King Louie (full name Louie Lamount in TaleSpin) is a character from Disney 1967 hit The Jungle Book, its spin-off television series, and in which he was a young orangatan, inspired by Rudyard Kipling's classic novel. Louie did not appear in the book, however, because orangutans are not native to India. The original story for Louie started out quite differently, but he was eventually given the voice and personality of famed jazz trumpeter and vocalist Louis Prima. Milt Kahl, Frank Thomas, and John Lounsbery animated the character. He sings the song "I Wanna Be Like You" after he kidnaps Mowgli, and asks the boy to show him the secret of "red fire" so he can be human.
King Louie first appears in Disney's 1967 adaption of The Jungle Book story. King Louie sends out his monkey friends the find and capture Mowgli. The monkeys succesfully retrieve Mowgli and bring him to King Louie. King Louie offers Mowgli to stay in the jungle as long as Mowgli teaches him and his friends how to make fire. Mowgli has no clue how to make fire, but King Louie believes he is just being shy. Baloo and Bagheera head to the ancient ruins where King Louie and the monkeys live and rescue Mowgli.
King Louie did not appear in The Jungle Book 2, but a puppet of him can been seen in Mowgli's puppet show at the beginning of the film. His absence was due to Louis Prima's widow suing over the unauthorized use of her late husband's voice and public personal in past Jungle Book spin-off projects, as Jim Cummings's imitation of Prima featured in these was near perfect. This is rumored to have influenced the cancellations of the television spin-offs Tale Spin and Jungle Cubs. Although these rights have recently been dropped and Disney may once again use the character King Louie.
On the T.V. series TaleSpin, Louie owns "Louie's", an island bar not far from Cape Suzette, where most pilots hang out and refuel their planes, especially Baloo. Baloo is addicted to the various ice cream concoctions Louie serves, and he always charges them against his vast and ever-growing tab. Louie affects slightly dated California-hip talk, words like "bodacious" being a rather self-conscious part of his vocabulary. He enjoys hanging out with Baloo, either partying or treasure hunting (usually partying). But when he and Baloo get together, there tends to be some amount of trouble brewing (something Rebecca Cunningham has had the misfortune of learning). He's almost a genius in the kitchen, he creates many bizarre dishes and drinks (usually called a "Krakatoa Special") that he then unleashes on a poor, unsuspecting crowd. His standard garb is a tropical shirt and straw hat.
Louie appears as a cub, referred to as Prince Louie, who dreams of being King of the apes. Louie also star in the show alongside Baloo, Bagheera, Shere Khan, Hathi and Kaa who were all a group of friends. A fast-talking prankster, he takes the troupe from one madcap adventure to the next. Louie is a genius inventor and natural-born leader. This verbose orangutan always has something brewing, and is one of the founding members of the band "5 Bananas." His scats deliver positive messages, proving that he is more than just a goof-off and has the potential to someday be king.
King Louie make several camoes in the animated series House of Mouse. In one episode there is a King Louie look-alike orangutan who is referred to as King "Larry", and is said to be Louie's identical twin brother. It was to star King Louie, but had to be changed to Larry so as not to violate their agreement with Gia Prima.
King Louie along with Baloo is a meetable character in the Disney Parks. He mostly appears in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
In the Disneyland version of the show King Louie along with several monkey dance on the floating barges as Kaa snakes around the stage.
In the Disney world version, King Louie appears in the bubble sequence in the live nighttime spectacular Fantasmic!. Louie later appears along with Baloo riding the Steamboat Willie.
Louie appears in the Animal Kingdom Christmas parade along with Baloo and many other characters.
Louie appears in The Jungle Book's parade floats along with Baloo, Kaa and Shere Khan.
- King Louie is an original charcter from Disney, as orangutans are not native to India.