Shere Khan is the main antagonist of Disney's 1967 animated feature film, The Jungle Book. A powerful, suave Bengal tiger, Shere Khan is deeply feared as the most ferocious predator in the jungle. His reputation was such that he needed only to show himself to intimidate his victims. Khan is also notorious for his animosity towards man, due to his fear of guns and fire. As such, he has vowed to kill any human that steps foot in the jungle.
- 1 Background
- 2 Appearances
- 3 Live-action appearances
- 4 Printed media
- 5 Video games
- 6 Disney Parks
- 7 Differences from the source material
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Trivia
- 10 References
- 11 External links
As a cub, Shere Khan was best friends with Baloo, Bagheera, Louie, Hathi, and Kaa. However, he was pretty egotistical and cocky, which sometimes led to his friends bailing him out. Nonetheless, he was shown many times to be fond of his friends and often act protective of them when there was danger and in many episodes he even saved their lifes. He was also shown to be very affectionate and loving toward his old grandmother. Despite this, Khan always acted tough as he thought the other animals wouldn't respect him anymore if they think he is soft. The group went on many adventures together, but at some undetermined time, Shere Khan became a vicious predator, feared by all the inhabitants of the jungle. Shere Khan then lost his friends, who would become his enemies from that moment forward. Despite this, in the DVD scenes of Jungle Cubs: Born to be Wild, Baloo, now an adult, says that, while Khan would "first eat and then ask questions", he doesn't do it out of malice, implying that like the other predators, Khan simply hunts to survive.
- “Oh, please don't insult my intelligence. It makes me irritable.”
- ―Shere Khan to Kaa
Shere Khan acts as the physical embodiment of power and composure. With a dignified manner of carrying himself, and a strong sense of pride and elegance, the ruthless tiger is viewed as the uncorroborated ruler of the jungles of India; he is well aware of this reputation, as he takes advantage of it sadistically. Most, if not all residents of the jungle, are known to fear Shere Khan, and for reasons apparent: he is physically imposing, often seen with a stoic, menacing expression. The only moments where he's seen emoting otherwise is during his interrogations with potential victims, in which he speaks with a soft tone, coupled with a condescending and knowing smile, as he subtly taunts and emotionally torments his prey until he's ready to make the killing strike.
Shere Khan holds a burning hatred for mankind and vows to kill any human that steps foot within the jungle. It has been strongly implied that Shere Khan sees humans as unforgiving, soulless creatures who continuously cause havoc on nature, using narcissistic entitlement as justification for such acts. According to Bagheera, Khan hates man "with a vengeance", with both man's gun and man's fire having been involved in the creation of such hatred. Khan's fear of fire is the most dominant of the two and acts as a crippling phobia capable of driving the tiger to immediate panic. With such anger and rage, Shere Khan's normally somber and collected demeanor can become murderous, bloodthirsty, and feral in a matter of moments, as seen during his first confrontation with Mowgli in the original film, as he was willing to kill both the man-cub, and any animal who dared to protect him, without hesitation.
In the sequel, Shere Khan's personality and overall aura take a somewhat darker turn. Unlike the first film, his polite mannerisms and calm monologues are a rarity, as his bitterness and hatred towards Mowgli drive him to deeper madness, resulting in action being taken much quicker and having no comedic quirks. He's also far more feral in this film; constantly growling, roaring, and losing his control when pestered even slightly, even going as far as viciously mauling a vulture as punishment for mocking him.
- “He hates man with a vengeance, you know that! Because he fears Man's gun and Man's fire.”
- ―Bagheera to Baloo
Shere Khan makes his first physical appearance 2/3rds through the film, where he is stalking a deer as prey. His hunt was ruined when Colonel Hathi came marching by with his herd and scared it away, much to Shere Khan's annoyance. After Bagheera stopped them, Shere Khan eavesdropped on their conversation and was delighted when he heard about Mowgli, who had managed to escape Bagheera in hopes of staying in the jungle; without the panther at his side, the boy was now devoid of protection. After Bagheera and Hathi's herd separated to locate the man-cub, Khan began his own hunt for Mowgli.
After searching for some time, he heard Kaa seducing a victim and became suspicious. He grabbed Kaa's tail and got him to come down, subsequently questioning him about Mowgli. Kaa acted strangely while answering his questions, even attempting to hypnotize him, and his suspicious behavior prompted Shere Khan to search his coils for Mowgli. When it appeared that Kaa was truthful, Khan ordered him to act as an informative should the former come across the man-cub. Kaa agreed, and Khan took his leave.
