Mowgli /ˈmaʊɡli/ is a fictional character and the protagonist of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book stories. He is a naked feral child from the Pench area in Seoni, India, who originally appeared in Kipling's short story "In the Rukh" (collected in Many Inventions, 1893) and then went on to become the most prominent and memorable character in his collections The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book (1894–1895), which also featured stories about other characters.
|The Jungle Book character|
|First appearance||"In the Rukh" (1893)|
|Last appearance||"The Spring Running" (1895)|
|Created by||Rudyard Kipling|
|Family||Raksha (foster mother)|
Father Wolf (foster father)
Messua (foster mother)
In the stories, the name Mowgli is said to mean "frog", describing his lack of fur. Kipling made up the name, and it "does not mean 'frog' in any language that I know of."
Kipling stated that the first syllable of "Mowgli" should rhyme with "cow".
The Mowgli stories, including "In the Rukh", were first collected in chronological order in one volume as The Works of Rudyard Kipling Volume VII: The Jungle Book (1907) (Volume VIII of this series contained the non-Mowgli stories from the Jungle Books), and subsequently in All the Mowgli Stories (1933).
"In the Rukh" describes how Gisborne, an English forest ranger in the Pench area in Seoni at the time of the British Raj, discovers a young man named Mowgli, who has extraordinary skills in hunting, tracking, and driving wild animals (with the help of his wolf brothers). He asks him to join the forestry service. Mueller, the head of the Department of Woods and Forests of India as well as Gisborne's boss, meets Mowgli, checks his elbows and knees, noting the callouses and scars, and figures Mowgli is not using magic or demons, having seen a similar case in 30 years of service. Muller also offers Mowgli to join the service, to which Mowgli agrees. Later, Gisborne learns the reason for Mowgli's almost superhuman talents; he was raised by a pack of wolves in the jungle (explaining the scars on his elbows and knees from going on all fours). Mowgli marries the daughter of Gisborne's butler, Abdul Gafur. By the end of the story, Mowgli has a son and is back to living with his wolf brothers.
Kipling then proceeded to write the stories of Mowgli's childhood in detail in The Jungle Book. Lost by his parents as a baby in the Indian jungle during a tiger attack, he is adopted by the Wolf Mother (Raksha) and Father Wolf, who call him Mowgli (frog) because of his lack of fur and his refusal to sit still. Shere Khan the tiger demands that they give him the baby but the wolves refuse. Mowgli grows up with the pack, hunting with his brother wolves. In the pack, Mowgli learns he is able to stare down any wolf, and his unique ability to remove the painful thorns from the paws of his brothers is deeply appreciated as well.
Bagheera, the black panther, befriends Mowgli because both he and Mowgli have parallel childhood experiences; as Bagheera often mentions, he was "raised in the King's cages at Oodeypore" from a cub, and thus knows the ways of man. Baloo the bear, teacher of wolves, has the thankless task of educating Mowgli in "The Law of the Jungle".
Shere Khan continues to regard Mowgli as fair game, but eventually Mowgli finds a weapon he can use against the tiger – fire. After driving off Shere Khan, Mowgli goes to a human village where he is adopted by Messua and her husband, whose own son Nathoo was also taken by a tiger. It is uncertain if Mowgli is actually the returned Nathoo, although it is stated in "Tiger! Tiger!" that the tiger who carried off Messua's son was similar to the one that attacked Mowgli's parents. Messua would like to believe that her son has returned, however, she herself realises that this is unlikely.
While herding buffalo for the village, Mowgli learns that the tiger is still planning to kill him, so with the aid of two wolves, he traps Shere Khan in a ravine where the buffalo trample him. The tiger dies and Mowgli sets to skin him. After being cast out of the village after being accused of witchcraft, Mowgli returns to the jungle with Shere Khan's hide and reunites with his wolf family.
In later stories in The Jungle Book's sequel, The Second Jungle Book, Mowgli learns that the villagers are planning to kill Messua and her husband for harboring him. He rescues them and sends elephants, water buffaloes, and other animals to trample the village and its fields to the ground. Later, finds and then discards an ancient treasure ("The King's Ankus") not realising it is so valuable that men would kill to own it. With the aid of Kaa the python, he leads the wolves in a war against the Dhole ("Red Dog").
Finally, Mowgli stumbles across the village where his adopted human mother (Messua) is now living, which forces him to come to terms with his humanity and decide whether to rejoin his fellow humans in "The Spring Running".
Rudyard Kipling adapted the Mowgli stories for The Jungle Play in 1899, but the play was never produced on stage. The manuscript was lost for almost a century. It was finally published in book form in 2000.
Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson used the Mowgli stories as the basis for their humorous 1957 science fiction short story "Full Pack (Hokas Wild)". This is one of a series featuring a teddy bear-like race called Hokas who enjoy human literature but cannot quite grasp the distinction between fact and fiction. In this story, a group of Hokas get hold of a copy of The Jungle Book and begin to act it out, enlisting the help of a human boy to play Mowgli. The boy's mother, who is a little bemused to see teddy bears trying to act like wolves, tags along to try to keep him (and the Hokas) out of trouble. The situation is complicated by the arrival of three alien diplomats who just happen to resemble a monkey, a tiger and a snake. This story appears in the collection Hokas Pokas! (1998) (ISBN 0-671-57858-8), and is also available online.
Hunting Mowgli (2001) by Maxim Antinori (ISBN 1-931319-49-9) is a very short novel which describes a fateful meeting between Mowgli and a human hunter.
The Jungle Book: Last of the Species (2013) by Mark L Miller (ISBN 9781939683021) is a series of comic books that tells a story of a female Mowgli who unintentionally started a war between animal tribes after killing Shere Khan to avenge the fallen of the wolf tribe.
Mowgli has been played by many male actors. In the 1942 film adaptation, Mowgli was played by Sabu Dastagir. In the 1994 film adaptation, he was played by Sean Naegeli as a child, and later throughout the film he was played by Jason Scott Lee. In The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli and Baloo, he was played by Jamie Williams. In The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story, he was played by Brandon Baker. Mowgli was played by Neel Sethi in the Disney live-action reimagination, which was released in 3D in April 2016. Mowgli was played by Rohan Chand in the Netflix film Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, which was released on November 29, 2018.
Adventures of Mowgli (Russian: Маугли; also spelled Maugli) is an animated feature-length story originally released as five animated shorts of about 20 minutes each between 1967 and 1971 in the Soviet Union. They were directed by Roman Davydov and made by Soyuzmultfilm studio. In 1973, the five films were combined into a single 96-minute feature film. The Russian DVD release of the restored footage, distributed by "Krupnyy Plan" and "Lizard", separates the animation into the original five parts.
An English-language version made by Films by Jove was released direct-to-video in 1996 under the name Adventures of Mowgli. Charlton Heston is the narrator in the English version.All the Mowgli Stories
All the Mowgli Stories is a collection of short stories by Rudyard Kipling. As the title suggests, the book is a chronological compilation of the stories about Mowgli from The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book, together with "In the Rukh" (the first Mowgli story written, although the last in chronological order). The book also includes the epigrammatic poems added to the stories for their original book publication. All of the stories and poems had originally been published between 1893 and 1895.
The book was first published under this title in 1933 by Macmillan and Co., containing colour plates and pen illustrations by Stuart Tresilian. Its contents are virtually identical to The Works of Rudyard Kipling Volume VII: The Jungle Book, part of a multi-volume set which had appeared in 1907. (A companion volume, The Works of Rudyard Kipling Volume VIII: The Jungle Book collects all of the non-Mowgli stories from the two Jungle Books.)Bagheera
Bagheera (Hindi: बघीरा; Urdu: بگیڑہ Baghīrā/Bagīdah) is a fictional character in Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli stories in the Jungle Book (coll. 1894) and the Second Jungle Book (coll. 1895). He is a black panther (melanistic Indian leopard) who serves as friend, protector and mentor to the "man-cub" Mowgli. The word bagheera is Hindi/Urdu for black panther-- although the root word bagh means tiger.
"Everybody knew Bagheera, and nobody dared to cross his path; for he was as cunning as Tabaqui, as bold as the wild buffalo, and as reckless as the wounded elephant. But he had a voice as soft as wild honey dripping from a tree, and a skin softer than dawn."Baloo
Baloo (, from Hindi: भालू bhālū "bear") is a main fictional character featured in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book from 1894 and The Second Jungle Book from 1895. Baloo, a sloth bear, is the strict teacher of the cubs of the Seeonee wolf pack. His most challenging pupil is the "man-cub" Mowgli. Baloo and Bagheera, a panther, save Mowgli from Shere Khan the tiger and endeavor to teach Mowgli the Law of the Jungle in many of The Jungle Book stories.Jungle Book Shōnen Mowgli
Jungle Book Shōnen Mowgli (ジャングルブック 少年モーグリ, Janguru Bukku Shōnen Mōguri) is a Canadian-Japanese anime adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's original collection of stories, The Jungle Book. It aired in 1989, and consists of a total of 52 episodes.
