Jungle Book Shōnen Mowgli

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The Jungle Book: The Adventures of Mowgli
Jungle-Book-Opening.jpg
The Jungle Book series title card
ジャングルブック 少年モーグリ
(Janguru Bukku Shōnen Mōguri)
Genre Adventure, Action, Drama
Anime television series
Directed by Fumio Kurokawa
Studio Nippon Animation
Network TV Tokyo
Original run October 2, 1989October 10, 1990
Episodes 52 (List of episodes)
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Jungle Book Shōnen Mowgli (ジャングルブック 少年モーグリ Janguru Bukku Shōnen Mōguri?) is an 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.

Characters[edit]

Mowgli, the feral child who serves as the main character of the series.
  • Mowgli: The protagonist of the series. He is still a young boy when he becomes lost in the forest of Seeonee in British India. He lost his biological parents when they went out searching for him and fell to their deaths from a cliff, and into a river, after a panther named Bagheera unintentionally frightens them. Alexander adopts him as a son and raises him as a wolf. Mowgli appears to be somewhere between the ages of 6 and 10 during the course of the show, though the first episode shows him as a toddler. He's an adventurous, fun-loving, outgoing boy. But he also goes through a sort of identity crisis, struggling to figure out just what he really is and where he really belongs.
  • Alexander: Mowgli's adoptive father, Luri's husband and biological father to Akru and Sura. Blue/black furred. He becomes leader of the wolf pack when Akela chooses to retire. He has a fight with Vermillion, despite not being willing to do so, to determine the successor to Akela's leadership, in accordance with the Law of the Jungle. During a fire that grazes the forest, Alexander dies defending his pack from Shere Khan.
  • Luri: Alexander's wife/widow, Mowgli's adoptive mother and biological mother to Akru and Sura. Beige furred. She later becomes the official new leader of the pack and the first female leader of the pack when Akela steps down from his position once again, after originally asking Mowgli to convince Vermillion if he'd accept the request of leading. She came up with the plan of getting an ex-member of the pack named Grizzle exiled from it again, this time along with his gang, without having to battle.
  • Akru and Sura: Sons of Alexander and Luri and Mowgli's adoptive brothers. Akru has brown and beige fur, while Sura's is blue and black, like his father. They are only cubs when Mowgli is first adopted by the wolf couple but are fully grown in subsequent episodes. They are both very close to Mowgli and stay that way throughout the series, even after they leave home and find mates. Akru has a tendency to be hot headed and does not always look before he leaps, whereas Sura tends to be calmer and more collective. In the German version of the show, Akru was actually female and Mowlgi's adoptive sister; this later became a problem when the character becomes mates with Maki. And due to his voice actor being a woman, many mistook Sura as female in the English version initially.
  • Akela: The leader of the pack, notably when Mowgli is first adopted into the pack and during most of Mowgli's younger days. His coat is mostly a dark, bluish-grey hue, with a lighter shade of those colors for his eyebrows and the thicker fur on his upper body. He is very old but very knowledgeable, and is forced out of his retirement after Alexander died. Later, he serves as Luri's consultant or advisor when she takes over as pack leader. Near the series' finale, Akela would pass on himself by wounds from jackals.
  • Vermillion: Lala's father and Alexander's great friend. He competes with Alexander to be the next leader of the pack, when his father, Akela, chooses to step down. He acquires a scar on his left eye afterwards. His fur is red in color. It is later revealed that they had also fought previously to decide which one would marry Luri. He later moves away, apparently leaving his daughter behind, and becomes the leader of a pack of wolves in a rocky desert area.
Shere Khan, the series' main villain, together with his hyena cronies
  • Shere Khan: A tiger, who is the main antagonist of much of the series. Cruel and cunning, rebellious and menacing, he violates many Laws of the Jungle, including eating humans and cows, and over-hunting. He's also fearless of most things, except that he's a pyrophobe (or one who fears fire), he's frightened by guns and he withdraws when it comes to an elephant named Hathi. His loathing for humans is part of a history that goes back to his first ancestor's encounter with one. The injury on his right, hind leg is dealt by Alexander in a fight. Later, other injuries he'd receive include: A piercing being made in his forehead after Mowgli attacks him with a long, narrow, sharp-edged rock; the wound over his left eye being made, again by Mowgli, slashing it with a blade in requital for slashing Mowgli's left thigh and harming one of his new human friends/future family members, leaving the tiger disfigured; and in the last showdown, Mowgli defeats and slays Shere Khan by stabbing him in his heart.
