Many strange legends are told of these jungles of India, but none so strange as the story of a small boy named Mowgli.

Mowgli (also known as the Man-Cub) is the protagonist of Disney's 1967 animated feature film, The Jungle Book. A young, orphaned boy with an adventurous spirit, Mowgli had been raised by a pack of wolves in the jungles of India, since infancy. When a murderous tiger becomes determined to kill him, however, Mowgli is forced to leave his pack to live among humans in the Man-Village. Refusing to abandon his wild side, Mowgli instead strives to find a new place in the jungle, preferably with a fun-loving bear named Baloo.


Mowgli is a human child, who was found in a basket on the edge of a torn-apart boat as a baby by Bagheera, a black panther, with that fraction of a boat laying on a rock and its rear pointing up. Apparently orphaned, Mowgli was raised by a pack of wolves until he was 10 years old. However, the threat of Shere Khan forces the pack to send him away, and Bagheera decides to take him to a nearby man-village for his protection.

In the first scene of the film, Mowgli, as an infant, was found in a battered canoe. His biological parents were nowhere to be found, but it is implied that they died not too long before Mowgli was discovered by Bagheera. How exactly is unknown, but it can be concluded that a messy river accident claimed their lives.


Although storyboard artist Bill Peet wanted Mowgli's character arc to be more accurate to the source material, in which Mowgli goes back and forth from the jungle to civilization, Walt Disney and Wolfgang Reitherman decided against following the book's dark and complex narrative in favor of a more light-hearted and straightforward story. The crew also decided against following Mowgli's bildungsroman character arc from the books in favor of a more simple coming-of-age story in which Mowgli has to come to terms with his inevitable manhood as he faces various obstacles in the jungle.

Mowgli was animated by Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston and Milt Kahl. When the crew was dissatisfied with all the auditions for Mowgli, director Wolfgang Reitherman suggested casting his own 11-year-old son, Bruce Reitherman, as Mowgli due to his enthusiasm for the project. The crew approved of the casting choice as they felt it was right to cast a completely unknown voice in a film with various celebrity voices.


Mowgli is portrayed as an average child in the original film. Generally happy-go-lucky, but had a difficult time dealing with rules, and even more so, change. His goal throughout the film was to somehow find his place in the jungle, in hopes of remaining there, despite the looming threat of Shere Khan. This ambition would cause trouble for Mowgli, as he would unknowingly become the pawn of schemes from some animals, such as Kaa the Python and King Louie, who both sought out to manipulate Mowgli for their own, personal gain, rather than treating him as a member of their family, which is truly what the man-cub desired.

This is one of the reasons as to why Mowgli's relationship with Baloo is so strong. Unlike most other animals, Baloo originally had no qualms with the idea of Mowgli staying in the jungle and saw the man-cub as his own son as their time together escalated, with Mowgli returning the affection by viewing Baloo as his father. Once Baloo eventually did come around to realize the importance of Mowgli's entry into the Man-Village, it was out of love, as he only wanted what was best for Mowgli, despite the fact that it would lead to their separation. The same can be said for the wise, and often grouchy panther, Bagheera, though Mowgli's stubbornness, and failure to understand the circumstances of his situation, would leave the man-cub feeling unwanted and unworthy of love. Nevertheless, Mowgli would come to understand by the end of the film, and immediately patch his close relationships.

Despite the lack of animal survival instincts, Mowgli is incredibly brave. When met with obstacles in the jungle, the man-cub would retaliate once the danger is realized, and often come out on top. And even when outmatched, physically and mentally, Mowgli would stand his ground and make it a point to prove that he isn't afraid. The one exception to this situation is the final confrontation with Shere Khan, who proved to be a force powerful enough to actually strike legitimate fear within Mowgli; but even then, once Mowgli learned the tiger's weakness, he once again took charge of the situation and drove Shere Khan away. In the sequel he overcame his fear of Shere Khan a second time and was even willing to sacrifice himself to protect Shanti. In addition to that, Mowgli has also proven to be strong-willed. This is seen in his first encounter with Kaa, who had difficulty hypnotizing the boy to sleep due to his continuing resistance and only succeeded by using the comfort of his coils to relax him. While Bagheera, who is much more mature and wiser, was put in a trance without much effort. It was only later on when Kaa put Mowgli in a trance immediately by tricking him into letting his guard down.