Shere Khan's travels eventually led to the wastelands, where he overhears a flock of vultures singing. After investigating the occasion, he found Mowgli and calmly approached the group (after joining in the song and giving an applause to the vultures for what he thought was an extraordinary performance). Impressed by Mowgli's courage (being that he refused to immediately run at the sight of the tiger), Shere Khan gave the boy ten seconds to run away. Khan became more and more annoyed when he didn't, and eventually lunged for the killing strike. Baloo, Mowgli's friend, intervened by grabbing Khan's tail. As Shere Khan struggled to break free of Baloo's grip, the vultures carried Mowgli to safety.
Shere Khan then furiously battled Baloo and nearly killed him. The vultures intervened and stalled the tiger while Mowgli tied a burning branch to his tail. Upon noticing, Khan became terrified and frantically tried to put out the fire, but to no avail, forcing him to flee the wasteland with the burning branch still tied to his tail, burning his back and greatly humiliating him in the process.
Shere Khan returned once again as the main antagonist in the second film. Unlike in the first, he appeared much earlier and is far more evil and antagonistic than before. He is first seen smashing a makeshift version of Mowgli's head after Baloo left the area with Bagheera in pursuit. He seeks revenge on Mowgli for humiliating him at the climax of the original film and wishes for nothing more than his death. Khan travels to the Man-Village where Mowgli dwells.
He had no luck until he heard Shanti, one of Mowgli's friends, calling him. He then found Mowgli's house and was delighted that he would now have his chance for revenge. He became impatient when Mowgli didn't appear. All at once, Mowgli appeared in the air above the house. After Shanti started screaming about a wild animal, Khan noticed it was Baloo with Mowgli and was surprised. After the villagers responded to Shanti's calls, they saw Shere Khan instead of Baloo and chased him out of the village. Khan was attacked by the villagers with torches but they had no power over him. He escaped in rage but overjoyed to hear that Mowgli is now in the jungle. He encountered Kaa afterward, who had seen Mowgli. Kaa at first insisted he didn't know where Mowgli was, but Shere Khan knew better and intimidated him, even though Kaa was telling the truth.
Out of fear, Kaa told Khan to search by the swamp. However, when Khan arrived, Mowgli is nowhere to be found and he splashes the water in fury as he says "That snake lied to me!" The vultures return and become uneasy when their newest member Lucky begins to insanely mock him. After a few "jokes", Shere Khan tricks Lucky into revealing Mowgli's whereabouts. Before Khan leaves, he viciously mauls Lucky as revenge for the annoyance and presumably kills him. Later on, he found Shanti and Ranjan and cornered them. Mowgli then appeared to find them and Khan confronted him.
Mowgli ran away and Khan pursued him to a temple in the middle of a pool of lava. After Baloo and Shanti teamed up and started to bang gongs with Mowgli, one fell down revealing Shanti. He then said he would kill her if Mowgli wouldn't come out. Mowgli did and he pursued him and Shanti after knocking Baloo aside. Mowgli and Shanti jumped onto a tiger statue right over a pit of lava with Shere Khan right behind them. Before he could kill them, the statue's head fell off towards the lava. Baloo saved Mowgli and Shanti, while Khan fell into the pit. Rather than perishing, he landed on a slab of rock and was trapped underneath the statue's head. Lucky, still alive but lost the feathers on his body and has a bruised right eye, then flew down and started to tease Khan again, much to his annoyance.
Shere Khan appears in a more anthropomorphic form in the television series TaleSpin. Tony Jay provides his thick, British-accented voice starting from the beginning of the series, through other appearances, until his death.
Khan is an extremely wealthy CEO who is the dominant economic force in Cape Suzette, and an anti-hero. He is depicted as a selfish business man. He is sometimes accompanied by an unnamed emaciated tiger "yes-man" office aide. He takes enjoyment out of running small companies out of business (Higher For Hire is sometimes on his hit list) with a sense of ruthlessness to skirt around the law as he chooses. He also likes to feed tiny insects to the many carnivorous plants he grows in his office. At one point he even hires the Air Pirates to create an artificial oil shortage, so he can extort higher prices from the public in "On a Wing and a Bear".