  • Bagheera: A black panther, and one of Mowgli's friends. Mowgli's main teacher of the Laws of the Jungle. He is seen as a de facto member of Mowgli's wolf pack. Bagheera spent part of his childhood in the care of an English family.
  • Baloo: A dark blue sloth bear, and one of Mowgli's friends. He also serves as one of Mowgli's teachers, though he is more enthusiastic and has a gentler approach in some of his lessons.
  • Kaa: A very wise python, and one of Mowgli's friends. He also serves as a teacher to Mowgli on a few occasions.
  • Tabaqui: Shere Khan's sidekick. Unlike the other versions of Jungle Book, he is a bungling hyena (yet he is still referred to as a jackal) who never seems to get anything right. He's also notorious for being idle, greedy, incompetent, conniving, dimwitted, dastardly and chatty. Later, he and another hyena meet their defeat when Mowgli and Shere Khan go against each other once more, and both hyenas are knocked unconscious by water buffaloes.
  • Bacchus: A fat wolf who can never hunt properly. He is more fitted to babysitting the wolf cubs. He appears more often in the first half of the series, and is occasionally used for comic relief. He is mentioned later on however, when everyone was discussing the topic of a new leader (one of the wolves said Bacchus should lead the pack, much to some of the other wolves' dismay).
  • Fargas: An old wolf who was saved by Alexander from a pack of wild dogs. His fur is pale blue (or fully white). He steals food from the pack's storage in his first few appearances.
  • Lala: Vermillion's daughter and Akela's granddaughter. She has brilliant red fur, though slightly lighter than her father's. She acts like a tomboy early in the series, and refuses to accept Mowgli as a member of the pack. Later in the series, she matures and becomes more fond of Mowgli, even developing a crush on him (ep; "Mowgli Has a Sweetheart"). By the end of the series, she and Sura are the parents of two cubs, one of whom is given the name Rusty in the English dub.
  • Kichi: Mowgli's red panda friend. His parents are killed by humans. After Mowgli accuses Kichi of causing trouble (which he unintentionally does) and being a nuisance, he has a harder time fitting in with the new crowd due to already being an outsider and decides to get on the wrong foot. But his friendship with Mowgli would be put to the test when they're prompted to work together. Later in the series he lives together with Mowgli in his hut. In the English version, Kichi is referred to as a male. In the German version, Kichi is called Kiki. The confusion is due to the fact that the character was voiced by a woman in the Japanese version, a common practice in animation voice work for younger or cute characters.
The family of the Seeonee wolf pack
  • Linda: A benevolent English girl (although in the American dub, neither her nor her dad sound like they're English) who adopts a cub Bagheera and keeps as a pet. Bagheera tells Mowgli a story about her and we meet her through flashback sequences. She has a love for not just any animal, but him especially it seems. She also seems to have a grand understanding of animals through some connection. When her father attempts to whip Bagheera while Linda gives the cat milk, she defends him by shielding him and is slightly injured when he accidentally whips her instead, when she gets in the way. When her father confronts her and Bagheera again and tries shooting him, Linda makes another attempt to protect him by letting him out of his cage and setting him free. As he escapes to safety, she blocks the gunfire and takes the hits. She is shot; her exact fate, unknown, as Bagheera never found out if she survived or not.
  • Linda's Father: A selfish, malevolent and commercially minded game hunter who is only out for his own personal gain, determined to claim Bagheera as his prize and constantly stops at nothing to get him. He always mistreats the feline sadistically if and when disobedient, like when Bagheera wouldn't eat the meat that was presented to him. But after several attempts, they're always thwarted by his daughter, who incessantly interferes with his goal, until she sacrifices herself and is hit by the gunshots.