Mowgli is also shown to have brotherly instincts. In the beginning of the first film, it is shown that he is admired by his wolf siblings and possibly looked up to by the new pups. In the sequel, this trait is even more noticeable as he displays protective attitude towards his new adoptive brother Ranjan and the latter looks up to him for that. His charisma has been known to go beyond his relationship with his families, as he is able to charm Shanti, his friend-turned-girlfriend, and occasionally bring out her fun-loving side, just as Baloo taught him to when they first met. Lastly, Mowgli is also mischievous, as shown when he tickled Baloo when he was lying on the ground and when he managed to startle Shanti, making her trip and fall into the river and resulting her becoming soaking wet.

Physical appearance

Mowgli is a slender prepubescent boy with tan skin, brown eyes, thick black eyebrows and wild untidy black hair that covers his forehead, ears and reaches his neck. In both films he is half-naked, wearing only a loincloth made from red cotton fabric.


The Jungle Book

On one peaceful day in the jungle, Bagheera the panther hears the cries of something unfamiliar to him and the jungle inhabitants. He goes to investigate and finds an abandoned, wrecked canoe. Inside, he finds a basket with a human baby, a "man cub." Knowing the man cub would die alone, Bagheera takes him to a wolf pack where he is adopted by Raksha and Rama, who name him Mowgli. Ten years later, Mowgli has become a valued member of the pack and has befriended Bagheera, who serves as his protector and mentor. One night, the wolf pack learned that the notorious predator, Shere Khan, has returned to that part of the jungle, in an attempt to murder Mowgli.

For his own protection, Mowgli is forced to go live in the Man Village, where he'll be safe. Bagheera offers to take him, but Mowgli appalled by the idea of leaving the only home he has ever known and insists that he can take care of himself. Mowgli and Bagheera rest in a tree for the night, but they encounter Kaa the python, who begins hypnotizing Mowgli to a peaceful sleep. The man-cub tries to focus and resist the hypnosis but becomes too sleepy to do so when Kaa wraps his coils around him and prepares to eat him. Fortunately, Mowgli is saved by Bagheera, and the former pushes Kaa off the tree with his feet. Kaa leaves, promising Mowgli that he will catch him again, which Mowgli ignores. Bagheera mockingly reminds Mowgli of his earlier insistence and hopes this experience would teach him something. However, Mowgli still insists on staying in the jungle and the two go back to sleep. The next morning, Mowgli and Bagheera were still asleep when the tree begins to shake. It turns out there were a bunch of elephants marching in a single file line. As Mowgli felt himself plopping up and down, he wakes up to see what the noise is. He climbs down and runs towards the marching elephants. He meets and befriends Hathi, Jr., the son of Colonel Hathi, leader of the Jungle Patrol. Colonel Hathi is surprised by the very idea of a man cub in "his" jungle. The escapade with Hathi causes Bagheera to become even more fed up with Mowgli, to the point where he abandons him. Alone, Mowgli sits quietly when a bear named Baloo comes strolling by.

Mowgli with Baloo.

Mowgli poorly attempts to fight off Baloo, but with his terrible combat ability, Baloo decides to teach Mowgli how to fight instead. The lesson includes teaching him how to roar like a bear. The ferocious roar of Baloo is heard miles away, and Bagheera rushes back to Mowgli's aid. When he finds Baloo and Mowgli bonding, Bagheera learns that Mowgli plans on staying with Baloo in the jungle, and storms off again. During a float down the river, Mowgli is kidnapped by a group of monkeys, and is taken to their leader an orangutan named King Louie in the ancient ruins.

Louie welcomes the feisty man-cub, who demands to be released at once. Louie offers Mowgli refreshments and lets him cool off before telling him the reason he brought him to the ruins was to make him a deal; he will make sure Mowgli gets to stay in the jungle in exchange for teaching him how to make fire. However, as Mowgli was not raised by humans, he cannot fulfill his part of the bargain. Though Louie does not believe him. Baloo and Bagheera arrive and rescue Mowgli, destroying Louie's empire in the process. That night, Baloo agrees to take Mowgli to the village after hearing about Shere Khan's plans to kill the boy. The next morning, Mowgli and Baloo begin to make their way, but Mowgli is oblivious as to where they're actually going. When Baloo confesses the truth, Mowgli runs off, feeling betrayed.

