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You have the word of Bagheera.
―Bagheera

Bagheera is the tritagonist of Disney's 1967 animated feature film The Jungle Book. He is an honorable, albeit short-tempered panther that served as the guardian of the "man-cub", Mowgli. To protect Mowgli from the threat of the murderous tiger Shere Khan, Bagheera volunteered to escort the man-cub to the Man Village, but Mowgli refused and wanted to stay in the jungle. Along the way, Bagheera's ideology clashed with that of a laid-back sloth bear named Baloo.

Background[]

Bagheera is the wise and respectable black panther who lives in the Seoni jungle in India. His life changes when he discovers the infant man-cub, Mowgli, in a wrecked canoe and dedicates himself to ensure the safety of the young boy by putting him in the care of the wolves and watch over him until he is ready to rejoin humanity.

The Jungle Book takes many creative liberties that deviate from the source material. However, Bagheera deviates the least from Kipling's works out of all the characters in the film. Like in the books, Bagheera is Mowgli's elegant, no-nonsense mentor, but does not spoil Mowgli occasionally, nor is he as effeminate as his book counterpart.

Personality[]

Bagheera is presented as a wise figure. Level-headed and intelligent, the panther is amongst the most down-to-earth residents of the jungle. When first introduced, he is seen as a selfless and caring individual, rescuing the orphaned Mowgli, and going out of his way to ensure his safety from that moment forward. Although he cares a great deal about the man-cub, Bagheera is also easily frustrated and intolerable of tomfoolery. This would result in rather heated arguments against the two, specifically in regard to whether or not Mowgli should remain in the jungle or return to the Man Village to live amongst his own species. Bagheera's temper can occasionally blind his sense of judgment, resulting in careless behavior such as abandoning Mowgli in the jungle despite the knowing dangers that lurk. Nevertheless, he is quick to reform and repeatedly finds himself by Mowgli's side once again. He is a devoted ally and makes it a crucial objective to protect those he cares about.

Bagheera is also commonly known as the foil of Baloo the bear, whom the former views as a "stupid, jungle bum". The two have opposite personalities, and continuously annoy one another with their need to push their own personal opinions onto each other. Nevertheless, these conflicts mostly centered around Mowgli's fate, and the two generally share a brotherly bond. Following the climax, when it appeared Baloo had met his demise, Bagheera revealed that he truly did care for the bear, and was notably embarrassed to see that Baloo had overheard his heartfelt eulogy. Once Mowgli made the decision to return to the Man Village, Bagheera and Baloo joyfully returned to their lives in the jungle, setting aside their differences and remained together as best friends.

Physical appearance[]

Bagheera is a slender, black panther (Indian melanistic leopard). He has a gray muzzle, a pink nose, and black eyebrows. He has yellow eyes with black pupils, and a pair of numerous whiskers.

Appearances[]

The Jungle Book[]

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Bagheera comes upon an infant Mowgli in The Jungle Book

Bagheera is the first major character to appear in the film and he narrates the first part of the film too. He discovers an infant amidst the debris of a wrecked canoe. Initially, Bagheera has no intention of getting involved and is about to leave when he thinks for a moment and is unable to bring himself to willingly let an innocent man-cub perish. Feeling responsible for the child's safety and knowing that the man-cub is in need of nourishment, he brings the baby to a family of wolves who recently had cubs. The wolves name the baby Mowgli and make him part of their wolf family. There, Mowgli is nurtured for 10 years, with Bagheera often stopping by to check on him and occasionally take him on walks through the jungle. However, Bagheera admits to himself that as much as he loves Mowgli, the boy must return to his own kind when the time is right.

Bagheera's notion proves right when Shere Khan the tiger returns to their part of the jungle where the wolf pack lives. The alpha wolf, Akela, declares that Mowgli must leave the pack before Shere Khan discovers him, as the tiger will seek to kill the boy along with anyone who protects him. Mowgli's father, Rama, protests as his son lacks a wolf's survival instincts and would die if he was sent to live on his own. Bagheera, an honorary member of the council, settles the debate when he tells them that he has discovered a Man Village where Mowgli will be safe from the dangers of the jungle and live a prosperous life among his own kind and is ready to escort him to the village with the council's permission. Akela, Rama, and the council elders approve of Bagheera's plan and wish him good luck.

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Mowgli riding Bagheera.

Later on, Mowgli rides on Bagheera's back as the two begin the journey to the Man Village. A tired Mowgli finally asks the panther when they are heading back to the wolf den, but is shocked to learn that Bagheera is taking him to live with his own kind. Even after Bagheera explains the danger posed by Shere Khan, Mowgli comes up with naive ideas in hopes of being allowed to stay in the jungle, as it is the only home the man-cub has ever known, but Bagheera dismisses them all. As it is getting late, Bagheera takes Mowgli to a tree branch to rest for the night. Bagheera advises the man-cub to get some sleep as they will continue their journey early in the morning, but Mowgli insists that he is not afraid of any danger and can take care of himself. As the panther is nearly asleep, he is oblivious of Kaa, the python, descending from the tree branches above and hypnotizing Mowgli to sleep while coiling him up as he prepares to eat him. Being too relaxed and comfortable to resist further, Mowgli begins to fall into a trance but not before attempting to call Bagheera for help. Kaa silences the boy by tugging his neck, making him gulp. Fortunately, Bagheera hears this and wakes up just in time to save Mowgli's life and snap him out of the trance. Angered by this, Kaa hypnotizes Bagheera to a trance but is pushed off the tree branch by Mowgli, who then slaps his mentor's face repeatedly until he wakes up. Kaa vows to capture Mowgli, who laughs at the snake as he slithers away. Bagheera humorously notes the irony of Mowgli being nearly eaten right after insisting he can take care of himself, but the embarrassed man-cub is still adamant on staying the jungle. Not wanting to argue, Bagheera tells Mowgli to go to sleep.