He has a well-armed air force and navy, complete with battleships. This is mainly to protect his Khan Transport shipping and business interests worldwide. However, he is willing to act nobly at times, such as ordering his forces into the air to protect the city from the Air Pirates, and has shown that he respects Baloo's piloting skills, most notably when he allows Baloo to take over piloting his plane after having all of his pilots replaced with his own robotic pilots; his plane is ambushed by the Air Pirates, and the robotic pilot refuses to deviate from its flight plan due to its programming, causing Baloo to forcefully remove the robot and take control of the plane to evade the foes.
He has an extremely cool and calm personality, rarely (if ever) showing any sort of alarm or surprise, regardless of the circumstances. In fact, when his plane is attacked by Don Karnage's forces in the incident detailed above, he calmly mixes himself a drink as he explains the situation to Baloo.
This version of Shere Khan also makes a cameo in the Bonkers series in the episode "Of Mice and Menace". He appears in a couple of mugshots on a computer, implying that he is a criminal in the series.
This version of Shere Khan also serves as the influence for CEO Carl, the main antagonist of the CG animated TV series Talking Tom and Friends.
Shere Khan appeared as a young cub in the animated series Jungle Cubs, voiced by Jason Marsden. In the series, it was shown that Shere Khan was friends with Baloo, Bagheera, Hathi, Louie, and Kaa during childhood. Shere Khan was more of a bully and cocky in the series rather than a dangerous predator. Khan often tagged along with Baloo and friends on many adventures, usually trying to prove he's braver than they are. In the series, Shere Khan is given an American accent, while in other appearances, Khan speaks with a British accent. He seems to be the oldest of the cubs. He is sometimes called Khanny by others.
In spite of being a cub, Khan still holds his intimidating demeanor and continues to strike fear into the hearts of many of the jungle's inhabitants. However, his cocky attitude can get him and his friends into trouble with foes even he's frightened by, usually by bigger animals. Khan prefers to refer to the others as his followers rather than his friends, even though he obviously enjoys spending time with them. During the second season though, while still friends with the other cubs, he becomes less often seen with them and spends more time hunting. Much like an adult, Khan was sometimes found with Kaa. In one episode, the duo teamed up to take advantage of Louie, after he accidentally injured them. Acting as if they were too injured to do anything themselves, they spent the day bossing the ape around.
Khan is the least physically-changed of the cubs during the second season: He is slightly taller with brighter fur, but still has the same voice actor.
In Jungle Cubs: Born to Be Wild DVD, Khan, as an adult, returned to murder Mowgli yet again; however, Baloo was able to throw a beehive onto the tiger's head right before he could, having him run off in pain.
Shere Khan appeared in the TV series House of Mouse as a recurring guest, usually seen sitting either alone or with Kaa. In most of his pairings with Kaa, he is often seen holding Kaa by the neck, like in the movie.
In his most notable appearance in "The Mouse Who Came to Dinner", Mortimer Mouse was pretending to be the club's critic (which was really Lumiere) to have Mickey and friends obey him, annoying them and the other guests including Shere Khan. When Mortimer demanded real entertainment (instead of Huey, Dewey, and Louie), Shere Khan agreed with Lumiere (who stated that the entertainment is excellent) that Mortimer was the one who was annoying and asked "Do you mind?" to which Mortimer replied, "Yeah, as a matter of fact, I do mind, Stripey! Somebody get Tigger's evil twin here a ball of yarn!" Later, when it's revealed Mortimer is the star of the "celebrity roast", Shere Khan comments "How delightful," causing Mortimer to retort, "Oh be quiet, Mr. Cat Food!"
A dish called Shere Khan's Flan, named after the villainous tiger, is mentioned by Goofy in "Rent Day".
In "Dining Goofy", Shere Khan and Kaa were accidentally given broccoli by Goofy. He used one of his claws on Goofy to make it clear that he (and Kaa) was not a vegetarian. Soon after Goofy was replaced by advanced technology, Shere Khan and Kaa's meal order was corrected and they both got a giant steak to eat.
In "Goofy's Menu Magic", when a food shortage occurred, Goofy attempted to serve Shere Khan his shoe for dinner (an apparent reference to the Goofy short "Tiger Trouble"). Shere Khan, however, was unamused.
Despite appearing in the series itself, Shere Khan never appeared in its movie Mickey's House of Villains, as Kaa is the only villain from The Jungle Book to join the Disney Villains, led by Jafar to take over the House of Mouse. However, in the opening sequence, a tiger's paw is seen on-screen as the characters are walking towards the club. So it could be possible that only Shere Khan's paw was seen once in the movie.