Wandering the jungle with nowhere to go, Mowgli stops near a tree, where a snake tail snatches him and pulls him up the tree. Mowgli is surprised to see that it is Kaa, and that he made good on his promise after all. Kaa tries to persuade Mowgli to trust him on account that he can help Mowgli stay in the jungle. Mowgli is hesitant, but Kaa manages to hypnotize Mowgli and he sleepwalks on his coils. After coiling Mowgli up from head to feet, Kaa is interrupted by Shere Khan before he can enjoy his captured meal. After Kaa's conversation with the tiger, Mowgli manages to regain consciousness and once again pushes Kaa off the tree with his feet. He accuses Kaa of lying to him and runs off.

Mowgli meets Shere Khan.

At his lowest low, Mowgli finds himself in the wasteland part of the jungle, where a pack of comical vultures reside. They begin to mock Mowgli because of his bizarre appearance, driving him to tears. Feeling sorry for the boy, the vultures apologize for their behavior and assure him that they know how it feels to be cast out. To prove their sincerity, they offer Mowgli a spot in their group. He denies the offer initially, but the vultures begin to warm up to the man-cub and his value of companionship is restored. Just then, Shere Khan appears and threatens Mowgli, who refuses to back down. Impressed by his courage, Shere Khan gives him a head start but Mowgli refuses to play his game and prepares to defend himself. As Shere Khan is about to attack, Baloo arrives and battles the tiger. Mowgli and the vultures come to Baloo's aid but are no match for the beast. As the vultures grab Mowgli and carry him to safety, Shere Khan unleashes his fury on Baloo until he is seemingly dead. Lightning strikes a nearby tree, putting one of the branches on fire. Mowgli is told that Shere Khan's only fear is fire, and Mowgli uses the fire branch to scare Shere Khan away.

Mowgli is folowing Shanti to the man village

As the heroes celebrate, Mowgli and Bagheera begin to mourn for Baloo's death. Baloo then begins to wake up, revealing to be alive. Mowgli and Baloo reunite, just as Mowgli hears the singing of another human from the Man Village. It is a girl gathering water from a river, and Mowgli is entranced by her beauty. As he climbs up a tree for a better look, he falls into the river where he is easily noticed by the young maiden. Surprised but curious, the girl tries to convince Mowgli to come with her to the village. Mowgli is reluctant at first, but his fascination gets the better of him and he lets her lead him to the village. At the entrance, Mowgli hesitates and looks back at Baloo and Bagheera with uncertainty. As the girl comes back to see if he is coming, Mowgli looks into her eyes and becomes infatuated with her. Unable to fight his own humanity, the boy accepts his new life and accompanies the girl to the village.

The Jungle Book 2

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Mowgli in The Jungle Book 2.

Not long after Baloo and Bagheera dropped Mowgli off at the Man Village, Mowgli has since been adopted by the village leader and his wife. He now has a little brother named Ranjan and has become close friends with the girl that lured him into the village, Shanti, whom he has a reciprocated crush on. Although he appreciates his new family, Mowgli misses his jungle life and hopes to one day return to it. During a normal day, Mowgli almost led the village children to the jungle to show them that the jungle is not as menacing as they are led to believe. However, Shanti notices what Mowgli is doing and overreacts, alerting the village leader who punishes Mowgli for his disobedience. Shanti immediately tries to apologize to Mowgli, as she did not mean to get him in trouble, but Mowgli ignores her.

Mowgli and Baloo reunite.

Later on that night, Baloo sneaks into the village, reuniting with his "bear cub" the same time Shanti tries to make amends with her friend. When Shanti spots Baloo, she panics and alerts the villagers. Baloo and Mowgli make a run for the jungle, but the villagers attack Shere Khan, who also journeyed into the village to extract revenge on Mowgli. In the jungle, Mowgli and Baloo catch up, singing a reprise of "The Bare Necessities". The next day, Mowgli and Baloo are gathering mangoes when Bagheera arrives. He asks Baloo if he is knowledgeable about the whereabouts of Mowgli, but Baloo denies (Mowgli is hiding in a tree during Baloo and Bagheera's conversation). He also tells him that the entire village has entered the jungle, searching for the man-cub.