The next morning, the duo are awakened by an earthquake, which was caused by a platoon of marching elephants led by Colonel Hathi. Although Bagheera is annoyed by this, Mowgli is enthusiastic about what he believes is a parade and investigates. Bagheera believes there is no harm in letting Mowgli satisfy his curiosity and so he does not intervene, though he is quickly proven wrong when Mowgli enters an argument with Hathi. Bagheera saves Mowgli from Colonel Hathi’s wrath by telling him the man-cub is his responsibility and that he is taking the boy to the Man Village. Hathi calms down and resumes his march while Bagheera and Mowgli continue their journey. However, Mowgli becomes more stubborn and refuses to leave the jungle, leading to an argument between the two and prompts Bagheera to drag the man-cub to the village by force only to accidentally fall into a nearby river after attempting to pull Mowgli from a small tree he was clinging onto. The panther becomes fed up with Mowgli's rebellious behavior and storms off to cool down for a while, leaving the man-cub to wander the jungle alone.

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Bagheera observes Mowgli and Baloo bonding.

Soon, however, Bagheera realizes his mistake when he hears a loud roar not far from where he left the boy and runs to his aid. He reaches the man-cub, but sees him bonding with Baloo the bear. Thinking Baloo is a bad influence on Mowgli, Bagheera declares that there is no time to fool around as the boy must go to the Man Village as soon as possible. However, Baloo takes Mowgli's side, not seeing why the boy cannot stay in the jungle, and promises to take care of him. Baffled, Bagheera chooses to leave Mowgli in Baloo's care, hoping the bear will see for himself that taking care of Mowgli is easier said than done. Sure enough, Bagheera is called for assistance by Baloo. Although he learns the situation is worse than he thought when Baloo tells him they were ambushed by the bandar-log, who kidnapped Mowgli and are taking him to King Louie as they speak. Baloo and Bagheera arrive at the ancient ruins and witness the mad ape-king trying to persuade Mowgli into giving him the secret of fire. Baloo distracts the monkeys while Bagheera attempts to rescue Mowgli. Unfortunately, Baloo's cover is blown and the bandar-log attacks him, Bagheera and Mowgli. A battle ensues, resulting in a whole building collapsing which gives the trio the time they need to escape, albeit with a few bruises.

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Bagheera takes Mowgli to safety.

That night, once Mowgli is asleep, Bagheera scolds Baloo for irresponsibly putting the man-cub in danger and takes the time to discuss with Baloo that Mowgli must return to the Man Village, as the jungle was never meant to be Mowgli’s home, and why Baloo cannot adopt the boy. Baloo takes full responsibility for the incident, but remains unconvinced until Bagheera mentions the threat posed by Shere Khan, as he hates all humans, guns and fire, especially Mowgli, and will promise to kill Mowgli. Although Baloo angrily tells Bagheera that he promised Mowgli he could stay in the jungle with him, Bagheera insists that as Mowgli remains here with the bear, he’s in danger with Shere Khan around. Baloo then realizes how irresponsible he has been and reluctantly agrees to take Mowgli to the Man Village the first thing in the morning.

The next morning, Bagheera hears Baloo calling for Mowgli. Bagheera comes to find that Mowgli ran away, having felt betrayed by Baloo. They both rush off the find Mowgli separately. During the search, Bagheera runs into Colonel Hathi and his patrol. After a while, Bagheera is able to convince Hathi to help him search for the man-cub with the help of Hathi's mate, Winifred. Unbeknownst to all of them, Shere Khan, who had been hunting a deer, is nearby and overhears their conversation. Now aware of Mowgli's presence in the jungle and that he is lost and helpless, the tiger begins tracking him down.

Bagheera spends many hours looking for Mowgli, but does not find him until he hears the battle between Shere Khan, Mowgli, Baloo, and a group of vultures. The panther arrives when the battle has been won and sees Mowgli trying to revive Baloo's motionless body on the ground. Believing Baloo to be dead, Bagheera comforts the boy and eulogizes the bear, who slowly begins to wake up. Mowgli blames himself for Baloo's apparent demise and is about to follow Bagheera to the Man Village when Baloo, touched by the panther's eulogy, reveals himself to be alive when he calls for more. Bagheera is annoyed, going so far as to call the bear a fraud, but Mowgli is overjoyed and the trio head into the jungle.

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Bagheera, Mowgli, and Baloo have made it to the Man Village.

Upon reaching the edge of the jungle, the trio hears an angelic voice in the distance which catches Mowgli's attention and prompts him to investigate its source, which turns out to be a beautiful young girl collecting water from a river flowing in front of the Man Village. Mowgli becomes fascinated and climbs up the tree above her for a better look. Baloo tries to stop the man-cub but Bagheera gleefully tells him to let the boy go. Once Mowgli is directly above the girl, he loses his balance when a branch snaps and he falls into the river where he is easily noticed by the girl. The curious young maiden lures the boy into the village, hoping to get to know more about the stranger. At the village entrance, however, Mowgli looks uncertain at his guardians. Baloo begs Mowgli to come back to live in the jungle, having convinced himself that Mowgli can survive in it after all, while Bagheera encourages Mowgli to keep following the girl. Ultimately, Mowgli chooses the village and begins his new life. Baloo is noticeably disappointed that Mowgli chose the girl and the village over him and the jungle, but Bagheera is not surprised as the boy obviously could not resist his own nature, or his inevitable manhood, no matter how hard he tried and declares that Mowgli is finally where he belongs. Baloo realizes he is right and enthusiastically suggests they head back to where they belong. Having gained respect for Baloo, Bagheera loosens up and the two sing "Bare Necessities" while strolling into the jungle.

The Jungle Book 2[]

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Bagheera in The Jungle Book 2.

In the second film, Bagheera's role is not as big. He is first seen watching in sympathy as Baloo dances with a dummy version of Mowgli. However, when Baloo attempts to reunite with Mowgli, Bagheera pursues him. Bagheera halts him over a fallen tree bridge, telling Baloo that he needs to leave Mowgli in the man village, as his future lies with his own kind, and that it's not safe for him to be in the jungle due to Shere Khan searching for the boy, bent on revenge. Baloo, however, thinks he can protect Mowgli from the tiger and avoids Bagheera, forcing him to resort to Plan B: Colonel Hathi and his troops. They create a giant wall to block Baloo, but the bear manages to escape through swimming underwater. Bagheera orders the troops to search for Baloo, but they're too bumbling to succeed.

