How ‘The Jungle Book’ films differ from the books

How ‘The Jungle Book’ films differ from the books

December 29, 2016 0 By Fried Eye Research Team

Here’s a look at some of the films and how they feature differently from the beloved children books by Rudyard Kipling

The Jungle Book has been a part of Indian culture for a long time, it has been a feature seen by many and impactful generations. Before there even was the classic 1967 film to the current blockbuster, The Jungle Book became famous by English journalist, short-story writer, poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling who had written the fiction tale titled  ‘The Jungle Book’ in 1894-5.

As Star Movies will be featuring the ‘Then’ 1967 film- The Jungle Book film at 1pm and ‘Now’ The Jungle Book at 3pm on New Year’s on 1st January, here is a look at how the films taken elements from the beloved books

The 1967 and 2016 versions Disney’s The Jungle Book is inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s novel The Jungle Books – specifically, the stories of Mowgli, a young boy raised by animals who must one day return to the man village.

He wrote eight stories about the aforementioned “man-cub” in his novel-

  • Mowgli’s Brothers,
  • Kaa’s Hunting,
  • Tiger! Tiger! How Fear Came,
  • Letting in the Jungle,
  • The King’s Ankus,
  • Red Dog
  • and The Spring Running –

Disney picked up elements of each the short story by Kipling putting their own story together.


The opening scene in the classic 1967 film:

In the ‘Then’ classic version – It showcases Mowgli raised by wolves from a baby, so the jungle really is all he knows.

In Kipling’s version – He is an older toddler whose parents are chased off by Shere Khan, so there is a part of him that is aware of his human heritage. While the newest version begins with Mowgli already a part of the jungle with mentions of him found as a baby.



In the books and in the 1967 film, the snake Kaa is shown to be a male while in the 2016 film- the gender as swapped with Scarlett Johansson’s voice featured in the movie.




In the books, Kipling describes Mowgli to be as fearless as shown in 1967 version with him being evn more cunning and described as someone who fits very well into the jungle. The Disney 1967 and 2016 versions showcase a more fun side to him and a source of amusement.





King Louie:


A major difference between the films and the books is King Louie. There is no such character present in the books except for the Bandar log but showcased as a far amusing character in the 1967 version while the 2016 version includes a much darker side to the orangutan especially in size!


Mowgli’s entry into the village:

In the Kipling version of the books, Mowgli is shown to be far older and therefore aware of his human heritage and seeking revenge. The 2016 version rings true in the ending aspect as it being the final aim for Mowgli while the 1967 version points towards a different direction at Mowgli of going back to human civilization.

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