Africa). The western hoolock gibbons also look more like northern white-cheeked gibbons, a species of gibbon native to Vietnam and Laos, than their real-life counterparts.
    • A red-tailed hawk (a predominantly North American species) is heard calling while Baloo and Bagheera are climbing the cliff in pursuit of the Bandar-log.
    • During the credits, silhouettes of monkeys with prehensile tails and hummingbirds (both of which are restricted to the Americas) are shown.
  • Misplaced Vegetation: King Louie offers Mowgli some pawpaw fruit. While pawpaw is cultivated in India, it has been introduced fairly recently from its native range in Central America.
    • Also counts as a Mythology Gag; in the second verse of "Bare Necessities" (from the original Disney The Jungle Book), Baloo sings, "When you pick a pawpaw, or a prickly pear / And if you pick a raw paw, then next time beware."
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • After a tense scene where Shere Khan "plays" with Raksha's pups, telling them about the cuckoo bird's brood parasitism, the scene shifts to Baloo's brighter side of the jungle, where we see a comically fat cuckoo bird begging its "mother" for more food.
    • King Louie starts to openly threaten Mowgli when the latter tells him that he can't make fire. Then starts singing, and even though it was updated to be a Villain Song, "I Wanna Be Like You" is still an up-beat jazz tune.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The buffalo stampede from the original story, which wasn't in the 1967 version, is worked into this adaptation. However, while in the book the stampede is what kills Shere Khan, in this one he survives it, and dies instead by falling into a ravine and burning alive.
    • Kaa asks Mowgli to "trust in me", and not only does the titular song play as an instrumental during the scene, so does Kaa's Leitmotif from the original film.
    • The first monkey Mowgli meets before he's kidnapped resembles "Flunky Monkey" (the animators' nickname for the showoff monkey in the animated film.)
    • Louie refers to himself as "King of the Bandar-Log". Bandar-Log was the name of the monkey tribe in the books, but they were never referred to as such in the Disney film.
    • Mowgli rescues a baby elephant from the pit, like in Soviet animated adaptation
    • In a scene that is only featured in the novelization, Shere Khan is also visited by a hungry jackal with information about Mowgli. He doesn't go named or even have much of a role, but any fan of Kipling's book will recognize Tabaqui when they see him.
    • This isn't the first film adaptation to have Shere-Khan kill one of Mowgli's adoptive parents (the 1998 film adaptation has Shere-Khan killing Raksha).
    • This also isn't the first time Shere-Khan killed Mowgli's biological father, he did so in the 1994 adaptation as well.
    • This also isn't the first time Shere Khan tries turning the wolves to his side. In the books, he almost managed to turn the wolf pack against Mowgli and Akela.
    • "If anything happens to that kid, I'll never forgive myself," says Baloo. In this film (as opposed to Baloo regretting scolding Mowgli in the original), he regrets pretending to fake his friendship with Mowgli and acting coldly towards him even though he did it to keep him safe.
    • A rhinoceros character is credited under the name of Rocky, a character that was created for the 1967 film to accompany the singing vultures that ended up on the cutting room floor.
    • When Shere Khan arrives at the peace rock, four vultures are seen circling the sky. A far cry from the Beatles-esque quartet from the 67 film, but still pretty cool.
    • A porcupine appears in one scene, who is based on a minor character from the book named Ikki.
    • In a similar vein, a brahminy kite shows up in several scenes in a non-speaking role. Fans of the book will recognize it as Chil the Kite.
    • The ending of the 2016 film closes with a book laying on a blue cloth... the VERY same book that was present in the 1967 Jungle Book, which opened the movie.
    • After the climax of the film, Mowgli rides the elephants. This calls back to how he got leverage on Hathi in The Second Jungle Book, as well as the short story Toomai of the Elephants.
    • Just like her animated counterpart, Kaa's eyes develop a swirling pattern when she hypnotizes Mowgli.
    • The story that Bagheera tells Mowgli about the elephants creating the jungle comes from The Second Jungle Book, the story "How Fear Came", in which Hathi tells the same legend about his ancestors.
    • A subtle one, but the first shot of Shere Khan is him standing on the hills with the burning sun in his back. In his deleted song from the '67 Version he says about himself that he's "cruel as the mid-day sun".
    • Like the '67 film, Louie's temple home collapses.