Later on, Bagheera is taking a walk through the jungle when Hathi and his troop come stampeding in his direction. They cram into a cave with Bagheera. Hathi informs Bagheera that man is in the jungle. By spying on them in the cave, Bagheera learns Mowgli is missing and immediately finds Baloo guilty. He pays a visit to Baloo, but Mowgli is nowhere to be found. Oblivious to Bagheera, Mowgli is hiding nearby. Baloo convinces Bagheera that he hasn't seen Mowgli and Bagheera departs, suspicious, however. Near the end of the film, Bagheera is continuing his search for Mowgli when he witnesses another man-cub, Mowgli's adoptive brother Ranjan, riding atop Baloo's shoulders. He goes to investigate, finding that Mowgli is being pursued by Shere Khan at that very moment.

Bagheera's excursion leads him to a hidden temple. While Baloo goes in to rescue Mowgli and his friend, Shanti, Bagheera waits outside and watches over Ranjan. After Khan is defeated, Bagheera reunites with Mowgli and meets Shanti, who is actually the girl that lured him into the village in the first film. Mowgli, Shanti, and Ranjan rejoin their village. Bagheera is proud to see Baloo letting Mowgli go but becomes suspicious as Baloo's sorrowful frown turns into a clever grin. Soon after, it is revealed that Mowgli, Shanti, and Ranjan are now allowed to visit Baloo and Bagheera in the jungle. Bagheera is last seen being chased by Ranjan, who enjoys playing with his tail as well as riding atop Bagheera's back with his friends as they sing "The Bare Necessities".

Jungle Cubs[]

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Bagheera as a cub in Jungle Cubs.

A younger version of Bagheera appears in the spin-off series Jungle Cubs. E.G. Daily voices Bagheera in Season 1, and Dee Bradley Baker took over in Season 2. Jungle Cubs shows that Bagheera lives in a clubhouse with Baloo, Shere Khan, Kaa, Hathi, and Prince Louie. Bagheera is stated to be the youngest of the group. Like his older counterpart, he is very serious and solemn, but also has a preoccupation with cleanliness. During the second season, as the result of having a different voice actor and being older, his voice becomes notably more thin and his fur is lighter. When the cubs had a fantasy of what life would be like if they could have anything and everything they wanted, Bagheera revealed to desire to have all the knowledge in the world. In spite of his adult counterpart, Bagheera can arguably be considered the weakest link in the group, often running away from danger. In a related topic, he appears to be a weak hunter as well. This is often brought up by Shere Khan who taunts the panther because of this.

In Jungle Cubs: Born to Be Wild DVD, Bagheera, as an adult, spends his time trying to get Mowgli to the Man Village, although Baloo would rather keep the man-cub around. This is also the only time in animation where Baggie and Khan interact with each other as adults.

House of Mouse[]

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Bagheera with the rest of The Jungle Book cast in House of Mouse.

Bagheera makes numerous, non-speaking cameo appearances in the animated series House of Mouse.

His most notable appearance is quite possibly the episode "Jiminy Cricket", where he's seen sitting with the cast from the film during Jiminy's speech.

In the opening theme song, he can be briefly spotted in the lobby with other characters from The Jungle Book, as Timon and Pumbaa run by.

Bagheera can also be seen in a generic crowd shot shown after cartoons, sitting alongside Baloo near the stage.

Live-action appearances[]

Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book[]

Real Bagheera

The live-action Bagheera in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.

In the 1994 live-action movie, Bagheera serves as a jungle animal friend to Mowgli and his pet wolf, Grey Brother. After Mowgli and Grey Brother were separated from civilization, Bagheera found them the next day. Hearing Shere Khan's roar from a distance, Bagheera signaled with his tail for Mowgli to grab onto it so as to lead him out of harm's way, revealing he meant no harm to the boy or cub. It took a bit of a while until Bagheera finally brought Mowgli and Grey Brother to a pack of Grey Indian wolves. Seeing as to how the child was young, friendly, helpless, harmless, and kind to a cub of their species, the wolves accepted them as members of the pack; much to Bagheera's delight. Especially since Grey Brother was already a young wolf without a pack.

Years later, Bagheera is seen spending most of his time in a tree, not doing much, and sometimes running with a fully-grown Mowgli, Grey Brother, a new friend named Baloo the brown bear (who was saved as a cub by Mowgli on the day he was accepted into the pack), and the wolf pack. After Mowgli had been reunited with his childhood sweetheart, Katherine "Kitty" Brydon; antagonized a British officer named Captain William Boone (the main villain of the film); pushed two other officers into a river as with Boone before; and is close to being shot by one of Boone's men, Lt. John Wilkins, Bagheera and Baloo are seen roaring at the soldiers, thus scaring them off as a means of protecting Mowgli. Nevertheless, due to Wilkins' shock, he instead accidentally shoots Mowgli on the right arm.

A few days later, after Mowgli has learned the ways of men and re-entered civilization thanks to Kitty and Dr. Julius Plumford, Bagheera is seen being caressed and introduced to Kitty by Mowgli along with all the rest of Mowgli's jungle animal friends. Bagheera and the other animals watch as Kitty teaches Mowgli some dancing lessons, much to their amusement.

In a later tussle against soldiers working for Captain Boone, Baloo is shot and left for dead. Bagheera is then seen running with Mowgli and the wolf pack to locate Dr. Julius Plumford to save Baloo's life, only to find that the doctor had already left with Kitty and her father, Colonel Geoffrey Brydon, to bring Katherine to the ship to England. So, Mowgli goes out and follows them with the wolves and Bagheera behind. After saving Dr. Plumford from death by an Indian bandit named Buldeo, Bagheera is seen charging along with the wolf pack against the Indian bandits. Dr. Plumford is then taken by Mowgli to save Baloo's life.