- “Do not be wishing for this tiger, Sahib. He's the Devil!”
- ―Buldeo to Boone.
Shere Khan also appears in the 1994 live-action film, being portrayed by a real tiger. However, Shere Khan is presented as a more sympathetic character in this film. Khan appears rarely and instead serves as a major antagonist turned anti-hero of the film while an arrogant British captain named William Boone (played by Cary Elwes) serves as the main antagonist of the film. Unlike his animated counterpart, Khan does not kill for sport, and his sole goal is to protect the jungle from those who break its "laws", namely humans who kill animals for fun instead of food. He is described by the narrator of the film as "the jungle's royal keeper", and by Buldeo as the "king of tigers".
At the beginning of the movie, he sees two British guards and a hunter named Buldeo shooting animals for fun, and becomes enraged at this. He roars in his fury, letting the soldiers know he's returned and proceeds to follow the column of soldiers that the guards and Buldeo are part of. That night, he attacks the humans' camp in revenge for the animals' death, killing the two guards before turning on Buldeo. But before Khan can kill Buldeo, Nathoo (Mowgli's father and the soldiers' guide) shields the hunter. Although Nathoo tells Buldeo to shoot Khan, the ungrateful hunter runs away and abandons Mowgli's father to be killed. Khan's attack is also what led Mowgli to being separated from civilization and living in the jungle. Although he was heard growling when Bagheera found Mowgli, the tiger made no attempts to attack Mowgli at any point over the years (probably because Mowgli hasn't broken the jungle law).
Shere Khan is not seen again until the second half of the movie. By this time, Mowgli has fallen in love with his childhood friend Katherine "Kitty" Brydon and made an enemy in Captain Boone, who has his henchmen kidnap Kitty and her father to force Mowgli to take them to a treasure. Like before, Khan roars to announce his return, though why he started stalking the group is not revealed (it was possible to avenge Baloo's earlier shooting by Boone and Wilkins). Boone plans to kill Shere Khan for his skin, though Buldeo tries to convince him otherwise, knowing how dangerous the tiger is. Two of Boone's henchmen die before Khan catches up to the group, where he scares the villains into splitting up. Once separated, Shere Khan kills Lt. John Wilkins, a henchman of Captain Boone, while Buldeo is buried alive while trying to shoot Mowgli.
After the climactic battle between Mowgli and Boone (ending with Boone being killed by Kaa), Khan and Mowgli meet face to face for the first time. Khan is obviously distrusting of Mowgli (and all humans in general) and attempts to scare him away by roaring in his face, but Mowgli stubbornly roars back and stares Khan down. Seeing Mowgli's courage, Khan develops a newfound respect for him, and begins to see him as a fellow "creature of the jungle". Because of this and the fact that neither broke the jungle law, Shere Khan spares Mowgli and allows him and Kitty to leave peacefully.
Shere Khan is first seen attending the jungle meeting called by Hathi. He then contemplates on who he is going to eat, with his sidekick, Tabaqui, the hyena, telling jokes about it, much to the tiger's annoyance. He then decides to hunt man, claiming to have a craving for "Indian food". He and Tabaqui then ambush some humans visiting the river, but when he is shot at by hunters, he flees and is assumed dead. Years later, he reveals himself alive to the wolf pack and demands that Mowgli is given to him, but Akela refuses, and Shere Khan swears revenge. He is later seen conspiring with the wolf pack bullies about separating Mowgli from the pack, which succeeds. He and Tabaqui then conspire with the chimps about separating Mowgli from Bagheera and Baloo.
The chimps then inform Shere Khan that they've succeeded in capturing Mowgli, and he and Tabaqui head there. En route, Shere Khan runs into Raksha and kills her. By the time Shere Khan arrives in Monkey Town, Mowgli had escaped with help from Baloo and Bagheera. The enraged tiger then attacks the chimps. Whether or not he killed them is unknown.
Later, Mowgli lures Shere Khan into a trap by having him chase him to the river. Shere Khan at first scoffs at the notion that Mowgli can defeat him, but Mowgli forms a circle of fire around the tiger, frightening him and causing Tabaqui to desert him. Mowgli then makes Shere Khan to swear that he will leave the jungle and never return, threatening him should he break his word. The frightened tiger agrees, and flees the jungle forever.
