List of The Jungle Book characters

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Mowgli attacking Shere Khan: detail from a clay bas-relief by John Lockwood Kipling, father of Rudyard Kipling, from "The Works of Rudyard Kipling" Vol. VII: The Jungle Book, 1907.

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This is a list of characters that appear in Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book story collection, its sequel The Second Jungle Book, and the various film adaptations based on those books. Characters include both human and talking animal characters.

In the Mowgli stories[edit]

Mowgli made leader of the Bandar Log by John Charles Dollman, 1903
  • Mowgli (feral child also referred to as naked frog).
  • Jungle characters
    • Akela (Indian wolf), "alone" in Hindi; leader of the wolf pack. Is referred to as "white, or gray"
    • Bagheera (melanistic leopard known as a black panther); from baagh (Devanagari: बाघ) in Sanskrit or Hindi meaning "tiger"
    • Baloo (Sloth bear); Mowgli's best friend. In Kipling's book, he is described as a sleepy old sloth bear, who teaches Mowgli the law of the jungle. Bhaaloo (Devanagari: भालू) is "bear" in Hindi.
    • Bandar-log (Gray langurs) The monkeys, who are treated as pariahs for their scatterbrained anarchy. They kidnap the very young Mowgli, who is rescued by Bagheera, Baloo and Kaa.
    • Chikai (Rat)
    • Chil (in earlier editions called Rann) (Brahminy kite); "cheel" means kite in Hindi
    • The Dholes
    • Father Wolf (Indian Wolf); Raksha's mate and Mowgli's adoptive father. The 1967 film names him "Rama," meaning "pleasant, supreme."
    • Ferao (Woodpecker)
    • Grey Brother (Indian wolf); the oldest of Father Wolf and Raksha's cubs
    • Hathi (Indian elephant); Haathee (Devanagari: हाथी) meaning "elephant" in Hindi
    • Hathi's sons (elephants)
    • Ikki (in earlier editions called Sahi < Hindi [ Devanagari] ]: साही) (porcupine)
    • Jacala (Crocodile). In Red Dog it is stated that Mowgli broke a knife on Jacala's back during a protracted fight with him.
    • Kaa (Rock python)
    • Ko (Crow) only mentioned
    • Mang (bat)
    • Mao (in earlier editions called Mor) (Peacock)
    • Mysa (water buffalo)
    • Oo (Turtle)
    • Phao (Wolf) Son of Phaona, leader of The Free People
    • Phaona (Indian wolf) Fao's son
    • Raksha (Indian Wolf), "protection" in Hindi; Mowgli's adoptive mother. The name supposedly means "the demon" in the wolves' language, and refers to her ferocity
    • Rama (water buffalo)
    • Shere Khan (Bengal tiger); sher (Hindi: शेर, pronounced [ˈʃeːr]) is a word for "lion" in Hindi[1] A man-eating Bengal tiger who is the main villain and Mowgli's enemy who sees himself as the rightful lord of the jungle.
    • Tabaqui (Golden jackal); he feeds on scraps from either Shere Khan or the wolves of the Seeonee Pack. In some adaptions, he is a hyena.
    • Tha (Elephant) The first of the elephants according to Hathi
    • Thuu (aka White Hood) (Cobra) A blind albino Cobra. Mowgli gives him the derisory epithet "Thuu" (allegedly meaning "it has dried" referring to the poison in Thuu's fangs) upon discovering that the supposedly deadly cobra's fangs are in fact withered and dried up from age and disuse. Protector of ancient treasures
    • Won-Tolla (Indian wolf) An outlier who warns Mowgli's tribe of the dholes
  • Human characters
    • Buldeo (village hunter) from the Hindi or Sanskrit Baladeva, which means "powerful lord"; the elderly (or at least middle-aged) chief hunter of Messua's village. Buldeo is boastful, arrogant and superstitious, and is furious when Mowgli, who knows what the jungle is really like, contradicts some of Buldeo's more fanciful stories about the jungle. He accuses Mowgli of sorcery when the latter refuses to give him the hide of Shere Khan, and later Messua and her husband as revenge and an attempt to take their wealth.
    • Kamya: one of the village boys who herd buffalo along with Mowgli. In contrast to Messua's husband, he has a name but no description.
    • Messua; wife of the richest man of the human village, who decides to adopt the wild Mowgli, believing (probably mistakenly) that he is their long-lost son Nathoo
    • Messua's husband; the richest man of the village; his name is not given
    • Nathoo; the long-lost son of Messua and her husband, who has been snatched by a tiger (arguably, Shere Khan)

Other stories[edit]

  • The White seal
    • Kotick (albino seal)
    • Matkah (Northern fur seal)
    • Sea Catch (Northern Fur Seal); his name is likely of Russian or Aleut origin, because a poem by Kipling has "see-catchie" with a Russian-type plural ending to mean "adult male seals".
    • Sea Cow (Steller's Sea Cow)
    • Sea Vitch (Walrus)
  • Toomai of the Elephants
    • Little Toomai; the son of an elephant mahout who wishes to see the fabled "elephant dance".
    • Big Toomai; Little Toomai's father, an elephant mahout.
    • Petersen Sahib; a white man working for the British Indian government who captures elephants to put them to work.
    • Kala Nag (Elephant); Big Toomai's war elephant who takes Little Toomai to see the elephant dance.
  • The Undertakers
    • An unnamed golden jackal; a jackal who scavenges from human refuse. He's depicted as being similar to Tabaqui from the Mowgli stories.
    • An unnamed adjutant stork; a stork who picks from the human rubbish heaps for food much like the jackal. Is said to be a terrific liar. He is mistakenly referred to as a crane and not a stork in the story.
    • An unnamed mugger crocodile; a fearsome crocodile who is worshipped as a god by a village near his river named "Mugger-Ghaut" in his honor. He is killed at the end after being shot in the neck by a man who comes to avenge some of his workers who were previously eaten by the crocodile. Hinted to be Jacala from the Mowgli stories.

Disney adaptation[edit]

  • Hathi Jr. the baby Elephant
  • Winifred Hathi - Colonel Hathi's wife
  • King Louie the Orangutan
  • Flunkey the Monkey - King Louie's servant
  • Shanti the Human Girl (Named Shanti only in the 2nd movie)
  • Buzzy, Dizzy, Flaps, and Ziggy the Vultures - Four vultures who closely resemble the Beatles because of their shaggy moptop haircuts and Liverpool accents. Buzzy resembles Ringo Starr, Dizzy resembles George Harrison, Flaps resembles Paul McCartney, and Ziggy resembles John Lennon. Their song "That's What Friends Are For" was sing in the style of a barbershop quartet instead of a Beatles song. Disney was originally going to get the band to voice them, but John Lennon refused.
  • Rocky the Rhino (deleted character) - Rocky was originally going to be a friend of the Vultures', but Disney cut him out.
  • Ranjan the Brother (The Jungle Book 2)
  • Lucky the Vulture (The Jungle Book 2) - The Vultures' friend who loves to annoy Shere Khan.

References[edit]

  1. ^ see http://www.shabdkosh.com/en2hi/search.php?ts=1221774293378&e=शेर – according to Erika Klemm: Hindi-deutsches Wörterbuch (Leipzig 1971) शेर means "lion" and "tiger" as well