    • The only one of Mowgli's brother besides Grey to get a name on-screen is Tavi, and his only line is "...and a mongoose". An obvious nod to Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Averted, the only crocodile who appears in the film is respecting the water truce like the rest of the animals, and it retreats nervously when Shere Khan shows up (Truth in Television, since tigers can kill crocodiles in real life). Mowgli even suggests going to live with the crocodiles once he leaves the wolf pack, which indicates that he doesn't find them scary.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Judging by the trailers, one would assume that there would be no singing involved in the film, unlike the animated version. There are indeed two musical numbers in the actual movie, Baloo and Mowgli's "Bare Necessities" and King Louie's "I Wanna Be Like You".
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When Mowgli decides Shere Khan has to be defeated, he steals a torch from the man-village to use against the tiger. Unfortunately, not only does the sight of him wielding fire terrify the other animals, but just a few of the embers cause a forest fire.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Shere Khan taunting Mowgli to use the "red flower" as a man nearly works (since it caused Mowgli to ditch the torch), but backfires when Baloo, Bagheera, and the wolf pack realize who the real monster is and rush to Mowgli's aid. From that point on, it's all just one big Villain Ball moment for Shere Khan.
  • No-Sell:
    • Shere Khan gets in a fight with Baloo, Bagheera and the wolf pack (the latter all at once), and does not sustain any noticeable injury.
    • King Louie orders the Bandar Log to throw Baloo off of his mountain. They quickly find out that 200+ pound bear isn't going to move anywhere if he doesn't want to. Not for lack of trying.
  • No Song for the Wicked: While King Louie and Kaa have their own villain songs ("I Wanna Be Like You" and "Trust in Me", respectively), Shere Khan has no such thing.
  • Not His Sled: Unlike the book or the animated film, Mowgli stays in the jungle at the end and never leaves to the man-village. In Kipling's original tales Mowgli did come back to the jungle because he was driven out by superstitious villagers who thought his ability to communicate with the animals meant he was a witch. Mowgli only returns to man's world when all of his animal family are either dead or about ready to die of old age.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The moment Bagheera shows up to collect Mowgli is one long Oh, Crap! moment for Baloo, for one because he knows Bagheera isn’t too fond of him and also because the panther wastes no time dismantling his lies about hibernation.
    • Louie has this reaction as the temple falls apart on top of him.
    • In the climax, Shere Khan's face just drops in the middle of his stalking of Mowgli when he realizes that he's been tricked, and that the branch he's jumped onto is about to break. He makes a break for it, but can't get away fast enough.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Baloo is willing to put his laziness aside if Mowgli is in danger. Despite his fear of heights, he climbs with Bagheera up the cliff to Louie's lair, although whimpering the entire time. Then if it comes to a fight, he turns out to be able to hold his own.
  • Opposed Mentors: Bagheera and Baloo can be seen that way. Bagheera strictly forbids Mowgli the use of his 'tricks' and wants him to behave more like a responsible wolf, while Baloo encourages Mowgli to be himself and to take it easy with the jungle laws. It helps that the panther is less than thrilled to find Mowgli in Baloo's care. Ultimately though, both of them wants what's best for the boy. They had a similar dynamic in the original book, but with the roles reversed: Baloo was the stern and responsible mentor and Bagheera was the more easygoing and adventurous one.
  • Panthera Awesome: Bagheera and Shere Khan respectively; two large and formidable felines, though they are feared and respected for quite different reasons.
  • Papa Wolf: Mowgli has many animal friends who love him and strive to keep him safe, including his adoptive wolf father, Bagheera, and Baloo. Mowgli's biological father died protecting his son from Shere Khan.
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: Louie uses the word "magnificus" to rhyme with "Gigantopithecus".
  • Perpetual Frowner: Both Bagheera and King Louie never smile, even when they're saying something that's remotely positive. Bagheera does smile however, when Mowgli hugs him.
  • Physical Gods: The rest of the jungle regards the elephants as these, bowing in their presence.
  • Predators Are Mean:
    • Played straight with Shere Khan: a vicious brute of a tiger, who kills for sport.
    • Subverted with Bagheera, who is genuinely kind, but also stern and easy to anger.