Shere Khan appears in the 2016 live-action film adaptation, voiced by Idris Elba. He is also the main antagonist in that adaptation. In this incarnation, Shere Khan sports burn scars and a blind eye on the left side of his face sustained from a fight with Mowgli's father. Idris Elba described this incarnation of Shere Khan as "a creature that reigns with fear" and that he "terrorizes everyone he encounters because he comes from a place of fear".
Shere Khan first appears during the drought, when the animals gather to drink at the Water Truce; the watering hole at which all animals drink without attacking each other, although the presence of tiger frightens them. When Shere Khan smells Mowgli, he is confronted by the Seeonee wolf pack led by Akela, who states that Mowgli belongs to their pack. Shere Khan mockingly scoffs at this and wonders when man was allowed to be adopted into the jungle. When Akela defends Mowgli, Shere Khan shows the scarred side of his face to remind the animals at the Water Truce of what a grown man is capable of. He then says that the law of the jungle states that man is forbidden. Raksha, however, retorts that Shere Khan also commits deeds forbidden in the jungle, stating that he hunts for pleasure and kills for power, and firmly states that Mowgli is her cub. Shere Khan, respecting the sanctity of the Water Truce, gives them until the monsoon season to hand Mowgli over before leaving. This causes Akela and his wolf pack to debate whether to have Mowgli leave the jungle or not, resulting Mowgli to leave the wolf pack with Bagheera to head over to a near-by Man-village.
Shere Khan next appears when Bagheera is escorting Mowgli to the Man-village. He stalks them through a herd of Buffalo and attacks Mowgli, only to be attacked by Bagheera. They fight viciously, but Shere Khan easily overpowers and injures Bagheera. He then chases after Mowgli through the stampeding buffalo, but Mowgli outruns him, escaping with the herd, much to Shere Khan's fury.
Shere Khan returns to the Seeonee pack and discusses Mowgli with Akela, who states that Mowgli has left the jungle, meaning that the pack and the tiger no longer have a quarrel. However, a furious Shere Khan kills Akela by throwing him off a cliff before instating himself as the pack's alpha. He then tells the wolves to spread the word of Akela's death, hoping it will lure Mowgli to him.
During her encounter with Mowgli, Kaa reveals that Mowgli and his father were traveling from one village to another when Shere Khan encountered them. Shere Khan killed Mowgli's father but ran away after being burned by his torch, leaving Mowgli to be adopted by Bagheera and the wolf pack.
While reigning as the pack's leader, Shere Khan tells stories to the wolf pups about the other creatures of the jungle (in particular, the cuckoo, which preys upon the love of the other mother birds in order to deposit its own egg into their nest, starving them while benefiting its own chick). He directs his story at Raksha, citing her love for Mowgli as a sign of weakness. When Raksha asked why Shere Khan is doing this, he states that he wants Mowgli dead and that he'll be waiting when Mowgli returns. When King Louie informs Mowgli of Akela's death, he returns with a torch stolen from the Man-village and accidentally starts a forest fire.
Mowgli faces Shere Khan at the Water Truce, where the tiger shows the boy has become a man in his use of fire, and that all the other animals now fear him because of it. Mowgli then throws the fire away, allowing Shere Khan to attack him, only to be confronted by Baloo, Bagheera, and Raksha and her pack, who cite their code as they defy him. Shere Khan attacks regardless, saying he will have them all in his teeth, and fights Baloo, the wolves, and Bagheera, who give Mowgli enough time to run to the burning jungle. Shere Khan pursues him to an old strangler fig tree, and chases him into it, not knowing he has been lured into a trap. As he faces Mowgli, he mocks the boy, saying that he never would allow him to grow old and that he will kill him as he killed Mowgli's father and Akela, mockingly asking how much longer the man-cub thought he would last against him than they did. Mowgli replies that he is not afraid of Shere Khan and is done running from the tiger, goading him into pouncing before swinging away to safety. However, the branch Mowgli was standing on is too weak to hold Shere Khan's weight and it breaks off, sending the tiger plummeting to his death in a fiery pit below the tree, and with this, both Mowgli's father and Akela are avenged.
Descendants: Isle of the Lost
Shere Khan appeared as the final boss in the Virgin Studios video game adaptation of The Jungle Book. Here, he swipes and roars at Mowgli as the latter pelts him with bananas to lead to Khan's eventual defeat. Shere Khan is also featured in the video game The Jungle Book 2.
