|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|The Jungle Book character|
Hathi as illustrated by W. H. Drake in the 1895 edition of The Two Jungle Books
|Created by||Rudyard Kipling|
Hathi is a fictional character created by Rudyard Kipling for the Mowgli stories collected in The Jungle Book (1894) and The Second Jungle Book (1895). Hathi is a bull elephant that lives in the jungle. Kipling named him after hāthī (हाथी), the Hindi word for "elephant".
Hathi is head of the elephant troop. He is one of the oldest animals of the jungle and represents order, dignity and obedience to the Law of the Jungle. Hathi is famed for his patience and never hurries unnecessarily. In "How Fear Came", he tells the jungle animals' creation myth and describes Tha, the Creator.
In the story "Letting In the Jungle", Mowgli reveals that Hathi once destroyed a human village in revenge for being captured, and persuades Hathi and his sons to do the same to Buldeo's village as punishment for threatening Messua with execution.
In the Disney film, the character of Hathi (voiced by J. Pat O'Malley), like the other characters in Kipling's Mowgli stories, is greatly transformed and becomes a comic character. He is called "Colonel Hathi", and he leads his wife, Winifred Hathi (voiced by Verna Felton), and his son, Hathi Junior (voiced by Clint Howard), in a marching patrol similar to an Army that is so loud it makes some of his herd want to "transfer to another herd" while singing a deliberately silly song authored by the Sherman Brothers entitled "Colonel Hathi's March".
The night after Mowgli is hypnotized by Kaa, Col. Hathi and the Dawn Patrol patrol the jungle and wake Mowgli and Bagheera. When Mowgli comes to investigate, he tries to join with help from Junior. After the patrol, Hathi inspects all of his elephants. Once he reaches Mowgli, he thinks of him as a new recruit. But after Mowgli talks back to him, he realizes that Mowgli is a human and yells at him for infiltrating the Dawn Patrol. However, Bagheera comes to stop the fiasco. After Bagheera promises to return Mowgli, Hathi says the famous saying "an elephant NEVER forgets". But as they march along, Winifred tells Hathi that he left Junior behind. When he goes to fetch him, he forgets to say "halt" and all the elephants crash into him.
Later in the film, Bagheera finds Hathi and asks him to find Mowgli, for he has run away. Hathi refuses saying that the herd was on a cross country march and that Shere Khan cannot be found for miles (the irony is that Shere Khan is actually a few yards away listening to the conversation for he too is looking for Mowgli). Hathi's wife, Winifred, gets furious with Hathi and tells him to find the Man Cub with the threat of taking over command. Hathi does not listen. When Junior tries to convince his dad to find Mowgli, Hathi agrees to find him, bluffing that he "had a plan in mind all the time." (to which Winifred sarcastically replied "Sure you did!") After he organized all of his elephants, they start the search. Shere Khan then decides to start looking for the man cub.
Hathi does not appear in the Disney Channel show Talespin, but he is one of the main characters in the spin-off Jungle Cubs. Colonel Hathi returns in the Disney sequel The Jungle Book 2 in which Jim Cummings provided his voice.
At Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris originally featured a restaurant named Explorers Club, themed to famous explorers. This is a colonial house in the jungle, decorated with many artifacts from all over the world. In 1995, the restaurant was renamed Colonel Hathi's Pizza Outpost with new meals specialising in a wide range of pizza and pasta dishes.
In the language of Hindi, Hathi translates to Elephant.
Hathi in popular culture
Like all of the main Jungle Book characters, "Hathi" is used as a name for a warranted adult, or young leader in many Cub Scout Packs.
Hathi is a major character in the anime series Jungle Book Shonen Mowgli where he is the king and enforcer of the Law of the Jungle. Like the stories, he has 3 children. However, one change is that Chil the Kite is his messenger.