After Mowgli (who had no choice: either the treasure the villains are after, or Kitty and her father's death) is captured by the evil British soldiers – Boone, Lt. Wilkins, and Sergeant Harley – and the remaining Indian bandits – Buldeo and Tabaqui – Bagheera can be seen with the wolves keeping an eye on Mowgli, his friends, and enemies while staring at Boone and Wilkins mostly. When Wilkins asks himself why Bagheera is staring at them, Mowgli replies, "Because to him, you are food." A reply is hinted afterwards when Bagheera sticks out his tongue and licks his chops to show his hunger for them. The next morning, Bagheera is seen biting through the ropes restraining Mowgli to a tree, thus allowing him to escape, and then, later on, to rescue the left-out injured Colonel Brydon from death.

In the final scene, after Boone's defeat, Bagheera is seen crossing a bridge with Kitty and a triumphant Mowgli while reuniting with the British Army sent out by Colonel Brydon, who was successfully cured from his injuries by Dr. Plumford (who also managed to cure Baloo), to find them.

The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story[]

Bagheera appears in the 1998 direct-to-video movie, but is portrayed as a female panther and was voiced by Eartha Kitt.

Bagheera is first seen attending Hathi's meeting at the watering hole to which during the meeting, she comments about Shere Khan and his sidekick Tabaqui during the meeting at the watering hole just before the two leave, warning the two that they will be to watching them. Mowgli then encounters Bagheera where he would sit next to the panther and talk to her for hours to which after talking, Mowgli continues exploring his life across the jungle.

Bagheera and Baloo later attend a meeting with the Seeonee wolf pack to which the two confront Shere Khan and Tabaqui about the two preparing to harm Mowgli only for the duo to leave the meeting as Bagheera and Baloo attempt to protect Mowgli. As Mowgli is accepted into the wolf pack, Bagheera and Baloo teach Mowgli the instincts of hunting to which during the montage, Bagheera tells Mowgli that a big part of hunting is trickery, planning to fool Chil to which after distracting Chil, Bagheera comments on working on practicing this skill. Bagheera then tells Mowgli to focus on a lesson on stalking and catching by using his senses to catch a rabbit only to catch a skunk instead, due to Mowgli's impatience. As time went by, Bagheera observes Baloo offering Mowgli to eat grubs to fuel his energy which the plan to look for grubs was unsuccessful and when Mowgli asks Baloo to help teach him how to hunt fruit, Bagheera overhears, telling Baloo that Mowgli needs to practice hunting to fight against Shere Khan, just as Baloo tells Mowgli to impress Bagheera with the same bird call to distract Chil in order to impress Bagheera. Just as Mowgli heads to the water to catch fish, Baloo tells Bagheera to teach him to catch fish just as Mowgli attempts to catch a fish like Baloo but his plan to catch one like him was unsuccessful. Afterwards, Bagheera approaches Mowgli, where she discusses with him that a good hunter never lets his guard down, because someone could be hunting him (referring to Shere Khan stalking Mowgli) which Mowgli replies to Bagheera that it wasn't him to shot him; Baloo then tells Mowgli that Shere Khan never plays fair while Bagheera tells Mowgli to look into her eyes, telling him to know what it's like to be caught in a big cat's gaze. Mowgli looks hard into Bagheera's eyes, making an offer with Bagheera that if he practices with her, Mowgli would be immune to Shere Khan's hypnotism.

After Mowgli left the wolf pack after failing to catch a deer, he approaches Baloo who tells him that everyone makes mistakes, even Baloo himself, while Bagheera replies that the Seeonee pack might forgive him and Mowgli's wolf parents must have been worried about this, just as Bagheera plans to take Mowgli back to his wolf family, which Mowgli refuses to go back, telling the panther to leave him alone. Bagheera then denies, telling him that running away is not the answer. She then recaps that when she was a cub, Bagheera got mad at her parents and escaped from them before she was caught by a group of poachers trying to sell her for her fur (as revealed in a flashback), telling Mowgli that she was chained up in a cage and felt sad that she would never see her family again. As the hunters were planning to move Bagheera to a bigger cage, Bagheera managed to escape from the hunters, telling Mowgli that she felt lucky. She then gives a very valuable lesson she learned as she shares it with Mowgli, telling him that if he is mad or upset, the worst thing he can do is to run away from his troubles. Baloo then agrees with Bagheera's story she shared with him, feeling that it would help Mowgli get ready for the next day just as Bagheera plans to ask Raksha then next day to help Mowgli.

The next day after Mowgli is captured by a group of monkeys in Monkey Town, Bagheera asks Baloo to know if he saw Mowgli lately which Baloo replies that Mowgli ran off with a group of mischievous monkeys, which Bagheera plans to find Mowgli and rescue him. As Bagheera and Baloo are on their way to find Mowgli and rescue him, Bagheera tells Baloo to hope that they should arrive at Monkey Town first to make sure Mowgli escapes. Bagheera suddenly arrives at Monkey Town trying to make sure Mowgli is safe, warning Mowgli that he won't be safe if he doesn't escape before Shere Khan arrives. She then plans a distraction plan to help rescue Mowgli. In a plan to rescue Mowgli, Bagheera tells the baboons that she found a map leading to the a lost land full of large bananas which Bagheera manages to distract the baboons and the other monkeys in a plan to rescue Mowgli while Baloo smashes through the hut's front door where Mowgli was locked at, rescuing him. As he enters, Baloo warns Mowgli to escape before Shere Khan arrives which Mowgli and Baloo manage to escape.

The next day, Hathi wakes up Baloo and Bagheera who have rescued Mowgli from Monkey Town which Hathi warns Mowgli about the bad news about his wolf mother Raksha which Mowgli rides on Hathi to arrive at the spot where Raksha was last seen which Baloo and Bagheera follow along where they arrive at Mowgli's home where Mowgli knew the horrible reason about why Hathi took him where they approach Raksha who was killed by Shere Khan where Akela, his family, and the friends of the jungle mourn over Raksha; Mowgli, who learns about this, then risks himself to leave the jungle after he claims that it was his fault. Furthermore when Mowgli regains his confidence and tenacity, Bagheera later confronts Shere Khan and Tabaqui to which during battle, Mowgli banishes both Shere Khan and Tabaqui from the jungle. The next day, Mowgli shows an animal encyclopedia to Baloo and Bagheera which gives out information of the animals he finds like monkeys, panthers, or elephants just as Bagheera and Baloo bid a farewell to Mowgli who discovers new adventures every time he opens the book.