Bagheera's news makes Mowgli placate, and he wonders if Shanti is also searching with the villagers. For the sake of his friendship with Baloo however, Mowgli decides to shelve the feelings and asks Baloo to find a good hideout for the two of them. The duo heads over to King Louie's place, but Louie has departed, and the jungle's inhabitants turned it into the biggest hangout around. After a party, Baloo begins to tell the animals about the village, using information from Mowgli to recite. Baloo repeats all that Mowgli has complained about, which hurts the man-cub's feelings and he leaves the ruins to be alone. In his solitude, Mowgli begins to feel more appreciative of the village than he ever was before after being around his own kind and feels conflicted about where he wants to belong.

Shere Khan confronting Mowgli Shanti & Ranjan

Mowgli confronted by Shere Khan once again.

Suddenly, Shanti and Ranjan appear after searching far and wide for Mowgli. As Baloo searches for him, he spots Shanti. Earlier, Mowgli and Baloo planned on scaring Shanti away if she ever found them, so, Baloo made himself appear to be vicious, successfully scaring her. As Mowgli has changed his mind, he tries to stop Baloo, accidentally revealing that he planned the entire scare. Shanti and Ranjan leave, having Mowgli follow to apologize. He finds them cornered by a vengeful Shere Khan, and a chase follows. It leads to ancient ruins where Baloo, Mowgli, and Shanti battle the tiger, while Bagheera watches over Ranjan. During the battle, Shere Khan corners Shanti and threatens to kill her unless Mowgli gives himself up. The man-cub reveals himself to save her and Shere Khan attacks. Baloo engages in a brawl with the tiger, giving the children time to flee, but are trapped when they reach a volcanic crater filled with lava. Shere Khan breaks free and pursues them. During the struggle, Shere Khan falls into the crater and lands on a rock, only to be trapped as a giant statue falls on top of him.

After the tiger's defeat, Mowgli introduces Shanti to Bagheera. Before the conversation goes further, the group spots the village search party in the distance. Mowgli realizes he must make his choice; stay in the jungle with his old friends and family or return to the village with the love of his life. Baloo encourages Mowgli to go, having come to realize that civilization is truly where Mowgli belongs and admits that Shanti is not so bad after all. Mowgli and Baloo say goodbye and the boy follows Shanti to the villagers where he reunites with his foster parents. Mowgli is about to apologize to his father for making him so worried but he tells him he is sorry for not realizing how much the jungle meant to him and return to the village. The morning after, Mowgli, Shanti, and Ranjan are now allowed to visit Baloo and Bagheera as they please before finishing their daily chores. A relationship between Mowgli and Shanti also blossoms.

Jungle Cubs

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Mowgli with Baloo in the Jungle Cub DVD cutscenes.

Mowgli was featured on the Jungle Cubs: Born to Be Wild DVD cutscenes. In this story, Mowgli, Baloo, and Bagheera are heading off to the Man Village. Along the way, they meet some old friends and foes and each meeting brings a story from their childhood. Like the film, Baloo volunteers to raise Mowgli as his own in the jungle, but Bagheera is firmly against this, and forces the two to follow him to the Man Village. Along the way, their encounter old friends and foes, the first of which is Kaa, who hypnotizes Mowgli in an attempt to eat him. The snake is foiled when Baloo grabs into the former's tail and plunges him down a chasm.

While traversing the Savannah, Mowgli is nearly eaten by Hathi, who tosses the man-cub aside after realizing what he was about to do. Hathi voices his distaste for humans before absentmindedly reminiscing about the past, allowing Mowgli and his friends to exit the scene.

Finally, the trio are attacked by Shere Khan. He corners Mowgli and prepares to eat him, but Baloo and Bagheera call Khan out, claiming he owes them for saving his life when they were kids. Khan claims he doesn't recall such events, to which Baloo responds with a story recounting such an occasion. When Khan scoffs this off, Baloo tosses a beehive onto Khan's head, forcing the tiger to retreat. Baloo takes the opportunity to brag, reiterating his claim that Mowgli is safe in his care. The trio then walk off into the jungle as King Louie closes out the story.

House of Mouse


Mowgli taking the place of Tramp in House of Mouse.