Shere Khan also appears in The Jungle Book: Rhythm N'Groove PlayStation 2 game. As the game follows the storyline of the original film, Shere Khan's goal is the same as the film. However, Khan appears much earlier in the game. During the climax of the game, Shere Khan is given his own song in the form of "Run".
Shere Khan appeared with The Jungle Book collection as the antagonist. During the storyline, Khan arrives in the Kingdom in search of Mowgli, but is fended off by Bagheera. Mowgli then decides to take on Khan, himself, but is aided by Baloo, Bagheera and King Louie. Once Khan gets fire to his tail, he flees the kingdom in fear.
For Disney Universe, a Shere Khan costume is available to buy on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for The Jungle Book costume pack.
During the 2015 Halloween celebration, Shere Khan's likeness was featured alongside other Disney villains at the parks.
In France, Shere Khan can be seen poking his head out of the tree in the parade's jungle-themed float for Disney's Once Upon a Dream Parade.
In Hong Kong Disneyland's Flights of Fantasy Parade, Shere Khan makes an appearance at the very top of the jungle float.
Differences from the source material
- In the original stories, Shere Khan is nicknamed "The Lame One" and has a crippled leg, but in the films, he has no lameness.
- In the original stories, Shere Khan was hardly a physical threat since all the other predators in the jungle were able to intimidate him because of his lameness. Nevertheless, Shere Khan was a threat to Mowgli as he was manipulative and poisoned the wolf pack against him. He even successfully managed to convince the pack that Akela was no longer worthy of leading the pack (which would allow Shere Khan to legally kill Akela and demand Mowgli's life). The 1967 Disney version of Shere Khan is the opposite. Rather than being an intellectual, he is ruthless and a physical powerhouse. The 2016 Disney version of Shere Khan is a combination of all three; he is intelligent, cunning and manipulative like in the books, ruthless, and strong enough to fight Baloo, Bagheera and the wolf pack all at once and defeat them, only losing to Mowgli because Mowgli goaded him into a trap.
- In the book, Shere Khan is assisted by his sidekick Tabaqui, the jackal. In the early drafts of Disney's The Jungle Book, Tabaqui was meant to appear as a secondary villain. But director Wolfgang Reitherman did not want another canine villain so soon after The Sword in the Stone.
- In the book, Shere Khan is eventually killed by a buffalo stampede organized by Mowgli and Grey Brother. Mowgli then skins the tiger and brings the skin to Akela, ending his exile from the pack. In the Disney version, Mowgli uses fire to scare Shere Khan away, ruining the tiger's reputation in the jungle. A buffalo stampede occurs in the 2016 film, similar to the novel, but does not kill the tiger, instead preventing him from killing Mowgli.
- In the book, Shere Khan was aware of Mowgli's presence in the jungle from the very beginning and it is implied that he killed his birth parents (though Kipling left this to interpretation) and he was tracking down Mowgli when he made his way to the wolf den. Since then, Shere Khan had been trying to manipulate the wolves into giving up Mowgli. Whereas in the Disney version, Shere Khan was completely unaware that Mowgli had been living in the jungle for 10 years until he overhears a conversation between Bagheera and Hathi. In the 2016 version, Shere Khan is the reason Mowgli is orphaned in the jungle; he personally kills Mowgli's father when they were traveling between villages and had stopped in a cave for the night. Shere Khan was burned in the attempt to kill them both, and remembers the boy from the incident.
- The book Shere Khan has different motives than the Disney version. In the book, Shere Khan holds no grudge against humans more than any other animal despite being afraid of what man is capable. His reason to kill Mowgli had more to do with pride than anything as he believes Mowgli to be his rightful kill and that he has been disgraced when he was denied his prey. Whereas Disney's Shere Khan wants to kill Mowgli because he is a primary target for human hunters and does not want to risk Mowgli to grow up to become one of them. In the 2016 version, Shere Khan's motives are much the same, but with the added motive of wanting to prove to the jungle's creatures that Mowgli is as destructive and dangerous as any other human and wanting to eat him in revenge for Mowgli's father burning him.
- The word Shere (or "shir") translates as "tiger" or "lion" in Persian, Hindi, and Punjabi. While Khan translates as "sovereign", "king", or "military leader" and so forth in a number of languages influenced by the Mongols, including Pashto. In other words, Khan's name means "Tiger King" or "King of the Tigers".