The series, a compromise between the original Mowgli stories and the Walt Disney version, received international acclaim and was aired in different countries around the world. It was especially popular in India, where it was dubbed in Hindi. The Indian version featured an original Hindi-Urdu opening song, "Jungle Jungle Baat Chali Hai", with lyrics by Gulzar, which became popular in India, with a version of the song later used for the Indian release of Disney's The Jungle Book (2016).Kaa's Hunting
"Kaa's Hunting" is an 1893 short story by Rudyard Kipling featuring Mowgli. Chronologically the story falls between the first and second halves of Mowgli's Brothers, and is the second story in The Jungle Book (1894) where it is accompanied by the poem "Road Song of the Bandar-log".Mowgli's Brothers
"Mowgli's Brothers" is a short story by Rudyard Kipling. Chronologically it is the first story about Mowgli although it was written after "In the Rukh" in which Mowgli appears as an adult.
The story first appeared in the January 1894 issue of St. Nicholas Magazine and was collected as the first story in The Jungle Book later in 1894 where it is accompanied by the poem "Hunting Song of the Seeonee Pack". The story also appears in All the Mowgli Stories. In 1992 it was published as a separate volume with woodcut illustrations by Christopher Wormell. The text is available on-line from several sources as part of The Jungle Book.
The story was adapted as a 25-minute animated television cartoon by Chuck Jones in 1976. Jones also directed adaptations of "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" and "The White Seal".Red Dog (Kipling short story)
"Red Dog" is a Mowgli story by Rudyard Kipling.
Written at Kipling's home in Brattleboro, Vermont between February and March 1895, it was first published as "Good Hunting: A Story of the Jungle" in The Pall Mall Gazette for July 29 and 30 1895 and McClure's Magazine for August 1895 before appearing under its definitive title as the 7th and penultimate story in The Second Jungle Book later the same year. It was also the penultimate Mowgli story to be written.Shere Khan
Shere Khan (Hindi: शेर ख़ान; Urdu: شیر خان) is a fictional Bengal tiger and the main antagonist of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book and its adaptations. According to The Kipling Society, the word Shere (or "shir") translates as "tiger" and Khan is a title of distinction, used together "to show that he is chief among tigers." Other sources indicate Shere may mean "tiger" or "lion" in Azerbaijani, Persian, Kurdish, Hindi-Urdu, and Punjabi, and that Khan translates as "king", or "leader", in a number of languages influenced by the Mongols, including Pashto and Hindi-Urdu.The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book (1894) is a collection of stories by the English author Rudyard Kipling. Most of the characters are animals such as Shere Khan the tiger and Baloo the bear, though a principal character is the boy or "man-cub" Mowgli, who is raised in the jungle by wolves. The stories are set in a forest in India; one place mentioned repeatedly is "Seonee" (Seoni), in the central
state of Madhya Pradesh.
A major theme in the book is abandonment followed by fostering, as in the life of Mowgli, echoing Kipling's own childhood. The theme is echoed in the triumph of protagonists including Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and The White Seal over their enemies, as well as Mowgli's. Another important theme is of law and freedom; the stories are not about animal behaviour, still less about the Darwinian struggle for survival, but about human archetypes in animal form. They teach respect for authority, obedience, and knowing one's place in society with "the law of the jungle", but the stories also illustrate the freedom to move between different worlds, such as when Mowgli moves between the jungle and the village. Critics have also noted the essential wildness and lawless energies in the stories, reflecting the irresponsible side of human nature.
The Jungle Book has remained popular, partly through its many adaptations for film and other media. Critics such as Swati Singh have noted that even critics wary of Kipling for his supposed imperialism have admired the power of his storytelling. The book has been influential in the scout movement, whose founder, Robert Baden-Powell, was a friend of Kipling's. Percy Grainger composed his Jungle Book Cycle around quotations from the book.The Jungle Book (1967 film)
The Jungle Book is a 1967 American animated musical comedy adventure film produced by Walt Disney Productions. Based on Rudyard Kipling's book of the same name, it is the 19th Disney animated feature film. Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, it was the last film to be produced by Walt Disney, who died during its production. The plot follows Mowgli, a feral child raised in the Indian jungle by wolves, as his friends Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear try to convince him to leave the jungle before the evil tiger Shere Khan arrives.
The early versions of both the screenplay and the soundtrack followed Kipling's work more closely, with a dramatic, dark, and sinister tone which Disney did not want in his family film, leading to writer Bill Peet and composer Terry Gilkyson being replaced. The casting employed famous actors and musicians Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, George Sanders and Louis Prima, as well as Disney regulars such as Sterling Holloway, J. Pat O'Malley and Verna Felton, and the director's son, Bruce Reitherman, as Mowgli.
