|"No matter how fast you run. No matter where you hide, I will catch you."|
|— Shere Khan to Mowgli in The Jungle Book 2|
Background[edit | edit source]
As a cub, Shere Khan was best friends with Baloo, Bagheera, Louie, Hathi, and Kaa. However, he was pretty egotistical and cocky, which sometimes led to his friends bailing him out. Nonetheless, he was shown many times to be fond of his friends and often act protective of them when there was danger and in many episodes he even saved their lifes. He was also shown to be very affectionate and loving toward his old grandmother. Despite this, Khan always acted tough as he thought the other animals wouldn't respect him anymore if they think he is soft. The group went on many adventures together. But at some undetermined time, Shere Khan became a vicious predator, feared by all the inhabitants of the jungle. Shere Khan then lost his friends, who would become his enemies from that moment forward. Despite this, in the DVD scenes of Jungle Cubs: Born to be Wild, Baloo, now an adult, says that while Khan would "first eat and then ask questions" he doesn't do it out of malice, implying that like the other predators Khan simply hunts to survive.
Personality[edit | edit source]
|"Oh, please don't insult my intelligence. It makes me irritable."|
|— Shere Khan to Kaa in The Jungle Book 2|
Shere Khan acts as the physical embodiment of power and composure. With a dignified manner of carrying himself, and a strong sense of pride and elegance, the ruthless tiger is viewed as the uncorroborated ruler of the jungles of India; he is well aware of this reputation, as he takes advantage of it sadistically. Most, if not all residents of the jungle, are known to fear Shere Khan, and for reasons apparent: he is physically imposing, often seen with a stoic, menacing expression. The only moments where he's seen emoting otherwise is during his interrogations with potential victims, in which he speaks with a soft tone, coupled with a condescending and knowing smile, as he subtly taunts and emotionally torments his prey until he's ready to make the killing strike.
Shere Khan holds a burning hatred for mankind and vows to kill any human that steps foot within the jungle. It has been strongly implied that Shere Khan sees humans as unforgiving, and soulless creatures who continuously cause havoc on nature, using narcissistic entitlement as justification for such acts. According to Bagheera, Khan hates man "with a vengeance", with both man's gun and man's fire having been involved in the creation of such hatred. Khan's fear of fire is the most dominant of the two and acts as a crippling phobia capable of driving the tiger to immediate panic. With such anger and rage, Shere Khan's normally somber and collected demeanor can become murderous, bloodthirsty, and feral in a matter of moments, as seen during his first confrontation with Mowgli in the original film, as he was willing to kill both the man-cub, and any animal who dared to protect him, without hesitation.
In the sequel, Shere Khan's personality and overall aura take a somewhat darker turn. Unlike the first film, his polite mannerisms and calm monologues are a rarity, as his bitterness and hatred towards Mowgli drive him to deeper madness, resulting in action being taken much quicker and having no comedic quirks. He is also more feral in this film.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Shere Khan makes his first physical appearance 2/3rds through the film, where he is stalking a deer as prey. His hunt was ruined when Colonel Hathi came marching by with his herd and scared it away, much to Shere Khan's annoyance. After Bagheera stopped them, Shere Khan eavesdropped on their conversation and was delighted when he heard about Mowgli, who had managed to escape Bagheera in hopes of staying in the jungle; without the panther at his side, the boy was now devoid of protection. After Bagheera and Hathi's herd separated to locate the man-cub, Khan began his own hunt for Mowgli.
After searching for some time, he heard Kaa seducing a victim and became suspicious. He grabbed Kaa's tail and got him to come down, subsequently questioning him about Mowgli. Kaa acted strangely while answering his questions, even attempting to hypnotize him, and his suspicious behavior prompted Shere Khan to search his coils for Mowgli. When it appeared that Kaa was truthful, Khan ordered him to act as an informative should the former come across the man-cub. Kaa agreed, and Khan took his leave.
Shere Khan's travels eventually led to the wastelands, where he overhears a flock of vultures singing. After investigating the occasion, he found Mowgli and calmly approached the group. Impressed by Mowgli's courage (being that he refused to immediately run at the sight of the tiger), Shere Khan gave the boy ten seconds to run away. Khan became more and more annoyed when he didn't, and eventually lunged for the killing strike. Baloo, Mowgli's friend, intervened by grabbing Khan's tail. As Shere Khan struggled to break free of Baloo's grip, the vultures carried Mowgli to safety.
Shere Khan then furiously battled Baloo and nearly killed him. The vultures intervened and stalled the tiger while Mowgli tied a burning branch to his tail. Upon noticing, Khan became terrified and frantically tried to put out the fire, but to no avail, forcing him to flee the wasteland with the burning branch still tied to his tail, and greatly humiliating him in the process.