The Jungle Book (2016)[]

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Bagheera in the 2016 film.

Bagheera appears in the 2016 live-action film, voiced by Ben Kingsley. Kingsley describes Bagheera as having a personality as being analogous to someone in the military, most likely a Colonel, and that "he's instantly recognizable by the way that he talks, how he acts, and what his ethical code is".

Bagheera is the film's narrator, saying that when he found Mowgli in the jungle, he gave him the Seeonee wolf pack, led by Akela to be raised by Raksha, and afterward served as Mowgli's mentor and as a father-figure. Bagheera first appears in the film in teaching Mowgli to hunt. When he catches him, he says that if he can't keep up with the rest of the wolf pack then he'll end up as someone's dinner. He also disapproves of Mowgli's use of human tricks such as creating tools.

When Shere Khan threatens Mowgli and the wolf pack with death if they do not turn the boy over to him during the gathering for water at the watering hole during the drought, Bagheera agrees to take Mowgli to the Man-village where he will be safe. En-route, Shere Khan attacks them while they travel amidst a herd of buffalo, and Bagheera fights him; though the panther is defeated and injured by the tiger, Bagheera gives Mowgli enough time to escape Shere Khan.

When Bagheera finally catches up with Mowgli, he is relieved that Mowgli is alright, but is also angry that Mowgli has decided to stay with the bear Baloo and is using human tricks and innovations when he was not taught to. A heated debate ensues between him, Mowgli and Baloo, with all of them agreeing to sleep on the matter until morning. During the night Bagheera and Baloo witness Mowgli rescue a baby elephant, which the other animals of the jungle reverse and avoids. But when he sees that Mowgli's trick has saved the calf's life Bagheera is speechless. Afterward, he and Baloo talk about Mowgli and his situation, as well as the death of Akela, whom Shere Khan has killed to lure Mowgli to his death.

Bagheera then convinces Baloo to lie to Mowgli and say they were never friends in order to make him head for the Man-village. However, monkeys, macaques, langurs, and gibbons sent by King Louie kidnap Mowgli before he can make a decision. Bagheera and Baloo chase after Mowgli and attempt to rescue him, but are discovered just as they are about to escape from King Louie's temple. Working together, the bear and the panther fight off the monkeys while Mowgli hides from King Louie, and the chase that follows results in the Gigantopithecus's apparent death. When Mowgli finds out about Akela's death from Louie, he angrily decides to face Shere Khan to avenge Akela and runs away.

When Bagheera and Baloo find Mowgli, they discover he has stolen a torch from the Man-village, accidentally starting a wildfire. Seeing this, they chase after him to find him facing Shere Khan at the watering hole. When Mowgli throws away his torch and Shere Khan attacks, Baloo, Bagheera, and the wolves led by Raksha all fight Shere Khan. Mowgli at first tries to attack Shere Khan with the wolves, but Bagheera stops him telling him that he can't fight the tiger as a wolf, so he'll have to fight him as a man. During the battle, Bagheera faces Shere Khan in combat again and is again defeated after a fierce battle, but before Shere Khan can kill him, the wolves save him by latching onto the tiger.

Their fight buys Mowgli enough time to set a trap in the burning jungle and kill Shere Khan once and for all. In the aftermath, Bagheera has accepted Mowgli's inventive ways, and acknowledges him as a human, as well as his decision to stay in the jungle. He is also on much friendlier terms with Baloo, whom he commended when he "stood [his] ground", affectionately licking his forehead and calling him "old boy". In the end, he is last seen relaxing with Mowgli and Baloo in a tree.

Video games[]

The Jungle Book (Sega Genesis)[]

Bagheera appears throughout the chapters until Chapter IX: Jungle By Night, where he is shown to be sleeping. This is where Mowgli has to find him once he finishes his task of finding the red gems.

The Jungle Book Groove Party[]

In this video game, Bagheera plays a role mirroring that of the film's. However, when Bagheera first takes the tasks to take Mowgli to the Man-Village, Mowgli wishes to stay so Bagheera tests him. Even though he passes, Bagheera continues to make the trip.

Disney Universe[]

A costume of Bagheera is available as an add-on with The Jungle Book pack.

Disney Heroes: Battle Mode[]

Bagheera appears as a playable character in the game, he is a control hero but he does not have as many abilities as other heroes, his abilities include roaring, turning invisible and giving more strength to allied heroes.

Disney Parks[]

Disneyland Resort[]

Bagheera appears in the 2015 rendition of World of Color, during the segment celebrating Disney animated films.

Walt Disney World[]

In the former Animal Kingdom show, Journey into the Jungle Book, Bagheera was featured as the narrator and supporting character, living out his role in the original film.

Hong Kong Disneyland[]

Bagheera is featured in The Jungle Book's float in the Flights of Fantasy Parade.

Differences from the source material[]

  • In the books, Bagheera was the polar opposite of his Disney counterpart. In Kipling's works, Bagheera was sassy, cheerful, reckless, and cunning while Disney's version was strict, no-nonsense, level-headed, and short-tempered. In many ways, one might say that Disney swapped Bagheera and Baloo's personalities.
  • In the books, Bagheera was born in captivity. As a cub he was a pet owned by the prince of Udaipur until he escaped into the wild. Because he could relate to Mowgli being an orphan and an outsider, Bagheera quickly befriended Mowgli. Bagheera's origin was a secret that he shared only with Mowgli. In the Disney version, Bagheera was born and raised in the wild.
  • In the books, Bagheera was not the one who discovered Mowgli (Mowgli made his own way to the wolves while fleeing from Shere Khan) and they did not meet until word spread of Raksha adopting a man-cub. In the Disney version, Bagheera discovered Mowgli abandoned by a river. Feeling sorry for the child, Bagheera brought him to Raksha and Rama, who agreed to care for him.
    • However, in the books, Bagheera sided with Raksha when the wolf council discussed Mowgli's fate and bought Mowgli's life with a hunted bull and gave the man-cub to Raksha.
  • Unlike the Disney version, Kipling's Bagheera was not a personal friend of Akela nor an honorary member of the pack. He was, however, a close friend to Mowgli, Grey Brother, Baloo, and Raksha.
  • In the books, Bagheera occasionally spoiled Mowgli a bit. In the Disney version, Bagheera took discipline and responsibility very seriously. It should also be noted that in the books, Bagheera was not a parental figure for Mowgli like in the 1967 film, but rather he saw Mowgli like a younger brother and Mowgli looked up to him as an older brother.

