Adventures of Mowgli

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Adventures of Mowgli
MaugliStamp.JPG
Akela, Baloo, Mowgli and Bagheera in a scene from the moovie on a Russian postal stamp.
Directed by Roman Davydov
Written by Leonid Belokurov
Rudyard Kipling (story)
Starring Sergei Martinson
L. Lyubetskiy
Lyusyena Ovchinnikova
Stepan Bubnov
Anatoli Papanov
Lyudmila Kasatkina
A. Nazarov
Klara Rumyanova
Music by Sofya Gubaydulina
Editing by Lyubov Georgiyeva
Release dates 1967-1971 (USSR)
1973 (combined) (USSR)
Running time 20 min x 5
96 min
92 min (USA)
98 min (Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, India, Thailand)
100 min (Poland, Italy, Spain, Germany)
Country USSR
Language Russian

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. 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.

Style[edit]

This is the second film adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's work released in 1967. Even though the movie was not conceived as a reaction to the Disney adaptation, it proves an interesting contrast, being more faithful to the epic and primal content of Kipling's original work. The Soviet adaptation features sequences of fighting and occasionally shows blood. Except the first two episodes, Mowgli is portrayed as an adolescent warrior rather than a child.

Portrayal of characters[edit]

  • In this version, Bagheera is female (following the Russian translation by N. Daruzes). She is also less willing to spoil Mowgli, as she spanks him after he refuses to apologise for landing on Baloo. This scene has inexplicably been deleted for the English-language version made by Films by Jove.
  • Human characters like Messua and Buldeo are not present in this film.
  • Bagheera has three cubs in this film, one black and two gold. They are only mentioned in the book while Bagheera's female mate is not.
  • In this film, the king's ankus is replaced with a dagger. This is the same departure as in Disney's later film The Jungle Book.
  • Unlike most adaptations that show Tabaqui, this is loyal to the story and he is a golden jackal. In most adaptations like Jungle Book Shonen Mowgli, and The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story, he is a hyena.
  • One of Hathi's sons shows similarities to the baby elephant Junior, from the Disney adaptation.

Plot[edit]

Episode 1 - "Raksha"[edit]

The story starts with a golden jackal named Tabaqui walking towards his master, the dreaded tiger known as Shere Khan, who stretches himself, and then walks to the spot of a camp with Tabaqui guiding him. Out of cruelty and hatred, Shere Khan leaps towards the campsite. Whilst doing so, he accidentally burns his right forepaw, forcing a young child, Mowgli, to wander into a wolf cave in the jungle. At that point, Shere Khan (accompanied by his servant Tabaqui) appears at the entrance and demands that the wolves give him his prey, but the wolf mother Raksha refuses. He taunts them and says that the wolf pack will decide. Meanwhile, Tabaqui runs around the whole jungle and tells all the animals that a wolf pack has adopted a human.

A moment later, Bagheera, the melanistic Indian Leopard, is minding her business when Tabaqui appears to tell her the news. Bagheera scolds him for spreading malicious falsehoods, then puts up quite a display that causes Shere Khan to walk away with hatred.

The elders of the wolf pack watch a performance of the wolf cubs and Maugli, with Maugli matching the cubs' every step. The elders are evenly split about whether or not they should allow him to stay until they see Maugli pinch the nose of Tabaqui, who came up to taunt him. At this point, however, Shere Khan appears and demands that he be given his prey. Akela, also known as "The Lone Wolf" and patriarch of the pack, refuses to listen, so Raksha and Baloo (the bear who instructs the young wolf cubs) come to his defence, but Shere Khan is undeterred until Bagheera also appears and offers the wolf pack a freshly killed bull in return for keeping Maugli alive. Shere Khan is forced to admit defeat, but vows that he will still eat Maugli one day.

Episode 2 - "The Kidnapping"[edit]

Maugli and Raksha's cubs are being taught to hunt by Baloo, who also teaches them the call of the jungle: "We be of one blood, thou and I". Then Bagheera appears and teaches Maugli to climb and jump between trees. The Bandar-logs in the trees watch Maugli perform and decide that he's just like them but without a tail. A short while later, they kidnap him while he's sleeping and take him to their city. Baloo and Bagheera run after him but decide that they need the help of the python Kaa. They don't know where to look until Chil the Kite, flying above them, tells them that he saw him being taken to the abandoned city; Maugli had used the call of the jungle as he was being carried away and asked him to help. Baloo and Bagheera arrive first and are both overwhelmed by the monkeys. Once Kaa arrives, the monkeys go still and sit quietly on the city ruins around him. Kaa begins a hypnotizing dance, and every so often tells the monkeys to come one step closer. Bagheera and Baloo are nearly caught in the trap as well until they are pulled away by Maugli, after which they leave the scene.

