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YMMV / The Jungle Book

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For the original books:

  • "Common Knowledge": People tend to refer to "The Jungle Book" as a novel when it is actually a collection of short stories and tend to refer to it as if all stories happen in the same book when there are two different volumes with the second being called, naturally, "The Second Jungle Book."
  • Creepy Awesome: Kaa, who's terrifying and ancient, but also a Cool Old Guy who kicks all sorts of ass.
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  • Draco in Leather Pants: It's very common for people to depict Nag and Nagaina as a sympathetic mother and father trying to help raise their family, and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi as the villain... ignoring that the former two tried to murder three innocent humans.
  • Fair for Its Day: Kipling is widely recognized as a jingoist, proud of British Imperialism and all its accomplishments. Certainly there's an uncomfortableness in some of the themes in the books. However, the Jungle Books held some lessons that are still very apposite, and his depiction of the seals' plight in 'The White Seal' is a heartbreaker very much in tune with modern views.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Shere Khan, actually. Hunting humans is a crime, but with his injured back leg, he doesn't have much of a choice if he wants to stay alive.
  • Mainstream Obscurity: It's not so much that people don't know the book exists, it's more the fact that people don't seem to understand that the novel and the Disney animated movie are vastly different in more ways than one.
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  • Viewer Species Confusion: Baloo was specifically referred to as a "sleepy brown bear" in the original novels. However, many people tend to believe he's a sloth bear due to the region the novel sets in.
  • The Woobie: Mowgli. His entire life is one long, hard lesson about 1; learning how to be stronger than those who try to kill you, and 2; anyone might betray you and try to kill you before you even understand why.


For the Disney animated movie:

  • Adaptation Displacement: More people know about the aforementioned Disney movie than Kipling's books.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Shere Khan could be interpreted as an avenger against Man, seeing how they have hunted and killed his species purely for their striped pelts. Bagheera does mention at one point that Shere Kahn will not let Mowgli grow up to be "another hunter with a gun". A storybook adaptation of the film even stated that Shere Khan had once been shot by a hunter.
    • There's a lot of debate on This Very Wiki whether Shere Khan is Affably Evil or Faux Affably Evil.
    • In the books, he's born crippled, meaning he finds it easier to hunt humans. This is a common explanation for many man-eating predators. The film removes his lameness, and therefore his reason for attacking humans.
    • As some have noted, King Louie's desire to "be human" may be less playful than he implies. What do most animals in the jungle fear? The power of fire. If an animal has the power over fire, they could rule the jungle uncontested. He even says himself that he's the king of the apes, and that's not enough for him. Being a king over other primates is not where he wants to cap out. This is exactly the direction the 2016 live-action / CGI movie took the character into, making him a fully-fledged villain who wants to take over the jungle with the power of fire.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Mowgli seems far more choked up about leaving Baloo (who he's known for all of a couple of days) than his wolf family that raised him for about a decade.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Kaa is praised as one of the most entertaining villains in Disney Animated Canon and, due to his Hypnotic Eyes, has garnered an unusual fanbase. A second scene was in fact produced for the movie after he proved popular with test audiences.
    • While Shere Khan had little screen-time for a Disney baddie, his build-up and mannerism made him quite the scene-stealer when he finally made his appearances. He even stole a scene from Kaa.
    • King Louie, who has just one scene (and musical number), but is very fondly remembered as a highlight of the movie.
    • Shanti originally wasn't very popular, but fans warmed considerably up to her after she'd been given a name and a personality, and became one of the main characters in The Jungle Book 2. The sequel itself is considered average at best, but Shanti got a sizeable fanbase.
  • Evil Is Cool: Shere Khan the tiger arguably personifies this trope. It’s kind of funny considering he’s a lesser evil Disney Villain and can still encompass this trope. This is what happens when you’re portrayed as a big, brutal badass and a well-mannered gentleman.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The film is the most popular of Disney's animated films in Germany and still remains a box office record holder there, the result of Superlative Dubbing.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Baloo's concern that the Man Village "will make a man out of [Mowgli]" becomes funnier once you've seen the film's spinoff series TaleSpin, which stars a fully-anthropomorphized Baloo.
    • Shere Khan is a tiger with a British voice and is implied to be somewhat insane. Richard Waugh later mentions that he used Shere Khan's voice as the inspiration for how he would voice Albert Wesker from the Resident Evil series, who is a really bad individual and also happens to possess feline eyes after a certain incident involving a serum.
    • "That's What Friends Are For" was originally going to be more faithful to what The Beatles were doing, but Walt thought it would make the movie dated.
    • The reason for Kaa's Adaptational Villainy was because of Disney believing that snakes are sinister. Years later, Disney would release The Princess and the Frog, where one of the characters is a snake... who is not sinister at all.
  • Ho Yay: So much between Baloo and Bagheera.
    • In particular, this exchange:
    Bagheera: You can't adopt Mowgli as your son.
    Baloo: Why not?
    Bagheera: How can I put it... Baloo, birds of a feather should flock together. You wouldn't marry a panther, would you?
    Baloo: I don't know. [laughs] Come to think of it, no panther ever asked me. [nudges Bagheera in the ribs]
    • The film ends with Baloo and Bagheera literally walking off into the sunset together. This occurs seconds after Baloo advises Mowgli to swear off women.
  • Memetic Badass: One of the main reasons why Shere Khan is so popular.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "What are we gonna do?" "I don't know; whatcha wanna do?" "Hey, don't start that again!"
    • The Jungle Book wedgie (The scene where Bagheera tried to drag Mowgli to the Man Village by his loincloth while Mowgli held onto a tree) is very popular.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • The portrayal of Shere Khan as a tiger lacking a lame leg originates with the 1942 screen adaptation.
    • The film's main theme "Jungle Beat" was originally written for the 1964 New York World's Fair under the title "Serengeti Serenade".
  • One-Scene Wonder: Shanti who just appears at the end to sing a song.
  • Padding: The elephants, who contribute next to nothing to keep Shere Khan away even as they march about military-style to defend their jungle.
  • Popular with Furries: Kaa is the most influential snake character for the scaly fandom. Due to him, and to a lesser extent Sir Hiss from Robin Hood, many snake characters have similar Hypnotic Eyes.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • One of the main criticisms against the movie is that Mowgli himself felt flat, underdeveloped and passive in his own story, making him easily overshadowed by the villains and supporting characters.
    • The wolves, compared to the novels and most adaptations, are fairly minor characters with barely any characterisation. Their relationship with Mowgli is given only passing mention, and they get no appearance or even so much as a mentioning in the sequel.
  • Toy Ship: Mowgli can't be older than ten, but that doesn't stop the similar-aged village girl Shanti from making goo-goo eyes at him.
  • Unfortunate Implications: A notable example of deliberately trying to avert this trope. Disney originally had Louis Armstrong in mind to voice King Louie, but they ultimately went with Italian-American jazz musician Louis Prima instead, out of concern that casting an African-American as an ape who has a number on how he wants to be a human too would raise eyebrows.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Many people find Kid Hero Mowgli the least interesting character in the movie, in contrast to the funny and entertaining animals he interacts with (all of them, including Bagheera).
  • Values Dissonance: Shanti in the original film is portrayed as a shameless Fille Fatale, with the camera lingering over her batting her eyelashes at Mowgli etc., in a way that no kids' film would present a ten-year-old child today.
  • What an Idiot!: Kaa answering Bagheera's call for Mowgli to remain quiet til morning wasn't a bright idea, especially since he would've gotten away with eating the man cub if he hadn't done so.