The Jungle Book was released on October 18, 1967, to positive reception, with acclaim for its soundtrack, featuring five songs by the Sherman Brothers and one by Gilkyson, "The Bare Necessities". The film initially became Disney's second highest-grossing animated film in the United States and Canada, and was also successful during its re-releases. The film was also successful throughout the world, becoming Germany's highest-grossing film by number of admissions. Disney released a live-action remake in 1994 and an animated sequel, The Jungle Book 2, in 2003; another live-action adaptation directed by Jon Favreau was released in 2016.The Jungle Book (1994 film)
Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book is a 1994 live-action American adventure film co-written and directed by Stephen Sommers, produced by Edward S. Feldman and Raju Patel, from a story by Ronald Yanover and Mark Geldman. It is the second film adaptation by The Walt Disney Company of the Mowgli stories from The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling and the first live-action adaptation of the Walt Disney's animated film of the same name from 1967.The film stars Jason Scott Lee and Lena Headey, and costars Cary Elwes, Sam Neill, John Cleese, and Jason Flemyng. In this version, the animals do not speak.
Released on December 25, 1994, by Walt Disney Pictures, the film received generally positive reviews and grossed $43.2 million in theaters against a $30 million budget.The Jungle Book (2016 film)
The Jungle Book is a 2016 American fantasy adventure film directed and co-produced by Jon Favreau, produced by Walt Disney Pictures, and written by Justin Marks. Based on Rudyard Kipling's eponymous collective works and inspired by Walt Disney's 1967 animated film of the same name, The Jungle Book is a live-action/CGI film that tells the story of Mowgli, an orphaned human boy who, guided by his animal guardians, sets out on a journey of self-discovery while evading the threatening Shere Khan. The film introduces Neel Sethi as Mowgli, along with voice and motion capture performances from Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito, and Christopher Walken.
Favreau, Marks, and producer Brigham Taylor developed the film's story as a balance between Disney's animated adaptation and Kipling's original works, borrowing elements from both into the film. Principal photography commenced in 2014, with filming taking place entirely in Los Angeles. The film required extensive use of computer-generated imagery to portray the animals and settings.The Jungle Book was released in North America in Disney Digital 3-D, RealD 3D, IMAX 3D, D-Box, and premium large formats, on April 15, 2016. It became a critical and commercial success, grossing over $966 million worldwide, making it the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2016 and the 40th-highest-grossing film of all time. The film received praise for its visual effects, vocal performances, direction, musical score, and its faithfulness to the animated film. The film won accolades for achievements in visual effects at the 89th Academy Awards, 22nd Critics' Choice Awards and 70th British Academy Film Awards. A sequel is in development, with Favreau and Marks set to return as director/producer and writer, respectively.The Jungle Book (TV series)
The Jungle Book is a 3D CGI animated television series. This series is based on the original book by Rudyard Kipling.The Jungle Book 2
The Jungle Book 2 is a 2003 animated film produced by the Australian office at DisneyToon Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Distribution. The theatrical version of the film was released in France on February 5, 2003, and released in the United States on February 14, 2003. The film is a sequel to Walt Disney's 1967 film The Jungle Book, and stars Haley Joel Osment as the voice of Mowgli and John Goodman as the voice of Baloo.
The film was originally produced as a direct-to-video film, but was released theatrically first, similar to the Peter Pan sequel Return to Never Land. It is the third animated Disney sequel to have a theatrical release rather than going direct-to-video after The Rescuers Down Under in 1990 and Return to Never Land in 2002. The film is a continuation of The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling and is not based on The Second Jungle Book. However, they do have several characters in common. When released, it was criticized mainly for the quality of its animation and the similarity of its plotline to that of the original film.The Second Jungle Book
The Second Jungle Book is a sequel to The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. First published in 1895, it features five stories about Mowgli and three unrelated stories, all but one set in India, most of which Kipling wrote while living in Vermont. All of the stories were previously published in magazines in 1894-5, often under different titles. The 1994 film The Jungle Book used it as a source.Tiger! Tiger! (Kipling short story)
"Tiger! Tiger!" is a short story by Rudyard Kipling. A direct sequel to "Mowgli's Brothers", it was published in magazines in 1893–94 before appearing as the third story in The Jungle Book (1894), following "Kaa's Hunting". The title is derived from William Blake's poem "The Tyger".