Gallery[]

Wiki
The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Bagheera.

Trivia[]

  • In the original film, Bagheera has a thick British accent, while in Jungle Cubs, he speaks without a British accent and has an American one instead.
  • In the Soviet animated version of The Jungle Book Bagheera's gender was swapped due to the fact that the Russian word for "panther" is considered feminine. In The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story, Bagheera is also a female.
  • Bagheera was an honorary member of Akela's wolf council, in spite of being a panther.
  • Howard Morris, Karl Swenson and Sean Connery were considered to voice Bagheera.
  • In the 2016 film, Bagheera and Shere Khan do battle twice. In real life, tigers and leopards are competitors and enemies; tigers will drive leopards from their kills and will kill both adults and cubs to rid themselves of competition. Leopards will also kill tiger cubs, if and when they can find them to rid themselves of competition for food and territory.
  • Ironically, Bagheera's name actually means "black tiger" in Hindi. (Furthermore, some black leopards have often been mistaken for black tigers, though it is unknown if true black tigers ever existed.)
  • In some parts of the first movie, like when he slapped Kaa's mouth to save Mowgli and when he grabbed Baloo's cheeks when he asked the bear to tell him what happened to Mowgli, Bagheera had five fingers and in other parts, like when he was demonstrating a lethal swipe at Baloo in their argument, he had four, whereas in the second movie he had five fingers when he was holding onto Colonel Hathi's tusks.
  • Bagheera experiences a lot of bad luck in the film, mainly for the purpose of slapstick. The most notable instances include:
    • Being hypnotized by Kaa.
    • Falling backwards into a stream and hitting his head on a log when trying to get up.
    • Being bellowed at or startled by Baloo and Hathi (causing to comedically vibrate).
    • Getting squashed by a door Baloo opens up, leaving him with a black eye.
    • Being inadvertently hit on the head by Baloo at one point.
    • Having a large chunk of rock fall on his tail while escaping the falling temple, making him shriek in pain.
    • Accidentally falling off a hole in a log and into the river when trying to stop Baloo from going near the Man-village to take Mowgli (in the Jungle Book 2).
    • Being caught by one of his legs by one of Colonel Hathi's soldiers, then tossing him into the air (In the Jungle Book 2).
    • Being smashed by Colonel Hathi and his elephant patrol in a cave.
  • Even though he and Shere Khan knew each other since childhood, they never interact or see each other in the first or second Jungle Book. However, they do interact with one another in the cutscenes of Born to Be Wild and the 2016 remake.
  • In the DuckTales episode "Nothing to Fear", Duckworth is chased by a panther (although is it just an illusion) that strongly resembles Bagheera.
  • While Bagheera himself was left out of the television series TaleSpin, Shere Khan's team of elite panther pilots bear a striking resemblance to him. It is more than likely that they serve as a homage to him.
  • At the beginning of both the 1967 and 2016 films, Bagheera says "Many strange legends are told of these jungles of India, but none so strange as the story of a small boy named Mowgli." This may be a nod to how The Jungle Book is a collection of anthological short stories, yet Mowgli appears in most of them.
  • In the 1984 theatrical re-release trailer, Bagheera is erroneously identified as a leopard.


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Media
Films: The Jungle Book (soundtrack/video) • The Jungle Book 2 (video) • Rudyard Kipling'sMowgli's Story2016 Live-action Film (soundtrack/video) • Sequel Film

Shows: Jungle Cubs
Video Games: The Jungle BookThe Jungle Book Groove PartyThe Jungle Book: Mowgli's Wild AdventureThe Jungle Book: Mowgli's RunDisney Classic Games CollectionDisney Speedstorm
Books: More Jungle Book... Further Adventures of Baloo and Mowgli

Disney Parks
Animated film: Country Bear Musical JamboreeDisney's Explorers LodgeDisney Animation BuildingGarden of the Twelve FriendsIt's a Small WorldRhythm of the Jungle

Live action: Disney Movie MagicThe Jungle Book: Alive with Magic
Entertainment: AnimagiqueDisney's BelieveDisney's WishesDisney Classics: The Music & The MagicFantasmic!Festival of Family & FriendsHakuna Matata Time Dance PartyIt's Party Time... with Mickey and FriendsJourney into the Jungle BookMickey's Gift of DreamsMickey's Magical Music WorldMickey and the Magical MapMickey and the Wondrous BookMickey presents: “Happy Anniversary Disneyland Paris”One Man's Dream II: The Magic Lives On!Rivers of Light: We Are OneSuper Duper Jumpin' TimeThe Forest of Enchantment: A Disney Musical Adventure
Restaurants: Colonel Hathi's Pizza Outpost
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Summer: Adventure is Out There!The Jungle Book Jive
Halloween: Happy Hallowishes

Characters
Original: MowgliBalooBagheeraKing LouieShere KhanKaaColonel HathiWinifredHathi, Jr.Buzzie, Flaps, Ziggy, and DizzyAkelaRamaShantiRakshaWolf PupsSeeonee PackJungle PatrolFlunkeyBandar-log

Deleted characters: Rocky the RhinoBuldeoTabaqui
Sequel: RanjanRanjan's FatherMessuaShanti's MotherLucky
Rudyard Kipling's: Grey BrotherNathooKitty BrydonColonel Geoffrey BrydonSergeant ClaiborneDr. Julius PlumfordWilliam BooneSergeant HarleyBuldeoTabaquiLt. John WilkinsIndian BanditsAlice, Rose, and Margaret
Jungle Cubs: Arthur and CecilThe CrocMahraNed, Jed & FredMungoLeahCainDholesWinifred's UncleMcCoyDictator TurtleWhitehood
Mowgli's Story: Li'l RakshaChilBiranyiTarzan Chimp
2016 film: IkkiMr. PangolinGiant SquirrelFred the Pygmy HogMowgli's Father
House of Mouse: King Larry