    • Subverted with Kaa. While she tries to eat Mowgli and comes off as sinister, she is soft-spoken and polite and reveals Mowgli's past to him.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: A remix of the animated movie's opening theme plays at the beginning of the movie.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Bagheera is Blue (very reserved, obeys the Law of the Jungle) while Shere Khan is Red (short-tempered and sadistic, disregarding the Law at will). To a lesser degree, Bagheera is Blue (easily irritated, but more composed) to Baloo's more emotional Red.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Shere Khan uses this trope, and his physical bulk, to terrifying effect. His opening act is abruptly murdering Akela, then essentially holding the wolf pack hostage in blatant violation of Jungle Law. However, karma's a bitch...
  • Revenge Before Reason: Determined to avenge Akela's murder at the claws of Shere Khan, Mowgli marches straight to the Man village and steals a torch to use against the tiger. This ends up scaring the living daylights out of his friends and adoptive wolf family and causes a huge fire that burns a significant portion of the jungle before finally being extinguished.
    • A little later, Mowgli rushes against Shere Kahn with nothing but his bare hands after seeing the tiger get the best of Baloo. Bagheera has to pin Mowgli down in order to talk some sense into him.
  • Rewatch Bonus: When Shere Khan mocks Mowgli for throwing away the fire and begins to walk towards him, you can see Baloo on the left taking a few steps forward, just before coming forward to stand by Mowgli to protect him.

    Tropes S to Z 
  • Not So Extinct: King Louie is changed from an extant orangutan in the animated film to an extinct Gigantopithecus, the largest known primate that ever existed.
  • Scenery Porn: It started showing it off from the first trailer and never looked back.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot:
    • Shere Khan's murder of Akela is this. His initial pounce is cut to Rakasha's horrified scream and the area where his body lands is blocked by the sun.
    • Shere Khan's murder of Mowgli's father takes place in a cut that shifts from the tiger leaping onto the man cutting to a shadow reflection of Shere Khan landing on top of him and biting his throat.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Grey is the runt of the pack, very interested in Mowgli's tricks, and the only one smart enough to avoid listening to Shere Khan's stories.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the temple of the Bandar-log, Mowgli picks up an old cowbell, right before King Louie (played by Christopher Walken) reveals himself.
    • In a later scene, Mowgli hides from King Louie behind a pillar and thinks the coast is clear, only for Louie to show up and shout "GOTCHA"! It bears a resemblance to a scene in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, where Frodo Baggins hides from the cave troll behind a pillar, only for the cave troll to show up a few seconds later.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Due to its supposed connection with Bigfoot, Gigantopithecus is often depicted standing upright like a man. Here, Louie is depicted running on his knuckles like modern apes, which Gigantopithecus more likely did in real life. note 
    • Unlike his original counterpart, Louie also averts Animal Gender-Bender by possessing cheek pads like male orangutans (though it is unclear whether male Gigantopithecus also possessed them, but given the genus's close relationship with orangutans, it's very likely).
    • Baloo, and a few other animals, tell Mowgli to apply some honey to his bee stings as a treatment. Honey is actually used as a topical analgesic and antiseptic. Although Baloo's statement that "only female bees sting" does zigzag the trope as all bees are females, except the drones whose only purpose is mating with the queen and aren't normally flying in the nest's defense.
    • In a sign of how much care was taken in designing the animal characters, Bagheera's spots are visible when the lights hits him just right.
    • Kaa never blinks onscreen—real snakes lack eyelids, instead having a transparent scale over each eye called a "brille", and thus cannot blink. Also, pythons are known to be quiet snakes, which is reflected by Kaa's eerily calm personality.
    • It makes sense why the jungle would look up to the elephants. Elephants are a keystone species that modify the ecosystem, such as clearing canopies for tree regeneration and keeping the plant population in check.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Reciting the Law of the Jungle to Shere Khan at the end. It was previously established that he killed for sport rather than survival. The message was clear: Mowgli is part of the're not.
  • Slasher Smile: Shere Khan gets one after taunting Mowgli about how he lasted much longer than his father. The fact that tigers don't smile makes it all the more creepy.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Unlike his 1967 counterpart who doesn't really contribute to the main plot dealing with Shere Khan, King Louie is not only the one to inform Mowgli that Shere Khan killed his adopted father Akela, which caused a small Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure for Mowgli with Bagheera and Baloo and drove Mowgli to go back and confront Shere Khan, but by telling him about how all animals fear man's "red flower", it leads to Mowgli getting a torch from the man-village to fight Shere Khan with, only to end up accidentally causing part of the jungle to burn.