  • Bougi/Rahhar: Meshua/Jumeirah's maternal grandfather and Mari's father who Mowgli meets before meeting his granddaughter, daughter and son-in-law. He meets Mowgli when he comes across a trap/hole in which Mowgli fell. Mowgli isn't sure whether he can trust him at first because of all the stories and reputation about humans, and their history with animals, but comes to accepting Bougi's offer to help when he heals him and gives him food. He turns out to be genuinely kind-hearted. Bougi is later slashed in the back by Shere Khan, defending Mowgli and Meshua from the tiger but eventually recovers and survives. Bougi's name in the English adaptation is Rahhar.
  • Mari/Meshua: Meshua/Jumeirah's mother, Bougi/Rahhar's daughter and Nil/ Sanjay's wife. When the family first meet Mowgli, Mari mistakes Mowgli for her son Keshnu, but despite the fact that it's not really him, she still treats him as if he were one of her own and he grows on her instantly. She comes to love Mowgli so much so that she desperately wishes and prefers that he not take on Shere Khan. Mari's name is changed to Meshua (Jumeirah's original name in the Japanese variant) for the English dub.
  • Nil/Sanjay: Meshua/Jumeirah's father, Mari/Meshua's husband and Bougi/Anwar's son-in-law. Like the other family members, he eats up Mowgli right away. When the family is kidnapped and held captive, Mowgli rescues them and helps them escape, one way of which is by saving them from the other villagers and he has his animal friends guide them to another town when the animals destroy the residents' homes. Later, in the middle of their trek, Nil succumbs to pneumonia. Nil is renamed Sanjay in the English translation.
  • Meshua/Jumeirah: A girl to whom Mowgli takes a liking late in the series. She has a pet mongoose named Rikki Tikki, in honour of Rikki Tikki Tavi in one of the short stories in The Jungle Book and is similarly a fearless protector of his human companions. Her grandfather originally found Mowgli when the boy was on his own from his wolf pack, saying the boy reminded him of his grandson. Though Mowgli chooses to remain in the jungle at this time, he does meet his human friend later, along with Meshua. Meshua's family later adopt Mowgli into their family as their new son, since their other son had died. Her name is Jumeirah in the English version.
  • Chil: A falcon (or kite) who served as the messenger for Akela's pack and Hati, the great elephant.
  • Hati/Hathi: The great elephant, who serves as the ruler of the whole forest of Seeonee.
  • Sandah/Thunder: A young male wolf from Vermillion's pack. He is blue-black in colour. Sandah hates the humans after they killed his sister, Dulia and resents Mowgli for being a human. He eventually comes to terms with him, and even though he leaves with Vermillion and his pack, he and Mowgli appear to share a close camaraderie. Sandah seems to be a lieutenant, or beta wolf, to Vermillion. Certain translations portray him as female.
  • Grizzle/Bunto: A wolf with beige (or grey, as he appears in some scenes) fur and a dark brown blotch around his left eye, a baddie and former member of Akela's pack. He has the distinction of being the only wolf in the series with any markings on his face and is also missing a large portion of his left ear. He was once a good wolf who had gone bad and got kicked out years ago for not abiding by the law of the jungle, which has since made him bitter as a result, and turned to the dark side after meeting Shere Khan, who put him up to getting revenge for his banishment. Grizzle was the leader of a gang and accompanied by two other lupines, who were also his henchmen. Later, after a battle with Mowgli's friends and some of the other wolves, Grizzle is slain by Mowgli, who stabs him in the jugular with a stone-knife. Bunto is Grizzle's name in the Japanese and German versions.
  • Louis/Alba: A monkey largely covered with white fur (except for his face, hands and feet), the leader of the other monkeys (who are mostly covered with apricot or peach-colored fur) and the principal lackey/tipster to Shere Khan. They also work for the tiger. Louis and the other monkeys constantly wreak havoc in the jungle and heckle the denizens. After Louis convinces and lures Mowgli away by telling him that he knows of a place where he can take him to learn more about the boy's kind, he and the other monkeys formed links or chains and carried Mowgli across the jungle to a temple (also known as "The Cold Lair"), where the boy learns about it having once been occupied by humans and how they showed their negative side, and qualities, when it came to greed for treasure, as they searched for it in the edifice. Some also tricked Kichi into playing with them as an attempt to draw her/him into Shere Khan's clutches, and the monkeys also bother Mowgli again when the wolves act coldly towards him, and later destroy his hut. He, along with several, other monkeys, harass Mowgli and demolish his hut under the order of Shere Khan. He is eventually caught and confronted by Mowgli, Bagheera, Baloo and Kaa, who warns him to put an end to that and turn down any other instructions Shere Khan may give him. Louis is known as Alba in the English dub.