Locations
JungleAncient RuinsMan VillageIndiaAsia
Episodes
Season One: "A Night in the Wasteland" • "How the Panther Lost His Roar/The Humans Must Be Crazy" • "Hathi Meets His Match/Buffaloed" • "Mondo Mungo/Bare Necessities" • "Who Wants to Be a Baboon?" • "Red Dogs" • "The Great Kaadini" • "Hulla Baloo/Shere Bliss" • "Treasure of the Middle Jungle" • "Feather Brains/Benny & Clyde" • "Splendor in the Mud" • "Trouble in the Jungle/Fool Me Once..." • "The Coming of the Wolves"

Season Two: "The Ape Who Would Be King" • "Trunks for the Memories/Kasaba Ball" • "Hathi's Makeover/Curse of the Magnificent Melon" • "The Five Bananas/Birthday Snake" • "Old Green Teeth/The Elephant Who Couldn't Say No" • "Hair Ball/A Tale of Two Tails" • "Waiting for Baloo/Tree for Two" • "Nice Tiger/Sleepless in the Jungle"

Songs
Original: "Colonel Hathi's March" • "The Bare Necessities" • "I Wan'na Be Like You" • "Trust in Me" • "That's What Friends are For" • "My Own Home"

More Jungle Book: "Baloo's Blues" • "Jungle Fever" • "If You Wanna See Some Strange Behavior (Take a Look at Man)" • "It's a Kick"
Jungle Cubs: "Take Your Sweet, Sweet Time" • "Jungle Cub Love" • "Everything's Gonna Be Right with the World"
The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story: "The Monkey Time"
The Jungle Book Groove Party: "The Jungle's No Place for a Boy" • "Join the Ranks" • "Go Bananas in the Coconut Tree" • "A Mood for Food" • "We Are the Vultures" • "Run" • "A Brand New Day"
Sequel: "The Jungle Rhythm" • "W-I-L-D" • "Right Where I Belong"
Deleted: "Brothers All" • "The Song of the Seeonee" • "Monkey See, Monkey Do" • "I Knew I Belonged to Her" • "In A Day's Work" • "The Mighty Hunters" • "I've Got You Beat" • "Braver"

See Also
Disney Sing Along Songs: The Bare NecessitiesTaleSpinDisney's Jungle BoogieMowgli and Baloo's Jungle Jams


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Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: ChipDaleGadgetMonterey Jack
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UniBEARsity:
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Enchanted: Giselle
Disney Fairies: PeriwinkleRosettaSilvermist
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Pixar
Toy Story: WoodyBuzz LightyearBo PeepHammAlienJessieRexBullseyeStinky PeteLotsoForkyDucky and Bunny

A Bug's Life: FlikDotHeimlich
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Cars: Lightning McQueenMaterSallyDoc HudsonJackson StormCruz RamirezMackMiss Fritter
Finding Nemo: NemoDoryMarlinCrushBruceDestinyBaileyHankSquirtNigelGillSheldonPearlDarlaCharlieJenny
WALL-E: WALL-EEVE
Ratatouille: RemyLinguini
Up: Carl FredricksenDugKevinRussell
Brave: Merida
Inside Out: JoySadnessAngerDisgustFearBing Bong
The Good Dinosaur: Arlo
Coco (film): MiguelHéctorImelda
Onward: Ian LightfootBarley Lightfoot
Soul: Joe22
Luca: Luca
Turning Red: Mei
Lightyear: Sox
Luxo, Jr.: Luxo, Jr.

Disney Parks
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Disney feature films
A Goofy Movie: PowerlineMax Goof

Aladdin: AladdinGenieJafarJasmineRajahAbu
Alice in Wonderland: Alice Mad HatterQueen of HeartsCheshire Cat
Atlantis: The Lost Empire: Kida NedakhVincenzo SantoriniHelga SinclairMilo ThatchAudrey Ramirez
Beauty and the Beast: GastonBeastBelleLumiereCogsworth
Big Hero 6: Hiro HamadaBaymaxHoney LemonWasabiGo Go TomagoFred
Bolt: Bolt
Cinderella: Fairy GodmotherCinderella
Frozen: ElsaOlafKristoffSvenAnna
Hercules: HadesHerculesMegaraZeusPhiloctetesPegasus
Lilo & Stitch: StitchPleakleyJumbaAngelLilo Pelekai
Meet the Robinsons Bowler Hat GuyDOR-15
Mickey Mouse & Friends Mickey MouseGoofyMinnie MousePlutoPeteDaisy Duck
Moana: MoanaMaui
Mulan: Fa MulanLi ShangShan YuMushu
One Hundred and One Dalmatians: Cruella De Vil
Peter Pan: Peter PanCaptain Hook
Pocahontas: PocahontasMeeko
Raya and the Last Dragon: RayaSisuNamaari
Robin Hood: Robin HoodSheriff of NottinghamLittle John
Sleeping Beauty: MaleficentAuroraPrince Phillip
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Evil QueenSnow White
Tangled: RapunzelFlynn RiderMaximusMother GothelStabbington Brothers
The Black Cauldron: The Horned King
The Emperor's New Groove: YzmaKronkPachaKuzco
The Great Mouse Detective: Basil of Baker Street
The Hunchback of Notre Dame: EsmeraldaQuasimodoPhoebus
The Jungle Book: King LouieBalooBagheeraKaaShere Khan
The Lion King: ScarRafikiTimonPumbaaSimbaNala
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The Nightmare Before Christmas: Jack SkellingtonSallyOogie BoogieLock, Shock, and BarrelMayor of Halloween Town
The Princess and the Frog: Dr. FacilierTianaLouis
The Rescuers Down Under: Percival C. McLeach
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Winnie the Pooh: Winnie the PoohTiggerEeyore
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Disney animated shows
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Darkwing Duck: Darkwing DuckMegavoltQuackerjackNegaduck
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Pixar
A Bug's Life: FlikHopper

