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Nightmare Fuel / The Jungle Book

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As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

Book

  • In the original book and some theatrical versions, Tabaqui, Shere Khan's rabid jackal sidekick, has a habit of turning from a Professional Butt-Kisser to an Axe-Crazy maniac, and it's hinted that when he's in his manic stage he could probably take Shere Khan despite being a quarter of his size.
    • And the fact that he spends the entire play eying up Mowgli's ankle-bone (which Shere Khan promised to him when he finally kills him) and basically sees him as a walking talking meal doesn't put anyone at ease...
  • Another case from the novel: Kaa hypnotizes the Bandar-Log to save Mowgli. He first charms them so that they cannot move any part of their bodies unless he commands them to, then puts them in a complete trance using "The Dance of the Hungry Kaa". As the dance progresses, he commands them all to move one step closer straight into his waiting maw. Worse still, while Mowgli is immune to Kaa's charms, the hypnosis almost effects Bagheera and Baloo as well, and if Mowgli hadn't stopped them from moving forward when he did, Kaa would likely have eaten them too.
    • This scene is worked into animation in the Adventures of Mowgli animated film. And it is terrifying.
  • Mowgli learns that the village persecuted his mother. Once he gets her and her husband to safety, he destroys the village. Slowly. Over a period of months. Without killing anyone. Bagheera is (half-jokingly?) terrified of him when he realizes what Mowgli is up to. There's even a scene where the fleeing villagers take one last look back at Hathi the elephant breaking down their walls.
    • Initially it's slow. Then Hathi pricks his foot on a splinter. Whatever remained was gone by the end of the day.
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1967 film

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jungle_book_disneyscreencapscom_7820.jpg
"Everyone runs from Shere Khan."
  • Kaa hypnotizing Mowgli to be nearly eaten by him, especially with the voice of Winnie the Pooh.
    • Doubly so in a meta sense when you realize Mowgli's voice actor (Bruce Reitherman) also voiced Christopher Robin. So, if you close your eyes, it sounds like Winnie WANTS TO EAT Christopher Robin.
    • Both scenes really show how helpless Mowgli is against Kaa. Even when Mowgli knows what he's trying to do, Kaa manages to get him to relax his guard with just a few words. If Bagheera and Shere Khan hadn't been there, Mowgli would have been dead for sure.
    • What really turns it scary is when Kaa shakes himself off from the whack Bagheera has given to him, turns to the panther, and tells him what a serious mistake he's just made. If you never thought that voice could be cold and threatening, you were wrong. Not to mention, the implication that he's capable of killing and/or eating a panther.
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    • Pythons that size are capable of that. Leopards (any color) are a standard, albeit rare, part of their diet.
  • Shere Khan, period. Whenever he's around, the comedy ends and you run for your life.
    Shere Khan: "I'll kill you for this!"
    • Baloo is a little unsettled when Bagheera explains this as another reason he can't keep Mowgli. When jolly old Papa Bear starts getting serious, that's a sign that the cat is bad news.
    Bagheera: Sooner or later, Mowgli will meet Shere Khan.
    Baloo: [suddenly looks concerned] The tiger? What's he got against the kid?
    Bagheera: He hates man with a vengeance, you know that! Because he fears man's gun and man's fire.
    Baloo: But little Mowgli don't have those things!
    Bagheera: Shere Khan won't wait until he does! He'll get Mowgli while he's young and helpless! Just one SWIPE!
    • In the book, the reason Khan hunts Mowgli is because humans happen to be one of the few preys he can catch because of his bad leg, which in turn makes him a pariah among the animals because killing humans will just make all the other humans go apeshit and attack indiscriminately. In the movie however, Khan is perfectly healthy, he's just a sadistic fuck who hates humans, and on top of that, is an apex predator everyone else is scared shitless of.
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1994 film

  • The initial attack of Shere Khan on the village is extremely intense, especially with Mowgli's father being killed.
  • Mowgli's introduction to Kaa. It's a very intense fight and surprisingly bloody for a PG film.
    • Kaa, despite being a snake (let alone a reptile), seemingly has the ability to scowl.
  • The scene where Mowgli sees Boone's trophy room is absolutely horrifying. Mowgli looks around the room seeing all the rugs and mounted heads from animals that Boone has shot, and each time we see a new one, we hear the animal's dying screams.
  • Baloo getting shot. Sure, he survives, but seeing such a cute, lovable and defenseless character in pain and possibly dying is enough to give any child nightmares.
  • Tabaqui's unstable grimace when he tries to kill Mowgli is just demonic!
  • The second half of the film plays almost like a horror movie as the villains are picked off one by one. Unlike Mowgli, they don't know what to avoid in the jungle. One man slowly drowns in quicksand. One is mauled to death by Shere Khan. Another falls off a cliff onto jagged rocks. One of the final ones gets buried alive in salt.
    • Boone's death, however, may go down as one of the most disturbing in Disney film history. After Mowgli and Kitty run off, all of the monkeys, including King Louie, go dead quiet (the solemn look on King Louie's face is enough to make the audience go, "Uh oh..."). And then, suddenly, Kaa appears, alive and well and hungry. Boone falls into the water and sees all the skulls of various men that Kaa has killed over the years. As we see each skull we hear the dying screams of each man. Boone himself starts screaming, only for Kaa to attack and kill him.
      • This scene is extra disturbing when you realize it's a callback to the trophy room scene. Boone is treated to Kaa's own "trophy room", a collection of skeletons from previous treasure hunters, their dying screams but ghosts. He dies knowing he's gone from hunter to hunted. And like those animals he hunted, his scream is a dying one...

  • The 2016 live-action version has its own page.

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