Shere Khan returned once again as the main antagonist in the second film. Unlike in the first, he appeared much earlier and is far more evil and antagonistic. He is first seen smashing a makeshift version of Mowgli's head after Baloo left the area with Bagheera in pursuit. He seeks revenge on Mowgli for humiliating him at the climax of the original film and wishes for nothing more than his death. Khan travels to the Man-Village where Mowgli dwells.
He had no luck until he heard Shanti, one of Mowgli's friends, calling him. He then found Mowgli's house and was delighted that he would now have his chance for revenge. He became impatient when Mowgli didn't appear. All at once, Mowgli appeared in the air above the house. After Shanti started screaming about a wild animal, Khan noticed it was Baloo with Mowgli and was surprised. After the villagers responded to Shanti's calls, they saw Shere Khan instead of Baloo and chased him out of the village. Khan was attacked by the villagers with torches but they had no power over him. He escaped in rage but overjoyed to hear that Mowgli is now in the jungle. He encountered Kaa afterward, who had seen Mowgli. Kaa at first insisted he didn't know where Mowgli was, but Shere Khan knew better and intimidated him, even though Kaa was telling the truth.
Out of fear, Kaa told Khan to search by the swamp. However, when Khan arrived, Mowgli is nowhere to be found and he splashes the water in fury as he says "That snake lied to me!" The vultures return and become uneasy when their newest member Lucky begins to insanely mock him. After a few "jokes", Shere Khan tricks Lucky into revealing Mowgli's whereabouts. Before Khan leaves, he viciously mauls Lucky as revenge for the annoyance and presumably kills him. Later on, he found Shanti and Ranjan and cornered them. Mowgli then appeared to find them and Khan confronted him.
Mowgli ran away and Khan pursued him to a temple in the middle of a pool of lava. After Baloo and Shanti teamed up and started to bang gongs with Mowgli, one fell down revealing Shanti. He then said he would kill her if Mowgli wouldn't come out. Mowgli did and he pursued him and Shanti after knocking Baloo aside. Mowgli and Shanti jumped onto a tiger statue right over a pit of lava with Shere Khan right behind them. Before he could kill them, the statue's head fell off towards the lava. Baloo saved Mowgli and Shanti, while Khan fell into the pit. Rather than perishing, he landed on a slab of rock and was trapped underneath the statue's head. Lucky, still alive but lost the feathers on his body and has a bruised right eye, then flew down and started to tease Khan again, much to his annoyance.
Shere Khan appeared as a young cub in the animated series Jungle Cubs, voiced by Jason Marsden. In the series, it was shown that Shere Khan was friends with Baloo, Bagheera, Hathi, Louie, and Kaa during childhood. Shere Khan was more of a bully and cocky in the series rather than a dangerous predator. Khan often tagged along with Baloo and friends on many adventures, usually trying to prove he's braver than they are. In the series, Shere Khan is given an American accent, while in other appearances, Khan speaks with a British accent. He seems to be the oldest of the cubs. He is sometimes called Khanny by the others.
In spite of being a cub, Khan still holds his intimidating demeanor and continues to strike fear into the hearts of many of the jungle's inhabitants. However, his cocky attitude can get him and his friends into trouble with foes even he's frightened by, usually by bigger animals. Khan prefers to refer to the others as his followers rather than his friends, even though he obviously enjoys spending time with them. During the second season though, while still friends with the other cubs, he becomes less often seen with them and spends more time hunting. Much like an adult, Khan was sometimes found with Kaa. In one episode, the duo teamed up to take advantage of Louie, after he accidentally injured them. Acting as if they were too injured to do anything themselves, they spent the day bossing the ape around.
Khan is the least physically-changed of the cubs during the second season: He is slightly taller with brighter fur, but still has the same voice actor.
In Jungle Cubs: Born to Be Wild DVD, Khan, as an adult, returned to murder Mowgli yet again; however, Baloo was able to throw a beehive onto the tiger's head right before he could, having him run off in pain.
TaleSpin[edit | edit source]
Shere Khan appeared in a more anthropomorphic form in the television series TaleSpin. Tony Jay provides his thick, British-accented voice starting from the series, until his death.
Khan is an extremely wealthy CEO who is the dominant economic force in Cape Suzette and an anti-hero. He is depicted as a selfish business man. He is sometimes accompanied by an unnamed emaciated tiger "yes-man" office aide. He takes enjoyment out of running small companies out of business (Higher for Hire is sometimes on his hit list) with a sense of ruthlessness to skirt around the law as he chooses. He also likes to feed tiny insects to the many carnivorous plants he grows in his office. He once even hired the Air Pirates to create an artificial oil shortage so he could extort higher prices from the public in "On a Wing and a Bear".