  • Kim/Dusty & Sargah/Jocko: Two wolves whom end up in league with Grizzle and his cronies. The two decide to overthrow Akela so Jocko himself can become leader of the pack. They are father and son, Jocko being the parent, who has a dark blue/light blue hue, and Dusty is his offspring, who is dark grey/beige. Being wide-eyed (literally and figuratively), both are also credulous. Jocko isn't very courageous, he's rather skittish and nebbishy (Dusty also seems to get his usual deportment from him apparently). In the Japanese version, their names were originally Kim & Sargah.
  • Maki: A golden-yellow and cream, female wolf and Akru's mate. Maki is a great singer and, at one point, she's seen giving singing lessons to Akru. She is a minor character and appears very late in the series. In the German version she was actually male, due to the fact that Akru was female in that version of the show. She still retained her feminine looks though.
  • Buldeo: A man from the village and another baddie in the series who always tells tall tales about his supposed encounters with the jungle animals. After one story involving the tiger Shere Khan that he tells the other villagers, Mowgli begs to differ and refutes it when he sets out, and attempts to have the final showdown with Shere Khan. After Mowgli slays Shere Khan and returns to the village with the tiger skin, Buldeo convinces the other villagers that Mowgli is a sorcerer. Especially after Buldeo and some other men, and boys, observe his ability to call his animal friends seemingly through the will of magic and they turn against Mowgli (except for his newfound, adoptive, human family). Later, when the village is attacked by the animals, Buldeo tries so shoot Bagheera, Sura and Akru. Mowgli then grabs Buldeo's rifle as Buldeo pleads: "Don't hurt me!" Mowgli then breaks the rifle scaring Buldeo out of the jungle forever. After that, Buldeo is not seen again, but is mentioned by several villagers as well as Riswan. It is presumed that Buldeo either left the jungle, or died in the jungle.
  • Ganshum: Buldeo's grandson, who along with several other boys, pick on Mowgli for being the new kid in the village and spreads rumors about the jungle boy being under some kind of spell. He gets his malevolence from his granddad and joins him and other men, and boys, in searching for the jungle creatures, especially Shere Khan, as well as partaking in the kidnapping of Rahhar, Sanjay, Meshua, and Jumeirah. Ganshum is not seen again after Mowgli helps Jumeirah and her family escape, but it can be presumed that he fled with the other villagers following the animal attack on the village. His name in the English version is Ganshum, but it's unknown if this is his name in the original Japanese version or in other dubs of the series.
  • Abdullah: The village leader who bands with Buldeo, Riswan and several others to hunt down the jungle animals. Later, they kidnap Mowgli's adoptive, human family and take siege of the village. Abdullah was last seen fleeing from the village when the animals came and destroyed the villagers' homes and was seen getting chased away by a buffalo.
  • Riswan/Gallo:Buldio's friend and another man from the village who'd later cross paths with Mowgli the second time. He convinces Mowgli to let bygones be bygones for what he tried to pull on him earlier and invite him to have some food and a drink, without any need to heed cautious suspicion. But it turns out to be a trick, as Riswan laced Mowgli's drink with sleeping powder, and two other men plan to sell Mowgli to a circus. His name is Gallo in the German version, but it's uncertain whether it's the same in the Japanese version as well.
  • Dholes: A pack of red dogs who invade the jungle. Mowgli first encounters a few when they enter Rahhar's campsite where he is. They drive them off by making noise via banging on pots and pans. Later, Mowgli gets rid of a larger number of them by luring them to a beehive and they're chased off by the swarm of bees. To escape them, they jump into a river, then when they swim their way out of it, they're mauled to death by the wolves.
  • John J. Hargreaves: The white, English owner of the Bombay circus to whom Riswan sells Mowgli. Mowgli hatches his plan for escape to get passed them, as he outwits Mr. Hargreaves and his two hounds, and battles them on his way to freedom.