Mowgli made few cameo appearances in House of Mouse usually found in crowd shots with Baloo or King Louie. During the opening of the show, Mowgli can be seen petting Oliver from the film Oliver & Company.

In "House of Turkey", Mowgli was seen being coiled up by Kaa when he and the other guests begin getting hungry with not a turkey to dine on.

In "Ask Von Drake", during Ludwig Von Drake's headcount of all the guests, Mowgli was seen on a table with Baloo.

In one episode, he took over the place of Tramp in the famous 'spaghetti scene' with Lady.

In the episode "Goofy's Menu Magic", he was nearly eaten by Kaa when the snake does not receive his evening meal.

Mowgli was also amongst the crowd of characters singing "The Best Christmas of All" in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse.

Other appearances

In the 101 Dalmatians: The Series episode "Home is Where the Bark Is", Mowgli's silhouette can be seen as one of the passengers of a subway train the dalmatians ride on.

In The Lion King 1½, Mowgli with Baloo made a cameo appearance at the end of the movie.

In Meet the Robinsons, Mowgli and Baloo can be seen on a poster during Goob's baseball game.

In It's a Small World: The Animated Series, Mowgli makes a brief cameo in the episode "A Jolly Holi Day", mindlessly following Shanti with a love-struck gaze.

Live-action appearances

Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book

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Mowgli in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.

In the live-action version, Mowgli is portrayed by Sean Naegeli as a 5-year-old boy and by actor Jason Scott Lee as an adult.

He is the son of an Indian Jungle guide named Nathoo who was guiding a group of soldiers led by Colonel Brydon. He and his daughter Katherine (nicknamed "Kitty") are very close friends and show deep affection for each other. She gives him a special bracelet that had belonged to her mother. After his father is killed by Shere Khan, Mowgli and his pet wolf cub, Grey Brother were lost in the jungle and presumed dead. They were found by Bagheera who took them to be raised by a family of wolves and befriends Baloo, the big brown bear.

Mowgli grew up and found Kitty again in an Indian City and with the help of Dr. Plumford learns the ways of man again, in return Mowgli shows Kitty the wonders and secrets of the jungle. They start to show deep affection for each other once again. However, many people don't trust him and he grows to dislike how corrupt and uncivilized man have become. Finally after being treated cruelly by arrogant soldier Captain William Boone (who had disliked Mowgli from the very first time they met, particularly after refusing to take him to the treasure-filled Monkey City) and his men, he feels he no longer belongs there and returns to the jungle. Meanwhile, Boone decides to use force to get Mowgli to take him to the treasure, so he attempts to kidnap him, this fails but in the process, Baloo is shot. Afterward, Mowgli saves Dr. Plumford from a group of Indian Bandits, but Brydon and Kitty are captured. Mowgli knows that they know he'll come to rescue her. After receiving thanks from Dr. Plumford, Mowgli takes him to Baloo and asks for his help.

The jungle man meets Boone again with his men Lieutenant Wilkins, Sergeant Harley, Buldeo, and Tabaqui who threaten to kill Kitty and her father unless he leads them to the treasure. Mowgli agrees but is certain they will not live long enough to find it. Mowgli is tied to a tree that evening, but upon realizing that Shere Khan is following the group, he escapes with the aid of Bagheera (to keep an eye out for the tiger while surveying the journey). Harley is the first to wake up and sees him running away, but while chasing him, he drowns in a pond of quicksand. Mowgli finds Colonel Brydon left to die by Boone and leads him back to the village on an elephant promising to bring Kitty back.

As Mowgli keeps an eye out and watches the group's progress, Tabaqui confronts him and barbarically tries to kill Mowgli - only to be kicked and sent plummeting to his death. Now Boone, Wilkins, Buldeo and Kitty are the only ones who find Monkey city, but Wilkins gets separated from them and is mauled by Shere Khan. Mowgli points Boone who is now holding Kitty as a hostage into a direction of the city. He taunts him by pointing to King Louie and telling him to follow him to the treasure. While following them, Mowgli is chased and shot at by Buldeo. The fight continues in a crypt, but the bandit sets off a booby trap that buries him alive while Mowgli escapes. Now Mowgli, Boone, and Kitty are the only ones left who make it to the treasure. Boone attempts to kill Mowgli in a fierce sword fight, but he wins and severely injures the soldier. He escapes with Kitty while Boone is killed by Kaa the deadly Python.