He has a well-armed air force and navy, complete with battleships. This is mainly to protect his shipping and business interests worldwide. However, he is willing to act nobly at times, such as ordering his forces into the air to protect the city from the Air Pirates, and has shown that he respects Baloo's piloting skills, most notably when he allowed Baloo to take over piloting his plane after having all pilots replaced with his own robotic pilots; his plane had been ambushed by the air pirates and the robotic pilot refused to deviate from its flight plan due to its programming causing Baloo to forcefully remove the robot and take control of the plane to evade the air pirates.
He has an extremely cool and calm personality, rarely (if ever) showing any sort of alarm or surprise regardless of the circumstances. In fact, when his plane was attacked by Don Karnage's forces in the incident detailed above, he calmly mixed himself a drink as he explained the situation to Baloo.
This version of Shere Khan also makes a cameo on a mugshot in Bonkers.
This version of Shere Khan is influenced for CEO Carl, the main antagonist of the CG animated TV series, Talking Tom and Friends.
House of Mouse[edit | edit source]
Shere Khan appeared in the TV series House of Mouse as a recurring guest, usually seen sitting either alone or with Kaa. In most of his pairings with Kaa, he is often seen holding Kaa by the neck, like in the movie.
In his most notable appearance in "The Mouse Who Came to Dinner", Mortimer Mouse was pretending to be the club's critic (which was really Lumiere) to have Mickey and friends obey him, annoying them and the other guests including Shere Khan. When Mortimer demanded real entertainment (instead of Huey, Dewey, and Louie), Shere Khan agreed with Lumiere (who stated that the entertainment is excellent) that Mortimer was the one who was annoying and asked "Do you mind?" to which Mortimer replied, "Yeah, as a matter of fact, I do mind, Stripey! Somebody get Tigger's evil twin here a ball of yarn!" Later, when it's revealed Mortimer is the star of the "celebrity roast", Shere Khan comments "How delightful," causing Mortimer to retort, "Oh be quiet, Mr. Cat Food!"
A dish called Shere Khan's Flan, named after the villainous tiger, is mentioned by Goofy in "Rent Day".
In "Dining Goofy", Shere Khan and Kaa were accidentally given broccoli by Goofy. He used one of his claws on Goofy to make it clear that he (and Kaa) was not a vegetarian. Soon after Goofy was replaced by advanced technology, Shere Khan and Kaa's meal order was corrected and they both got a giant steak to eat.
In "Goofy's Menu Magic", when a food shortage occurred, Goofy attempted to serve Shere Khan his shoe for dinner (an apparent reference to the Goofy short "Tiger Trouble"). Shere Khan, however, was unamused.
In "Ask Von Drake", Shere Khan appears with Kaa during "The Ludwig Von Drake Song".
Despite appearing in the series itself, Shere Khan never appeared in its movie Mickey's House of Villains, as Kaa is the only villain from The Jungle Book to join the Disney Villains, led by Jafar to take over the House of Mouse. However, in the opening sequence, a tiger's paw is seen on-screen as the characters are walking towards the club. So it could be possible that only Shere Khan's paw was seen once in the movie.
Video games[edit | edit source]
The Jungle Book[edit | edit source]
Shere Khan appeared as the final boss in the Virgin Studios video game adaptation of The Jungle Book. Here, he swipes and roars at Mowgli as the latter pelts him with bananas to lead to Khan's eventual defeat. Shere Khan is also featured in the video game The Jungle Book 2.
The Jungle Book: Rhythm N'Groove[edit | edit source]
Shere Khan also appears in The Jungle Book: Rhythm N'Groove PlayStation 2 game. As the game follows the storyline of the original film, Shere Khan's goal is the same as the film. However, Khan appears much earlier in the game. During the climax of the game, Shere Khan is given his own song in the form of "Run".
Disney Magic Kingdoms[edit | edit source]
Shere Khan appeared with The Jungle Book collection as the antagonist. During the storyline, Khan arrives in the Kingdom in search of Mowgli, but is fended off by Bagheera. Mowgli then decides to take on Khan, himself, but is aided by Baloo, Bagheera and King Louie. Once Khan gets fire to his tail, he flees the kingdom in fear.
Other games[edit | edit source]
Shere Khan is featured as a boss in QuackShot, battling Donald Duck. He attacks by roaring fire from his mouth.
For Disney Universe, a Shere Khan costume is available to buy on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for The Jungle Book costume pack.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
|"Now, I'm going to close my eyes and cout to ten. It makes the chase more interesting...for me"|
|— Shere Khan to Mowgli in The Jungle Book (1967)|
|"That snake lied to me!"|
|— Shere Khan to himself in The Jungle Book 2|
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The word Shere (or "shir") translates as "tiger" or "lion" in Persian, Hindi, and Punjabi. While Khan translates as "sovereign", "king", or "military leader" and so forth in a number of languages influenced by the Mongols, including Pashto. In other words, Shere Khan's name means "Tiger King" or "King of the Tigers".