Episode 3 - "Akela's Last Hunt"[edit]

Episode 4 - "The Fight"[edit]

Episode 5 - "Return to Mankind"[edit]

Crew[edit]

Note: Crew information for episodes 4 and 5 is incomplete.

Romanized Russian
Director Roman Davydov Роман Давыдов
Scenario Leonid Belokurov Леонид Белокуров
Art Directors Pyotr Repkin
Aleksandr Vinokurov
Пётр Репкин
Александр Винокуров
Animators Pyotr Korobayev (1, 2, 3)
Boris Butakov (1)
Aleksandr Davydov (1)
Vladimir Zarubin (1, 2)
Viktor Lihachyov (1, 2, 3)
Viktor Arsentyev (1, 2)
S. Zhutovskaya (1)
Vladimir Krumin (1, 2)
Valeriy Ugarov (1)
Oleg Komarov (1, 2)
Vyacheslav Kotyonochkin (2)
Roman Davydov (2, 3)
Oleg Safronov (3)
Lyudmila Kasatkina (3)
Vitaliy Bobrov (3)
Nikolai Fyodorov (3)
Пётр Коробаев
Борис Бутаков
Александр Давыдов
Владимир Зарубин
Виктор Лихачёв
Виктор Арсентьев
С. Жутовская
Владимир Крумин
Валерий Угаров
Олег Комаров
Вячеслав Котёночкин
Роман Давыдов
Олег Сафронов
Людмила Касаткина
Виталий Бобров
Николай Фёдоров
Camera Operator Yelena Petrova Елена Петрова
Executive Producer A. Zorina (1, 2)
Lyubov Butyrina (3)
А. Зорина
Любовь Бутырина
Composer Sofia Gubaidulina Софья Губайдулина
Sound Operator Georgiy Martynyuk Георгий Мартынюк
Script Editor Arkadiy Snesarev Аркадий Снесарев
Editor Lyubov Georgiyeva Любовь Георгиева
Voice Actors Sergei Martinson (1, 2, 3, 5)
L. Lyubetskiy (1, 3, 5)
Lyusyena Ovchinnikova (1, 5)
Stepan Bubnov (1, 2, 3)
Anatoli Papanov (1, 3, 5)
Lyudmila Kasatkina (1, 2, 3, 5)
A. Nazarov (1, 5)
V. Ushakov (2, 3)
Maria Vinogradova (2, 3)
V. Bubnov (2, 3)
Yuriy Khrzhanovskiy (2, 3)
T. Dmitriyeva (2, 3)
Klara Rumyanova (2, 3)
A. Shabarin (3)
Сергей Мартинсон
Л. Любецкий
Люсьена Овчинникова
Степан Бубнов
Анатолий Папанов
Людмила Касаткина
А. Назаров
В. Ушаков
Мария Виноградова
В. Бубнов
Юрий Хржановский
Т. Дмитриева
Клара Румянова
А. Шабарин
English Voice Actors Ian James Corlett

Sam Elliott (Kaa)
Dana Delany (Bagheera)
Charlton Heston (Narrator)

Other companies[edit]

Country Company Title Music
 Japan Fuji TV, Sunrise (company), Toei Animation ハーロック Morning Musume
 Spain Clan TVE Aventuras de Mowgli Enrice Igesilas
 Thailand Channel 3 (Thailand) การผจญภัยของ Mowgli N/A
 Italy Italia 1, Rai Uno Adriano Giorgia (singer)
 Philippines ABS-CBN Pakikipagsapalaran ng Mowgli Makisig Morales
 Republic of China YOYO TV 冒險無忌 N/A
 India Imagine TV मोगली की साहसिक Kareena Kapoor
 Poland TV4 (Poland) Księga Dżungli Edyta Górniak
 Germany RTL Television Abenteuer von Mowgli No Angels
 Sweden SVT Berättelser om djungler Carola
 Denmark DR1 Moungli - Dreng fra junglen Emmelie de Forest
 France France 3, TF1, M6 Manlene Mylene Farmer
 South Korea SBS Mowgli의 모험 4Minute
 Finland YLE TV1 Mowgli - viidakko Kirja Saara Aalto
 Bulgaria BNT Маугли - Момче от джунглата Lili Ivanova
 Serbia Happy TV Мовгли Milan Stankovic
 United Kingdom BBC One, CITV Mowgli Victoria Adams

Other voice actors[edit]

Country Actors
 Philippines Makisig Morales (Young Mowgli) (1, 2)
 Japan Nana Mizuki (Bagheera) (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), Ono Daisuke (Adult Mowgli) (3, 4, 5)
 Italy Adriano Celentano (Kaa) (old dub) (2, 3, 4, 5)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]