In the end, Mowgli makes peace with Shere Khan who now sees him as a creature of the jungle and he and Kitty return to the village pleased to see that both Brydon and Baloo have been cured of their injuries by Dr. Plumford. Mowgli becomes Lord of the Jungle and he and Kitty share a kiss next to a waterfall.

The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story

Mowgli (Mowgli's Story)

Mowgli in The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story.

A 1998 live-action retelling of the story. In this version, Mowgli's village is attacked by the vicious tiger Shere Khan and he gets lost in the ruckus and runs into the jungle. There, Mowgli met Baloo the wise bear, Bagheera the black panther, and the rest of his animal friends and they have many adventures. Towards the end, Mowgli sees humans but decides to stay away from them and live with Baloo, Bagheera, and the rest of his friends in the jungle. Kaa is noticeably absent from this version of the film.

The Jungle Book (2016)

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Mowgli in the 2016 adaptation of The Jungle Book.

Mowgli appears in the 2016 live-action film adaptation, portrayed by Neel Sethi. As a child, Mowgli's father was killed by Shere Khan when they took refuge in a cave while traveling between villages, leaving him an orphan. He was later found by Bagheera, who later took Mowgli to the wolf pack, under the leadership of Akela. Raksha took him in as her son, and since his adoption, Mowgli spends his time training with Bagheera and his siblings and learning how to become a proper wolf. He also has a fascination with inventing and uses such creations to assist him in surviving despite his lack of animalistic skills. These creations are looked down upon by the wolves, particularly Akela, and dubbed "tricks".

During the "dry season", only one area of the jungle, a watering hole know colloquially as the Water Truce, provides water, which the animals respond to by forming a truce to obtain an equal share for their own survival. This includes Shere Khan, who notices the presence of Mowgli. He threatens to kill members of the wolf pack unless the boy is handed over to him. Mowgli, not wanting anyone to get hurt, leaves the pack with Bagheera. Shortly after, Mowgli is separated from Bagheera during an attack by Shere Khan and manages to escape.

After Shere Khan later learns that the wolves allowed Mowgli to leave as opposed to turning the man-cub over, the tiger kills Akela and takes control of the wolf pack. Mowgli lost even deeper in the Jungle, soon encounters Kaa. The huge snake hypnotizes and tries to eat the man-cub, revealing his past while she entrances him, but he is saved by Baloo, who drives the giant python away. Baloo forces Mowgli to return the favor by obtaining honey from a high up cliff side. Mowgli does so successfully by kicking it to the ground with his feet and tries to leave. Baloo convinces him to remain by his side, saying that he needs more food and resources for 'hibernation' during the winter, but promises to take him to the Man-Village should he wish, also noting that Mowgli is capable of being a man in the jungle as opposed to being a man in the village. Over time, Mowgli and Baloo form a bond, and they eventually are located by Bagheera. Bagheera tries to take Mowgli to the Man-Village, but Baloo convinces the panther to wait until morning after Bagheera becomes angry with Mowgli for his use of "tricks" and inventions during his stay with Baloo. During the night, Mowgli notices a herd of elephants in distress. Their youngest member is trapped in a deep pit, and Mowgli quickly responds by creating a device from vines that rescue the baby, forming a bond with the elephants in the process.

Afterward, Mowgli is confronted by Baloo (who, on Bagheera's orders to protect him from Shere Khan, lies that they were never friends and that he only used Mowgli to obtain what he wanted) and is then kidnapped by bander-logs and is taken to the kingdom of King Louie. Louie commands Mowgli to teach him the ways of the "red flower", but Mowgli, not knowing the secrets, is unable to. After Baloo and Bagheera arrive to rescue Mowgli and nearly succeed in sneaking him out of the bander-log temple, Louie and his monkeys attack, with Louie personally pursuing the man-cub. During their confrontation, Louie claims to be Mowgli's only hope for safety from Shere Khan. Mowgli tells Louie that he'll return to Akela, prompting Louie to reveal the wolf's demise. After Louie is defeated and crushed to death by his own temple falling on him, Mowgli confronts Bagheera on Akela's death and, enraged by this revelation, chooses to return to the wolf pack to avenge their fallen leader and end Shere Khan's tyranny.

