Adventures of Mowgli

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Adventures of Mowgli
Akela, Baloo, Mowgli and Bagheera in a scene from the movie on a Russian postal stamp.
Directed byRoman Davydov
Written byLeonid Belokurov
Rudyard Kipling (story)
StarringSergei Martinson
L. Lyubetskiy
Lyusyena Ovchinnikova
Stepan Bubnov
Anatoli Papanov
Lyudmila Kasatkina
A. Nazarov
Klara Rumyanova
Music bySofia Gubaidulina
Edited byLyubov Georgiyeva
Release date
1967-1971 (USSR)
July 31, 1973 (combined) (USSR)
Running time
20 min x 5
96 min
92 min (United States)
98 min (Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, India, Thailand)
100 min (Poland, Italy, Spain, Germany)

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[1].

An English-language version made by Films by Jove was completed in 1996 and released direct-to-video on April 28, 1998 under the name Adventures of Mowgli.[2] Charlton Heston is the narrator in the English version.


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 Soyuzmultfilm's adaptation appeared more adult and in spirit is closer to Kipling's book. There are scenes of mass fights and duels, blood and death are shown, there is charged atmosphere, suspense. Subjects of life and death, debt and feelings, heroism of the soldier and human essence arise.

Portrayal of characters[edit]

  • In this version, Bagheera is female (following the Russian translation by Nina Daruzes). She is also less willing to spoil Mowgli, as she spanks him after he refuses to apologize 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.
  • While it is uncertain as to what bear species Baloo may be in the books, here he is an Asiatic black bear
  • 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 Shōnen 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.
  • White Hood, the white cobra guarding the treasures in an old cave, has also been changed into a female. She is also much more vicious than her book counterpart.


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 and drives him away. He taunts them and says that the wolf pack will decide as he skulks away, angered by her defiance. 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 white-chested 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 Indian rock python Kaa. They don't know where to look until Chil the brahminy 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]

Mowgli has grown, and to enable him to take his rightful place in the pack, he needs to arm himself. Python Kaa helps Mowgli find an "iron tooth", - a knife, in an abandoned cave guarded by an ancient white Indian cobra. This happens just in time, because the old enemy tiger Shere Khan raises havoc in the pack, intending to overthrow the leader of the pack; Akela. Only the intervention of Mowgli saves the pack leader from Shere Khan through the use of the Red Flower.

Episode 4 - "The Fight"[edit]

A terrible threat looms over the wolf tribe and all those living in the jungle. A large pack of dholes descends on the jungle, destroying everything in its path. Mowgli, however, decides that he and Akela should prepare the wolf pack to battle the dhole tribes, with Baloo concurring with Akela's orders.

Tabaqui, nosy as always, reports the preparations for war to his master, Shere Khan; who muses the wolves forgot the rules of the jungle. Saying that it's every beast for themselves now, the big cat suggests heading north to wait for the battle to be over with, a suggestion his nosy majordomo agrees with.

Everyone evacuates for shelter while Bagheera relocates her three cubs (one yellow as gold, and two the same color as she), to a safer spot where they remain until the war is over despite their earlier misbehavior.

At the river, Kaa suggests the aid of a huge horde of bees minding their business at the start of the waterfall. Despite getting stung, Mowgli finally convinces the bee queen and her clans to stop the dhole tribes.

The big battle comes, and after many times with some dhole clansmen losing their tails to Mowgli's kukri, the dhole tribes flee thanks to the bee horde, and the Seeonee Jungles are safe once more. Akela then lets forth his last triumphant warcry.

Episode 5 - "Return to Mankind"[edit]

Mowgli stood at the head of a wolf pack. Finally it's time to pay the principal enemy of Mowgli tiger Shere Khan, who broke the law truce during a drought... but to slay him, Mowgli must devise a plan to trap him and his bumbling majordomo Tabaqui in the ravine using the buffalo herds. Plan A fails when Shere Khan leaps to a high platform, with Mowgli hot on his tail. After a short brawl, Mowgli is able to finally put Shere Khan's law-breaking habits to an end by dislocating his skull. In the jungle, the time comes to upgrade, and the flowering of love. Mowgli vaguely feels anxiety. It's time to leave the pack and go back to the people.


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)
Nikolay 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 Georgy 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 Cathy Weseluck (Young Mowgli)
Ian James Corlett (Mowgli)
Sam Elliott (Kaa)
Dana Delany (Bagheera)
Charlton Heston (Narrator)
Cam Lane (Baloo)
David Kaye (Akela)
Scott McNeil (Shere Khan)
Alec Willows (Tabaqui)
Don Brown (Chil)
Pauline Newstone (White Cobra)
Venus Terzo (Mother Wolf)
Jim Byrnes (Father Wolf)
Lalainia Lindbjerg (Gita)
Harry Kalensky (Wolves)
Christopher Gaze (Red Dog)

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 Maugli 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 - Viidakkokirja 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)

Technical details[edit]

During the 1980s the animated film was released in the USSR on VHS by Videoprogramma Goskino. In the early nineties it was released on VHS by "Krupnyy Plan". In the mid-nineties the cartoon series was also released on VHS by "Studio PRO Video" with Hi-Fi Stereo sound in PAL format. Also, the Lizard Company released the cartoon on Video CD disks.

In 2002 the movie was restored and re-released on DVD by "Krupnyy Plan".

American/Canadian version[edit]

The dubbed English version was completed in 1996 and released in the US on VHS on April 28, 1998, renamed as "Adventures of Mowgli".[3] The American/Canadian adaptation made numerous changes for which it was subjected to severe criticism by those familiar with the original. The music was completely replaced, some songs were added (the original film did not have songs), and the narrator and some of the characters were dubbed to have many new lines which were not in the original film. Moreover, the film was subjected to some censorship: the scene in which Maugli chops off a tail of a wild dog was removed; during the battle with wild dogs shots in which Maugli stabs dogs were removed; during the final fight of Maugli versus Shere Khan, the blood-red final shots were cut.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Мультфильмы Романа Давыдова
  2. ^ Retrieved 2019-09-06. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Патрик Смит (2016-04-18). "Новая «Книга джунглей» ближе к мрачному «Маугли» из СССР, чем к Диснею / We don't wanna be like you: how Soviet Russia made its own, darker Jungle Book". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-03-04.

External links[edit]