The film was originally intended to be an independent production. Then Disney became involved and provided additional financing, increasing its budget from $18 million to nearly $30 million in the process.
Filming in Monkey City proved to be quite difficult. It was already extremely hot in India (where the scenes were filmed) and the flame ledges used toward the end of the film, routinely caused the ambient temperature to reach 137 degrees Fahrenheit.
During the social gathering at the British palace, Dr. Plumford comments on the presence of both Indian and English cultures present by saying the party had "all the bare necessities of life"; a nod to the famous song "Bear Necessities", sung by Baloo, from the original film The Jungle Book (1967)
The only animal that is not actually a real one is Kaa. Due to the difficulty in training snakes, a combination of CGI, animatronics and puppetry was used. Also in this film adaptation he is not referred to by his name; only once he is referred to as "The Great Snake" by Mowgli.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Actor Jason Flemyng was not present for the scene when Wilkins is chased down by Shere Khan and killed. Instead stunt personnel who were experienced in working with animals, particularly with tigers, were involved. The stunt man and the tiger were both trained in a play behavior that gave the appearance of the tiger mauling Wilkins.
Director Stephen Sommers said that the most difficult scene to film was the one in which Mowgli runs back to seek Dr. Plumford's help after Baloo is shot. For the scene a camera was mounted on an ATV and Jason Scott Lee had to run alongside it, careful to remain in frame as well as possible.