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The Jungle Book

Note: this page discusses the original Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. There is as yet no page for the various movie and television adaptations of the same name, although some of them are discussed briefly on the page for Mowgli.

The Jungle Book (1894) is a collection of stories written by the famous author Rudyard Kipling, all previously published in magazines. The best-known of these are the three stories revolving around the adventures of an abandoned 'man cub' Mowgli who is raised by wolves in the Indian jungle. The Second Jungle Book followed in 1895.

Stories in The Jungle Book:

  • Mowgli's Brothers: A boy is raised by wolves in the Indian Jungle with the help of Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther, and then has to fight the tiger Shere Khan.

  • Kaa's Hunting: When Mowgli is abducted by monkeys Baloo and Bagheera set out to rescue him with the aid of Kaa the python. This story inspired (if that's the word) the "King Louie" sequence in the 1967 Disney cartoon version.

  • Tiger! Tiger!: Mowgli returns to the human village and is adopted by a couple who believe him to be their long-lost son. But he has trouble adjusting to human life, and Shere Khan still wants to kill him. The story's title is taken from The Tyger by William Blake.

  • The White Seal: Kotick, a rare white-furred seal, searches for a new home for his people, where they will not be hunted by humans.

  • Rikki-Tikki-Tavi: Rikki-Tikki the mongoose defends a human family living in India against a pair of evil cobras.

  • Toomai of the Elephants: A ten-year old boy who helps to tend working elephants is told that he will never be a fully-fledged elephant handler until he has seen the elephants dance.

  • Her Majesty's Servants (originally titled Servants of the Queen): On the night before a military parade a British soldier eavesdrops on a conversation between the camp animals.


There are several Walt Disney cartoon adaptations based very loosely on the Mowgli stories. (All adaptations of "The Jungle Book" tend to concentrate on Mowgli's adventures.) It has also been filmed several times, with varying degrees of authenticity (although perhaps the film versions should have been called "The Jungle Movie").

The text has often been abridged or adapted for younger readers, and there have also been several comic book adaptations.

Chuck Jones's made for TV cartoons "Mowgli's Brothers", "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" and "The White Seal" at least tend to stick to the original storylines.

There is a Japanese anime television series called Jungle Book Shonen Mowgli broadcast in (1989). Its adaptation represents a compromise between the original stories and the Walt Disney version. Many of Kipling stories are adapted into the series, but many elements are combined and changed to suit more modern sensibilities. For instance, Akela, the wolf pack alpha eventually steps aside, but instead of being threatened with death, he stays on as the new leader's advisor. Also, there is an Indian family in the series which includes Rikki-Tikki-Tavi as a pet mongoose. Finally at the series' conclusion, Mowgli leaves the jungle for human civilization, but still keeps strong ties with his animal friends.

Related topics

External link

  • The Jungle Book Collection (http://www.junglebook-collection.nl/): a website demonstrating the variety of merchandise related to the book and film versions of The Jungle Books

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