Brave: Merida
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Inside Out: AngerJoySadnessDisgustFear
Luca: Luca PaguroAlberto Scorfano
Monsters, Inc.: James P. SullivanBooMike WazowskiRandall Boggs
Onward: Ian LightfootCorey the ManticoreBarley Lightfoot
Ratatouille: Alfredo LinguiniRemyColette TatouChef Skinner
Soul: 22
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Turning Red: Mei Lee
Up: Carl FredricksenDugRussellKevin
WALL-E: WALL-EEVE

Disney live-action films
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The Rocketeer: Cliff Secord
Tron: Kevin FlynnQuorraTron

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Oliver & Company: OliverDodger
Wish: AshaValentinoStar

Disney animated shows
DuckTales: Scrooge McDuckLaunchpad McQuackWebby VanderquackGizmoduckMagica De SpellHueyDeweyLouie

Darkwing Duck: Darkwing Duck
Rescue Rangers: ChipDaleGadgetMonterey JackDevil DaleAngel Chip
Gargoyles: GoliathBronxDemona
The Proud Family: Penny ProudSuga Mama
Kim Possible: Kim Possible
Adventures of the Gummi Bears: Zummi Gummi
TaleSpin: Talespin Baloo
Phineas and Ferb: Perry the Platypus

Pixar
Monsters, Inc.: MikeSulleyRandallCeliaRozBoo

Toy Story: WoodyBuzz LightyearAlienJessieBullseyeBo PeepForkyRexDuke CaboomHammMrs. NesbitZurgLotsoPlatinum WoodyBunnyStinky PeteFluorite Buzz
WALL-E: WALL-EEVEHoliday WALL-E
Finding Nemo/Finding Dory: NemoDoryHankCrushBruceBaby DoryDestinyBaileyPearlPlatinum NemoDarla
Cars: Lightning McQueenCruz RamirezJackson StormMater
Inside Out: JoySadnessAngerDisgustFearBing BongRainbow UnicornSapphire JoyAnxietyEmbarrassment
Coco: Miguel RiveraHéctorDanteImeldaPepitaAlebrije DanteErnestoMama CocoDisguised MiguelPlatinum Miguel
Ratatouille: RemyAnton EgoAlfredo LinguiniAuguste Gusteau
The Incredibles: Mr. IncredibleMrs. IncredibleJack-JackVioletDashFrozoneEdna ModeSyndrome
A Bug's Life: FlikPrincess AttaHeimlich
Brave: MeridaYoung MeridaQueen Elinor
Up: DugRusselCarlKevinAlphaHeadphones Dug
Onward: IanBarleyThe Manticore
Soul: Joe22
Luca: LucaAlberto
Turning Red: Meilin LeeRed Panda MeiAbby ParkRed Panda Ming Lee
Lightyear: Captain LightyearSox
Pixar Shorts: Bao
Elemental: EmberWade
Alien Remix: Monsters Inc. AlienIncredibles Alien

Disney video games
Kingdom Hearts: SoraAquaCaptain GoofyRoyal Magician Donald
Disney live-action films
Pirates of the Caribbean: Captain Jack SparrowBarbossaDavy JonesElizabeth SwannPrison DogTia Dalma

Descendants: Mal
Hocus Pocus: Winifred SandersonMary SandersonSarah SandersonBinxBilly ButchersonYoung WinifredThe Book
Mary Poppins: Mary PoppinsBertJolly Holiday Mary Poppins
Enchanted: GiselleWedding Giselle
Jungle Cruise: FrankLily Houghton
The Little Mermaid: King TritonAriel
Cruella: Masquerade Cruella
The Santa Clause: Scott CalvinBernard the Elf
Maleficent: Maleficent

Disney live-action shows
The Golden Girls: Rose NylundBlanche DevereauxSophia PetrilloDorothy Zbornak
Disney Parks
The Haunted Mansion: Hatbox GhostMadame LeotaThe BrideHitchhicker Ghost PhineasConstance

Matterhorn Bobsleds: Abominable Snowman
Journey Into Imagination: FigmentSketch FigmentRainbow Figment
Main Street Electrical Parade: Electrical Parade ElliottElectrical Parade MinnieElectrical Parade Tinker BellElectrical Parade Cheshire CatElectrical Parade Blue FairyElectrical Parade GenieElectrical Parade Nemo
World of Color: World of Color Mickey
Space Mountain: Space Mountain
It's a Small World: It's a Small World
Disney Munchlings: Munchlings Cherry Tart Minnie

Disney Theatrical Productions
The Lion King: Broadway Mufasa
The Muppets
The Muppets: Kermit the FrogFozzie BearSwedish ChefMiss PiggyGonzoAnimal

The Muppet Christmas Carol: Bob Cratchit KermitMiss Piggy Emily Cratchit
Muppets Haunted Mansion: Madame PigotaGauzey the Hatbox Bear

Lucasfilm
Star Wars: ReyFinnBB-8Kylo RenLuke SkywalkerPrincess LeiaThe MandalorianGroguChewbaccaHondoFirst Order StormtrooperHan SoloR2-D2Cara DuneMoff GideonDeath TrooperPoe DameronC-3POBoba FettJabba the HuttAnakin Skywalker/Darth VaderQueen AmidalaDarth MaulFennec ShandAhsoka TanoJedi AnakinGeneral GrievousYodaLando CalrissianEmperor PalpatineGrand Moff TarkinK-2SOJyn ErsoCassian AndorObi-Wan KenobiGrand InquisitorWicketJedi Master LukeImperial StormtrooperBo-KatanCad BanePlatinum GroguSalacious CrumbBoushh Disguise LeiaRancorSabine WrenC1-10PMace WinduJar Jar BinksAdmiral AckbarHera SyndullaAdmiral AckbarEmerald YodaMeadow PadméEndor Rebel LeiaQui-Gon Jinn

Indiana Jones: Indiana JonesMarion RavenwoodHelena1969 Indiana Jones
Willow: WillowKit

20th Century Studios
Ron's Gone Wrong: RonBarney

Ice Age: ScratSidMannyDiego
Anastasia: Anastasia RomanovRasputin
Titanic: RoseJack

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