Mowgli travels to the Man-Village is mesmerized by seeing other humans for the first time and retrieves a torch of fire from the village's entrance. As he travels to the wolf pack, he accidentally causes a fire to break out, which in turn causes the other animals in the jungle to gather at the Water Truce. Mowgli confronts Shere Khan who informs the former of the danger he's caused. Ashamed of his actions and discouraged by the fear seen in his family and friends, Mowgli puts out the fire, leaving him devoid of protection. Nevertheless, Baloo, Bagheera, Raksha, and the rest of the wolf pack defy the tiger to protect Mowgli. The animals battle Shere Khan while Mowgli escapes into the burning jungle to set a trap for the tiger. Shere Khan eventually follows behind and chases Mowgli up a dead strangler fig tree. Mowgli then tricks Shere Khan into leaping onto a weak branch, goading him by saying that he is not afraid of the tiger, resulting in the tiger pouncing and falling into the inferno below to his death while Mowgli swings away. With Shere Khan dead, Mowgli rallies the elephants to his aid, and with their help, extinguishes the fire by damming the river so that the water overflows into the jungle.

Having proved himself, Mowgli remains a member of the jungle, accepted for his own unique methods of survival, and is last seen relaxing with Bagheera and Baloo.

Video games

The Jungle Book Groove Party

Mowgli is featured as the game's main protagonist and a playable character. The game acts as a retelling of the original, thus having Mowgli play the original role from the film.

Disney Universe

Mowgli appears as a downloadable character for the PlayStation3 and Xbox360 in The Jungle Book pack.

Kinect Disneyland Adventures

Mowgli appears as an unlockable meet-and-greet character near the Treehouse in Adventureland. To lure Mowgli out of hiding, the player must complete a few tasks for Baloo. At one point, Mowgli tells the player that he wishes to learn how to carry water jars as good as Shanti. He asks the player to find some so that he may practice. After the water jars are recovered, Mowgli and the player practice holding them atop their heads.

Other games

Two medals featuring Mowgli (one with Baloo, and another with both Baloo and King Louie) were added into Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ during an event based on The Jungle Book.[1]

Disney Parks

DisneyParks Mowgli

Mowgli posing for a photo at one of the Disney parks.

Mowgli originally made regular meet-and-greet appearances in all the parks but became extremely rare after 1999. He wears a brown cloak.

Walt Disney World

A statue of Mowgli with Baloo is featured at Disney's Pop Century Resort.

Mowgli has a spell card known as "Mowgli's Swinging Vine" in the attraction Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.

Mowgli appears in the bubble montage in Disney's Hollywood Studios version of Fantasmic!, and during the "Bare Necessities" snippet in Happily Ever After.

In Disney's Animal Kingdom, Mowgli starred in the short-lived live show Journey into the Jungle Book.

Tokyo Disney Resort

Mowgli appeared in Jubilation! in Tokyo Disneyland. In the parade, Mowgli can be found on the Jungle Book-themed float atop Kaa the snake in his coils.

Disneyland Paris

Mowgli recently made a comeback at the Disneyland Paris event, Adventureland Celebrates!

Hong Kong Disneyland

Mowgli appears in Hong Kong Disneyland's It's a Small World attraction along with Baloo as a small world doll.