For the Chuck Jones adaptations:

  • Designated Villain: The humans in 'The White Seal.' The fact that they only take a few young bulls a year, make use of their skins, and apparently do this on an overcrowded beach of seals makes them somewhat easy to sympathize with.
  • Ear Worm: From Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. "Who has delivered us, who? Tell me his nest and his name!"
  • Fridge Brilliance: In "Mowgli's Brothers", Shere Khan is portrayed as a white tiger rather than the normal orange tiger from the original book and all other adaptations, despite the fact white tigers have existed only in captivity since 1951, and would have difficulty surviving due to the lack of camoflague as well as health problems. However in the book Khan has a crippled leg, which rarely appears in adaptations, such as this in which all of his legs are normal, meaning that being a white tiger replaces his crippled leg as his disability. The story also takes place before 1951, making it more possible.

For the 80s anime adaptation:

  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The anime's incarnation of Kaa for being far truer to the books than most of his other animated counterparts.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: This anime was very popular in India, probably more popular there than Japan, its native country. Its even more popular than the Disney animated movie.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Lala spends a lot of her time in early episodes being a complete bitch and bully to Mowgli but she's really just insecure over her father's absence in the pack.
    • Tabaqui one time tried to eat a wounded Mowgli and attacked his girlfriend in another episode but he's so pathetic that he borders on being cute.
  • Villain Decay: In episode 27, Shere Khan is notably more cowardly than before. Whereas he would previously brush Bagheera aside as a minor nuisance, here he is hesitant to attack Mowgli with Bagheera present despite their taunting and mockery; he also steps back when Bagheera growls at him even though he has a group of hyenas to support him.
  • The Woobie: The nameless hyena that Bagheera interrogated in episode 38. The thing was so terrified of the panther, that it actually had tears in its eyes.

For the 2012 DQ Entertainment adaptation:

  • Jerkass Woobie: Tabaqui. Yes, he tries to trick, trap, manipulate and lie to Mowgli several times but he suffers more physical and verbal abuse than any other character in the series, often leaving him a shivering and terrified wreck. His Adorkable antics when he actually isn't up to something bad only makes him all the more cute and pitiful.
  • Moe:
    • Tabaqui most certainly qualifies despite being a Manipulative Bastard and a notorious Smug Snake. He's especially cute when frightened or terrified and is known to whimper softly when sad and make Puppy-Dog Eyes. Plus, he can be pretty Adorkable at times.
    • Chota, the little tiger cub.
  • Ugly Cute: A few characters, most notably Rana the warthog.
  • Uncanny Valley: Some character can come across as this because of the CGI style, most notably Mowgli.
  • The Woobie: Rana the warthog. Despite his Hair-Trigger Temper, the only two episodes he's had a major role in involve him being bullied and picked on by the Banda Log. His Ugly Cute appearance only amplifies his status as one.

For the 1993/1994 video game based on the Disney animated movie:

  • No Problem with Licensed Games: The game is a fun, polished platformer with sprites resembling the movie, as with many of Virgin's Disney games. Special mention goes to the Sega Genesis version, which was intended to be released around the 1993 holiday season, but was delayed to about six months later to give the developers the time they needed to iron out the game's programming problems, averting the Christmas Rushed trope.


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