  • Smug Snake: King Louie. While Shere Khan is a cunning chessmaster and Kaa (a literal snake) is dangerous but unaligned, King Louie is a manipulative schemer whose pride, ambition and short temper are ultimately responsible for his downfall.
  • Snakes Are Sexy: They certainly are when they're voiced by Scarlett Johansson.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Again, Kaa.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: A relatively mild example, but King Louie is presented as an enormous, extremely threatening Lightning Bruiser of a mob boss, rather than the comedic character of the original animated movie. Then he busts out with "I Wanna Be Like You".
  • The Speechless: The elephants, the civets that steal Mowgli's fruit, and King Louie's Bandar-Log minions never talk in the film. A comment by Mowgli to the civets ("do you have a language") suggests he may just be unable to understand them.
  • Sssssnake Talk: Unsurprisingly, Kaa does this.
    Kaa: Trusssssst in me...
  • Stealth Pun: When Mowgli first knocks down a honeycomb for Baloo, it ends up falling on a wild pig, and Baloo licks him. It's honeyed ham.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Downplayed with Shere Khan. While he is fixated on killing Mowgli, he doesn't hunt himself throughout the film like in the animated version. After his first attempt to catch him fails, he settles for waiting for Mowgli to come to him after hearing the news that the tiger killed Akela. That said, it probably wasn't a great idea for Khan at the end to chase after Mowgli into a burning forest.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • King Louie orders the Bandar-Log to throw Baloo off the cliff. Thing is, he's a bear and they're monkeys: as long as he puts forth any effort at all, they're not going to be able to move him. He barely even seems bothered by their efforts.
    • Mowgli wielding a torch stolen from the man-village. A young kid with no experience with handling fire while running through a jungle turns out to be disastrous, as Mowgli accidentally sets many of the trees aflame.
    • Khan is a widely feared, ruthless, powerful tiger. That said, a herd of stampeding buffalo don't hesitate to run him down when he happens to be in their path, and indeed, may not have even had a chance to realize he was in the way.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Shere Khan, just as he seems to be leaving the pack alone, throws Akela off a cliff for not turning Mowgli over to him.
  • The Ageless: The wolf cubs do not age during the months Mowgli is away from the pack. They would be noticeably larger, given how quickly wolf cubs grow (they are born in spring and are almost adult size by winter).
  • Those Two Guys: The porcupine and the peacock. They first fight for a stick and after the final battle they stand next to each other.
  • Took a Level in Badass: At the start of the film Mowgli is the slowest and weakest of the pack and viewed with indifference or scorn by most of the animals. By the end of the film, he's not only killed Shere Khan himself, but now trains the juvenile wolves and has the respect of all the beasts, even the elephants.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: A subplot involves Baloo convincing Mowgli to help him obtain lots of food for hibernation. The trailer includes a scene where Bagheera points out that Baloo doesn't hibernate. But the reveal is dropped pretty quickly in the film as well.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: Before the climax Mowgli steals a torch from the village and runs through the jungle to the wolves' pack in a single night.
  • Truer to the Text: While it's clearly based on the Disney movie, keeping a lot of its changes compared to the book (such as Baloo's laid-back personality, Kaa's Adaptational Villainy, the whole existence of King Louie), it also brings back a lot of elements from the book, including references to the Law of the Jungle and the Water Truce, the elephants being dignified characters respected by the jungle animals (Bagheera even tells a legend according to which they created the jungle), Shere Khan trying to gain leadership of the wolf pack, a buffalo stampede, and Mowgli stealing the fire from the man-village to confront Shere Khan.
  • The Unfettered: One of the reasons everyone fears Shere Khan is that he's perfectly willing to break the jungle law if it doesn't suit him.
  • Undying Loyalty: When the temple ruins collapsed on King Louie, the Bander Logs quickly went to digging their king out from under the rubble.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Akela and the wolf pack send Mowgli back to a man village so that Shere Khan is not bothered by the presence of a human in the jungle. What does the tiger do after he learns this? He kills Akela to lure Mowgli back, taking control of the wolf pack as their new alpha while he's at it.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: A mild one with King Louie. In his one scene he wants to learn how to use the "red flower" because it would make him the most powerful animal in the jungle, as everyone lives in fear of it. As usual he doesn't succeed, but by telling Mowgli that, he gave him the idea to obtain a torch to fight against Shere Khan, but unfortunately he sets the entire jungle on fire.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: This version of Shere Khan is far more serious than his animated counterpart. His initial act of threating to kill Mowgli at the water truce and a few minutes later, his murder of Akela most certainly establishes him as this. Exaggerated when he threatens to kill Raksha's pups and when he beats everyone down in the final battle with ease. The film is relatively lighthearted when he's not around.
