Mowgli is a man-cub raised by the Indian wolf Raksha and her pack led by Akela ever since he was brought to them as a baby by the black panther Bagheera. Bagheera trains Mowgli to learn the ways of the wolves but Mowgli faces certain challenges and lags behind his wolf siblings, and Bagheera berates him for using human tricks like tool building, instead of learning the ways of the pack.
One day, during the dry season, all the animals in the jungle gather at the Peace Rock to drink the water that remains as part of the Water Truce, a timeout called during a drought that enables all animals to gather at a water hole without fear of being eaten by larger, more predatory animals. The truce is disrupted when the fearsome Bengal tiger Shere Khan detects Mowgli's scent amongst the crowd, and threatens his life since man is not welcome in the jungle. He holds the scars on his face as evidence of man's cruel and destructive nature; Mowgli's father burned his face when he tried to attack him and Mowgli. He issues a warning that when the Water Truce ends and the Peace Rock disappears, he will kill Mowgli, and leaves. Soon after, a debate and argument arises amongst the wolf pack as to decide whether they should keep Mowgli. However, before a consensus is reached, Mowgli voluntarily decides to leave the jungle for the sake and safety of his pack, with the agreement of Bagheera, who volunteers to guide the man-cub to the human village nearby.
Enroute, Shere Khan ambushes them, injuring Bagheera while Mowgli manages to escape with the help of a herd of water buffaloes. Mowgli, now alone, stumbles upon a thick canopy where he meets Kaa, an enormous Indian python who lures him in with promises of safety and an assurance that she knows who and what Mowgli truly is. Kaa's hypnosis shows Mowgli a vision of his father being killed by Shere Khan and of himself as an abandoned infant being found by Bagheera and also warns of the destructive power of fire, as the animals call the "red flower". Having hypnotized him, Kaa attempts to devour Mowgli, but he is rescued by a Himalayan brown bear-resembling sloth bear named Baloo. In exchange for saving Mowgli's life, Baloo tells Mowgli to fetch him honey which is atop a cliff, to which Mowgli reluctantly agrees. Together, they form a close bond as Baloo request's him that they should work as a team as Baloo's power and Mowgli's tricks to get things easily will help them both so Mowgli decides to stay with Baloo until the winter season arrives. Meanwhile, Shere Khan returns to the wolf pack. Asking about Mowgli, Akela answers that he had left the jungle. Furious, Shere Khan throws him off the nearby cliff, killing him. Confident that Mowgli will return, Shere Khan takes over the pack so as to lure Mowgli to his death.
When Bagheera returns to fetch Mowgli, he discovers that Mowgli has decided to live with Baloo, and has utilized various equipment, to his anger. A heated debate flares, with all agreeing to sleep on it until the morning. At night, Mowgli hears a cry for help and discovers that a baby Indian elephant is trapped in a deep pit. Using his equipment and tricks, he fashions a vine rope to rescue the baby elephant, forming a bond with the elephants.
While watching, Baloo agrees to Bagheera's plan to lie to Mowgli saying that he never considered him a friend, hoping that the boy will change his mind about staying with him. While on a tree, Mowgli is suddenly kidnapped by monkeys who present him to King Louie, a Bornean orangutan-resembling Gigantopithecus who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the "red flower". Baloo arrives to distract the monkeys and Bagheera leads him out secretly, but ends up being discovered. King Louie chases Mowgli through the temple, causing it to crumble and knock him out, but before this, he informs Mowgli of Akela's death. Furious that Baloo and Bagheera never told him, he angrily asks Bagheera about Akela's death, to which he answers that they were going to tell him about it. Mowgli decides to return to confront Shere Khan.
Mowgli soon ventures into the village and for the first time, he sees his own kind from a distance and gazes in amazement at the civilization, and at the huge bonfire in the center. He steals one of the torches and heads back to the jungle. Spotting him, Baloo and Bagheera follow him in close pursuit. Along the way Mowgli accidentally starts a wildfire.
When news breaks out that a man with the "red flower" is making his way into the jungle, all the animals gather near the submerged Peace Rock. Upon arriving, Mowgli confronts Shere Khan, who tricks him into making himself the enemy by causing the wildfire and living up to humans' destructive reputation. Mowgli responds by throwing the torch into the water, allowing Shere Khan the advantage. Bagheera, Baloo and the wolf pack manage to hold the tiger off, thus buying Mowgli enough time to set a trap in the burning jungle. He lures Shere Khan up into a dying tree and onto a fragile fig branch, which breaks under the tiger's weight. Shere Khan falls to his death into the pit of fire below.
With the aid of Mowgli, the Indian elephants soon after extinguish the wildfire by diverting the river's current. In the aftermath, Raksha then becomes the new Alpha and leads the wolf pack. Mowgli decides to utilize his equipment and tricks for his own use, having found his true home and calling, with the animals and his newfound companions, Baloo and Bagheera.
Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), based on Rudyard Kipling's timeless stories and inspired by Disney's classic animated film, The Jungle Book is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who's been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he's ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don't exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire
Live-action Cast Edit
- Neel Sethi as Mowgli
- Ritesh Rajan as Mowgli's Father
- Brighton Rose as Grey Brother
- Bill Murray as Baloo
- Ben Kingsley as Bagheera
- Idris Elba as Shere Khan
- Scarlett Johanson as Kaa
- Lupita Nyong'o as Raksha
- Giancarlo Esposito as Akela
- Christopher Walken as King Louie
- Russell Peters as Rocky the Rhino
- Madeleine Favreau as Raquel the Rhino
- Garry Shandling as Ikki
- Sam Raimi as an Indian Giant Squirrel
- Sara Arrington as a Neelgai
- Jon Favreau as a Pygmy Hog
Additional Animal Voices
- Dee Bradley Baker
- Artie Esposito
- Sean Johnson
- Allan Trautman
On July 9, 2013, the film was announced, with Justin Marks set to write the film. On November 5, 2013, it was announced Jon Favreau would direct the film. On March 6, 2014, it was announced Idris Elba would voice Shere Khan. On April 23, it was announced Scarlett Johansson and Lupita Nyong'o would voice Kaa and Raksha, respectively. On June 25, 2014, it was announced Ben Kingsley would voice Bagheera. On July 15, 2014, it was announced Neel Sethi would play Mowgli. On July 28, 2014, it was announced Christopher Walken and Giancarlo Esposito would voice King Louie and Akela, respectively. On August 1, 2014, it was announced Bill Murray would voice Baloo. Richard M. Sherman, who, alongside his late brother Robert B. Sherman, wrote songs for Disney's original animated Jungle Book, will write new songs for this film, and "The Bare Necessities" is going to be recycled from it and sung by Bill Murray. Kaa the snake's hypnotizing song "Trust In Me" is also to be included sung by Scarlett Johansson after an appearance in the film's teaser trailer. On January 13, 2015, the film's release date was pushed back from October 15, 2015, to April 15, 2016. The first trailer for the film was released on September 15, 2015.
Differences with the animated filmEdit
- The beginning where Mowgli is portrayed as a baby in a basket in a wrecked boat was left out, though Kaa does show a flashback of Bagheera finding Mowgli, it took place at a cave rather than a river.
- Said flashback also showed Mowgli had a father, who was killed by Shere Khan, which the animated film never did.
- Because orangutans are not native to India, this iteration of King Louie is a Gigantopithecus instead (an extinct species of ape, which did live in India). He's also more villainous than his cartoon-self, and might even have died.
- Kaa is a female instead of male: this is the third time that a Disney character has been depicted as the opposite gender from their original Disney depiction, the first being Bagheera in The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story, and the second being Doc in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (not counting Rafiki's and Terk's film and Broadway versions), as well as the second time any Jungle Book character is depicted as the opposite gender from his original Disney depiction.
- Also, Kaa has less screen-time, is a reticulated python (which have in fact eaten humans), encounters Mowgli only once, and her attempt to eat Mowgli is foiled by Baloo rather than Bagheera.
- The wolves are given more screen-time and a bigger-role, Raksha even talks here whereas in the cartoon she never spoke at all.
- Ironically, Hathi and his herd have become minor characters in this film, and none of them speak whatsoever, but they do get a little more screen-time than in the cartoon one.
- Rama the Father Wolf seems to be excluded, having Akela in his place instead (possibly because the name "Rama" was already occupied by a buffalo)
- A scene from "How Fear Came" is included, which even includes the cartoon-version's canceled character Rocky the Rhino, complete with a daughter.
- Shere Khan appears much sooner here than he did in the animated film, he also shows to have a scared eye, which he never had in the cartoon.
- Another scene exclusive to this film is when Bagheera and Shere Khan battle.
- Baloo is made a Himalayan brown bear, and while this species also lives in India, it is restricted to the north, far away from Seeonee. He also never calls Mowgli "Little Britches".
- Mowgli obtains a torch from the human-village rather than a flaming tree-branch from a bolt of lightning hitting a tree, he also starts a forest-fire by accident, which never happened in the animated film.
- Grey Brother is the youngest of Mowgli's wolf-siblings, exactly the opposite of his literature-self where he's the oldest.
- Some characters from the animated film, notably the vulture-quartet and Shanti, aren't included here, and this film has characters the animated one never had, like Ikki the porcupine.
- Mowgli willingly leaves the wolves rather than feel reluctant to.
- Another scene exclusive in this film is Shere Khan confronting the wolves, kills Akela and steals leadership of the pack, which never happened in the animated film.
- While Shere Khan lives through his confrontation with Mowgli in the cartoon film, here he actually dies.
- The ending scene from the cartoon film isn't included in this film, instead Mowgli chooses to remain in the jungle.
- This is Disney's third live-action film adapted from The Jungle Book. The other two were Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book and The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story.
- The soundtrack album is scheduled to be released the same day as the film, April 15th.
- The trailers and TV spots for the film are in 1:85.1 aspect ratio, but during the showings of Zootopia in theaters, the Super Bowl trailer is in 2:39.1 aspect ratio.
- This is only the third of many live-action remakes of Disney animated films released in the 21st century, following Maleficent and Cinderella. An upcoming one is Beauty and the Beast, Tim Burton's two famous films were Dumbo and The Lion King and also Tarzan, with many others in development.
- The fact that Baloo ventured into the jungle to prepare for hibernation could be a reference to the Jungle Cubs episode "Hulla Baloo" where a bear named McCoy ventured into the jungle for the same reason.
- Raksha replacing Akela as the new wolf-leader could be based on the anime-series Jungle Book Shōnen Mowgli, where she (under the alias Luri) does the same thing.
- Shere Khan's downfall here is quite similar to The Jungle Book 2 where he falls in a pit of lava with a statue, though it isn't known if he dies there.
- The scene where Mowgli helps Hathi-Jr. out of a pit could be based on the Russian Jungle Book film Adventures of Mowgli, where a similar scene occurs.