Differences from the source material

  • In the original novel, Mowgli's name is pronounced "mao-glee" (the "mao" rhymes with "cow"), while in the Disney film it is pronounced "moh-glee" (the "moh" rhymes with "go").
  • In the book, Mowgli was described as being skinny (though as a teenager he was athletic), naked (except in the village, where he wore a lungi and sandals), with black shoulder-length hair and carried a knife to make up for his lack of fangs and claws. Whereas in the 1967 Disney movie, he appears skinny with black neck-length hair and wears a red loincloth made from cotton.
  • In terms of personality, Mowgli is somewhat similar in both the books and the Disney version. However, because the books show Mowgli's childhood and adolescence in great detail, the book version receives significantly more character growth. At the age of 10, Mowgli was playful, curious, sarcastic, naïve, stubborn but still polite and brave. After being kidnapped by the bandar-log, however, Mowgli began to take Baloo and Bagheera's lessons more seriously. And after being banished from the wolf pack and rejected by the villagers, Mowgli becomes more cynical and cautious but nevertheless retained his sarcasm, bravery and nobility. As a teenager, Mowgli became much more mature and began to show his leadership qualities and charisma. In the Disney version, Mowgli is depicted as a 10-year-old and shares a lot of his personality with his book counterpart, most notably his bravery, curiosity and playfulness. However, the Disney version is considerably more sensitive as he took it very hard when he had to leave the jungle and tried to find any possible reason to stay in the jungle.
  • In the book, Mowgli makes his own way to the wolves while fleeing from Shere Khan. As the tiger demands them to give him his prey back, they refuse and Raksha, the mother, angrily states that Mowgli is under their protection and threatens to tear him apart if he comes near him. Shere Khan, being too large to fit inside the cave, leaves grudgingly. The wolves then adopt Mowgli as one of their own after seeing how well he gets along with their own cubs. However, in the 1967 Disney adaptation, it is Bagheera who finds Mowgli abandoned as an infant in the jungle. Bagheera then leaves him by the wolves' cave, who gladly decide to care for him and raise him as their own cub.
  • In the book, Mowgli had to leave the jungle because he brought fire into the jungle (intending to use it against Shere Khan, who was about to kill Akela). As punishment, Akela banished Mowgli from the pack and the boy made his way to the man-village where he was adopted by a kind woman named Messua. Whereas in the Disney version, the need for him to leave the jungle was solely based on the threat of Shere Khan and because his presence in the jungle attracts too much unwanted attention.
  • In the books, Mowgli became the leader of the wolf pack until he decided to leave the jungle. While in the Disney version he never became the leader.
  • In the Disney version, Mowgli immediately begins a peaceful life with Shanti and his new family when he enters the man-village. While in the books, Mowgli was cast out of the village after several months of living there because a superstitious hunter named Buldeo convinced everyone that Mowgli was an evil sorcerer. Once Mowgli learned that Messua was to be executed for adopting him, he persuaded Hathi to help him destroy the village to save his foster mother. With Raksha's help, Mowgli escorted Messua 30 miles through the jungle and to the British-controlled town of Khanhiwara but instead of going with her, Mowgli returned to the jungle in hopes of regaining his honor among the wolves and declaring that he has no place in civilization. Seven years later, Mowgli leaves the jungle forever once Kaa proves to him that the jungle has nothing to offer him but misery and loneliness. He reunited with Messua, married a Khanhiwaran girl, had children with her and was given a job as a park ranger, spending the rest of his life in civilization.
  • In the book, Mowgli met the love of his life at the age of 17. While in the Disney version, he met her at the age of 10.


The Disney Wiki has an article focusing on the relationships of Mowgli.


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


  • Animator Glen Keane used Mowgli's animation from the original film as a reference when he animated Aladdin.
  • In the novel, Mowgli's name means "frog" in the wolf language and is named so by the wolves because of his lack of fur. The name given by his birth parents, however, is Nathoo.
  • While Mowgli himself was left out of the television series TaleSpin, a young bear cub known as Kit Cloudkicker seems to be a stand-in for him, since Baloo calls him by the same nicknames as his Jungle Book counterpart Mowgli, like "Little Britches" and "Baby Bear".
  • Mowgli's wolf family is not given a large role in most of the films. This was most likely done so there wouldn't be too many characters in the story and to keep focused on the main plot. However, it is shown that the wolves care deeply for him. Such as when Mowgli's brother and sister lick his face to show their affection. Also when his foster father, Rama, expressed reluctance and great sadness when the wolf council decided that Mowgli must return to humanity. The wolves play a larger part in the 2016 film, Raksha and Akela in particular, in their interactions with Mowgli.
  • Mowgli's walk entrance in the beginning of the movie was similar to Arthur's walk entrance in The Sword in the Stone, because both of them get licked lovingly by two canines (Disney was going through financial crisis at the time, forcing them to recycle much of the animation for Jungle Book).
    • Coincidentally, Richard and Robert Reitherman, the brothers of Bruce Reitherman who voiced Mowgli, both voiced Arthur, alongside Rickie Sorensen.
  • Mowgli doesn't appear in Once Upon a Time. However, the Huntsman had a similar backstory, raised also by wolves, which is a reference to Mowgli.


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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"

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"
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Sequel: "The Jungle Rhythm" • "W-I-L-D" • "Right Where I Belong"

See Also
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