  • Villain Ball: From the moment his invoked Honor Before Reason ploy with Mowgli backfires, Shere Khan pretty much runs with this like a house cat with a ball of yarn. He could easily have killed all of his enemies if he weren't so focused on getting to Mowgli, given how effortlessly he knocks them aside when they Zerg Rush him. His hold on it gets even tighter when he corners Mowgli on a dead branch that he has even heard cracking on his weight, while a huge fire rages below him.
  • Villain Has a Point: During the confrontation in the ruins, King Louie tells Mowgli to stop running from who he truly is; Mowgli's biggest struggle is to discover his true identity, and it would take a while for him to come to terms with the fact that he's human.
  • Villain Song:
    • Kaa sings one, "Trust in Me", during the credits.
    • King Louie also gets his own rendition of "I Wanna Be Like You," which is spun into something a little more violent and selfish to reflect Louie's Adaptational Villainy. However, the credits version features Louie singing it to the audience after surviving the collapse of his temple, out of Villain Song territory, with it being every bit as fun and light-hearted as the original version was in 1967.
  • Vine Swing: Mowgli does an engineered version of this (with a cut vine he's turned into a grappling hook) at the climax to escape the dead tree he trapped Shere Khan on.
  • Voodoo Shark: King Louie isn't an orangutan in this version because that would be a case of Misplaced Wildlife. Fair enough, but instead they made him a Gigantopithecus, which has been extinct for at least 100,000 years. So in an attempt at averting misplaced wildlife on a geographic level, they did it on a temporal level.
  • We Can Rule Together: Louie attempts this trope to persuade Mowgli to show him the secret of the red flower. Whether he would actually have made good on that deal is another issue entirely.
  • We Need a Distraction: When Mowgli is kidnapped by King Louie, Baloo arrives and puts on an act of lamely trying to flatter Louie so he can join their clan, while Bagheera directs Mowgli to an escape. However, one of the monkeys spots them and raises alarm.
  • Wham Line: King Louie revealed to Mowgli about Akela.
    King Louie: Akela? didn't hear? Shere Khan killed him. Must have been on account of you.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It is unknown what happened to Kaa after Baloo attacks her and rescues Mowgli. Either she was just wounded or killed, it is currently unknown.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Mowgli gives one to Bagheera and Baloo after he learned from King Louie that Shere Khan killed Akela and never told him about it.
  • Wise Serpent: Kaa, whilst still evil as per the original animated film, is significantly more intelligent, just like her literary counterpart. She manages to lull Mowgli into a false sense of security by inviting him to look into her eyes and learn about his past, but at the same time she tells him the complete truth about the "Red Flower" and why Shere Khan wants to kill him. It's because Mowgli's father scarred the tiger's face with a torch to defend his son at the cost of his own life.
  • Work Info Title: Well, it's an adaptation of an actual book.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Inverted. King Louie gloats over his 'treasure,' which is mostly composed of rusting metal pots.
  • "X" Marks the Hero: Mowgli already has a thin scar on his chest at the beginning, and he gains another scar crossing it after fighting Shere Khan.
  • You Killed My Father: Shere Khan kills Mowgli's adoptive wolf father Akela for refusing to give him Mowgli, and its revealed by Kaa that Shere Khan also killed his biological father when he was but a toddler. Though Mowgli is more devastated of Akela's death, which is understandable since he never really knew his human father, and he grew up with Akela's pack, therefore having more emotional attachment to the former.
  • Zerg Rush:
    • The entirety of the Bandar Log launches themselves against Bagheera and Baloo in this fashion. Only King Louie getting buried alive makes them call it off.
    • The wolves try this against Shere Khan in the climax. It only slows Shere Khan down, but gives Mowgli time to start setting a trap for him.


Video Example(s):


Shere Khan is Scar

ClassicMan D brings up how Shere Khan from the Jungle Book live action remake is an expy of Scar from the Lion King.

How well does it match the trope?

4.2 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / Expy

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