Release and Air Dates[edit]

Country Air Date Original Title Channel
Japan 2 October 1989 "Janguru Bukku shonen Môguri" TV Tokyo
India July 1993 (reruns in 2004 & 2009) "The Jungle Book" Doordarshan (reruns on Pogo)

Voice Cast[edit]

Japanese[edit]

English[edit]

Hindi[edit]

Music[edit]

The Japanese opening and closing themes, "Get UP ~Aio Shinjite~ (Get UP ~I Believe in Love~)" and "Chikyuu No Ko (地球の子 lit. "Child of the Earth") are sung by the Japanese vocalists Toshiya Igarashi and Shiori Hashimoto respectively. Music from the Japanese version of Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics was recycled for the Anime.

The French version features similar opening and closing themes. The English opening and closing themes, "Wake Up" and "A Child is learning", are both sung by the American vocalist Suzi Marsh. The anime was dubbed into Hindustani and was broadcast as "The Jungle Book" by DD National in India during the 1990s, from 1993 till 1994 throughout the run. The Hindustani version Jungle Jungle Baat Chali Hai (जंगल जंगल बात चली है), featured original music by Vishal Bhardwaj (with words by noted lyricist Gulzar), and also one of the singers of the title song "Jungle Jungle Baat Chali Hai" was Amol Sahdev, which made it quite popular at that time.

Languages[edit]

These are the Japanese and English versions of The Jungle Book: The Adventures of Mowgli (Janguru Bukk Mowgli/Shōnen Mowgli).

  • English: The Jungle Book: The Adventures of Mowgli
  • Spanish: Mowgli: El libro de la selva
  • French: Mowgli: Le Livre de la Jungle
  • Danish: Junglebogen
  • Dutch: Mowgli: Jungle Boek
  • Finnish: Mowgli: Viidakkokirja
  • German: Das Dschungelbuch - Die Serie
  • Greek: Το Παιδί της Ζούγκλας
  • Tamil (India): Jungle Book (ஜங்கிள் புக்)
  • Hindi (India): The Jungle Book (जंगल की कहानी )
  • Malayalam (India): Jungle Book (ജംഗിൾ ബുക്ക്)
  • Norwegian: Jungelboken/Mowgli
  • Polish: Mowgli: Ksiega Dzungli
  • Hungarian: A dzsungel könyve
  • Swedish: Mowgli: Djungelboken
  • Telugu (India): Mowgli (మౌగ్లి)
  • Arabic: Mowgli: The Jungle Boy. ماوكلي فتى الأدغال
  • Bengali (India): বাঙ্গালী
  • Hebrew מסיפורי ספר הג'ונגל
  • Italian: Il libro della Giungla
  • Brazilian Portuguese: Mogli: O Menino Lobo

VHS & DVD Releases[edit]

In 1990, Strand VCI Entertainment released only the first seventeen episodes separately on VHS under the title of "The Jungle Book". They were distributed by Nippon Video. They are now out-of-print. However, under its original title, the show has been released as a couple of DVD box sets of the entire series in its country of origin, Japan, and as select individual episodes on four DVDs (two episodes per DVD) in Australia. In India, the entire series has been released as an eight-volume DVD box set in English and Hindi separately by Eagle Home Entertainment. An Italian version was released on DVD on June 16, 2008. These are the few international nations (probably as far as they are known to date) in which the series has been brought to DVD. A couple of DVD releases in the United States by Shout! Factory, one a single disc under the title "The Jungle Book: Adventures of Mowgli-The Beginning" and the other a six-disc collection of the whole series titled "The Jungle Book: Adventures of Mowgli-Complete Collection" were released on June 18, 2013. They featured high quality recordings of the English dub.

Titles released on DVD in Australia include:

  • Volume 1: Mowgli Is Born/ Mowgli Goes Hunting
  • Volume 2: Mowgli's Journey/ A Trip Of Adventure
  • Volume 3: A Cold Fang/ Sorry, Baloo!
  • Volume 4: Return Of The Brave/ Chilly Woods

Titles to be released on DVD in America include:

  • The Jungle Book: Adventures of Mowgli-The Beginning
  • The Jungle Book: Adventures of Mowgli-Complete Collection

UK VHS & DVD Releases[edit]

VHS Title Release Date Episodes
"A Trip of Adventure and other Stories" 2 March 1998 A Trip of Adventure, Return of the Brave, Chilly Woods

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]