- According to this list posted by Andreas Deja on his blog, Don Adams, Herschel Bernardi, Neville Brand, John Carradine, Ted Cassidy, William Conrad, Hans Conried, John Dehner, Richard Devon, Gale Gordon, Clu Gulager, Jonathan Harris, Victor Jory, Boris Karloff, Sheldon Leonard, George Macready, John McGiver, Robert Middleton, Vincent Price, Claude Rains, Basil Rathbone, Don Rickles, Edward G. Robinson, Paul Stewart, Larry Storch, and Carlton Young were all considered for the role of Shere Khan before George Sanders was chosen.
- The Hebrew dub of both the 1967 film and its sequel incorrectly identifies Shere Khan as a leopard.
- Shere Khan seems to be the only character who is resistant to Kaa's hypnosis, as when Kaa attempted to do so with Shere Khan in the first film like he had with Mowgli and Bagheera, Khan simply ignored him.
- In some versions, the tiger's name is spelled "Shere Kahn".
- In the original draft of the 1967 film, Shere Khan was originally going to die when Mowgli shot him in the head with a shotgun that belonged to a greedy hunter named Buldeo, whom Khan himself had just killed. It was cut when Disney realized it would be too scary. However, he does die in the 2016 film, albeit at the hands of fire.
- According to songwriter Richard M. Sherman, Bill Lee of The Mellomen sings Shere Khan's part in "That's What Friends are For", due to George Sanders not being available. According to the liner notes in The Jungle Book soundtrack, fellow Mellomen member Thurl Ravenscroft provides the singing for Shere Khan, not Bill Lee.
- Shere Khan is a Bengal tiger and they have been known to prey on bears, so it actually makes sense for Baloo to be one of his enemies, and Baloo to be visibly afraid of him.
- It also makes sense for Bagheera to be Shere Khan's enemy, as real tigers and panthers are natural enemies and competitors. They will kill each other's cubs and steal food from one another when they have an opportunity.
- Animator Milt Kahl used the films: Jungle Cat and A Tiger Walks as references for the way Shere Khan walks.
- Shere Khan's defined chin is actually based on George Sanders's own.
- Contrary to popular belief, Shere Khan did not serve as an inspiration for Scar in The Lion King as his lead animator and designer Andreas Deja avoided watching The Jungle Book exactly because he did not want Scar to end up too similar to Shere Khan.
- Coincidentally, the way Shere Khan was depicted in the books in terms of personality was more similar to Scar than Disney's Shere Khan. Like Scar, the original Shere Khan was not much of a physical threat but was rather cunning and manipulative.
- In the sequel, Shere Khan apparently knows Mowgli's name, by referring him by his actual name instead of just "man-cub". It's unknown how Shere Khan knew Mowgli's name in the sequel, though its very likely that he found out when Baloo mentions Mowgli's name before battling the tiger at the climax of the original film.
- In the planned third installment of the Jungle Book franchise, Shere Khan was to have escaped from the statue at the beginning of the movie, and end up captured alongside Baloo and forced into a circus environment. During this time, Shere Khan will also end up regretting his actions from the previous two films and intend to reform as Mowgli and the other animals attempt to rescue them. However, due to the Jungle Book 2's poor sales, it was scrapped. Had that film came to fruition, he would also have been one of the few Disney villains to be reformed.
- Even though few have actually met Shere Khan, almost every animal in the jungle has heard of him and fear him.
- In the 2016 film, vultures follow Shere Khan as opposed to the vultures of the 1967 film being afraid of him. They also seem to indicate his presence, as all the animals look for Shere Khan when they hear the cries of vultures.
- In the original Rudyard Kipling stories, Shere Khan began influencing the younger wolves against Akela and Mowgli as a way to try to turn the wolves against the man-cub to cast him out and into his clutches. In the 2016 film, he does a similar tactic with the wolf pups as a way of punishing Raksha for raising Mowgli as her own son.
- Shere Khan's hatred toward men because of their weapons is not without reasons, considering that tigers have become one of the world's most endangered species because of men hunting them (mainly for their fur) and destruction of their habitats in real life. Even Bagheera acknowledged that Shere Khan's hatred of humans stems from a traumatic experience (what the experience was is unknown) and the fact that for a long time he has been a primary target for hunters.
- Shere Khan is the only villain to date that survived in his original appearance, but is killed in a live-action adaptation.