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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Jungle Book can be found here.
Raised by wolves after his father was killed by the tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), the man-cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi) ventures out on his own when Shere Khan threatens his pack. Aided by the panther Bagherra (voice of Ben Kingsley) and the bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray), Mowgli attempts to make it to the man-village where he can be safe with his own kind.
The movie is based on The Jungle Book (1894), a collection of short stories by English writer Rudyard Kipling [1865-1936]. The stories were adapted for the movie by screenwriter Justin Marks. The Jungle Book has been depicted in numerous movies, including Jungle Book (1942), The Jungle Book (1994), and the original Disney version of The Jungle Book (1967). Another version of Jungle Book is in the works, scheduled for release in 2018.
It is not necessary to see the original Disney version of The Jungle Book nor to read the book before seeing this new live action film, but most viewers recommend it, if just for comparison. The new film walks a fine line between adapting the Kipling classic and remaking the 1967 animation. The scriptwriters did refer back to the book rather than simply copying the cartoon in live action, but left in enough of the best elements of the cartoon for it to be a genuine remake and not an entirely new movie based on the same material. Some characters, e.g., Kaa and King Louie, are a bit darker in this film than they were in the original.
According to Kaa's account, Mowgli's father was traveling though the jungle (reason not given) with his son, the toddler Mowgli, when he was attacked and killed by Shere Khan. Mowgli's father managed to burn Shere Khan with the Red Flower (fire), so Shere Khan ran off, leaving young Mowgli behind. Mowgli was subsequently found and raised by the panther Bagherra.
The movie never provides a reason 'how'. Pythons can live for a long time, so Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson) may have been there to witness it, or she may have heard it over the jungle 'grapevine'. Because Kaa has the ability to hypnotize, viewers have suggested that the movie made Kaa more magical, giving her the ability to see the past or maybe to see Mowgli's past by looking into his eyes and drawing out earlier memories that Mowgli had forgotten. In Indian mythology, the snake has the ability to remember the one who killed their dear ones and to take revenge when they get a chance, suggesting that snakes have a memory the likes of an elephant. Another possibility is that Kaa simply made up a story while drawing in closer to Mowgli and getting him to trust her...before she pounced on him.
In the scene where Kaa tells Mowgli about how he came to be in the jungle, it shows him as a toddler wearing baggy red trousers that reach below the ankles. Presumably, the short red pants he wears in the movie are the remnants of those trousers.
They were stunned and afraid. With their leader suddenly gone, they had no idea how to handle the situation. This is typical pack behavior. Take out the Alpha and the others will become timid.
Viewers have identified them as civets, carnivores belonging to the Viverridae family.
The obvious explanation is that the movie is in English so that English-speakers can understand it. In Kipling's stories, Mowgli communicates with the animals through the language of the jungle, which few (if any) humans know.
Actually, yes. In the original stories, Baloo was a sloth bear (Melursus urinus), a nocturnal insectivorous bear native to India and surrounding countries. It's believed that sloth bears evolved from brown bears, but they are substantially smaller. Brown bears can weigh up to 500 pounds, whereas sloth bears average around 300 pounds. In the scene where Bagherra finally meets up with Mowgli, he refers to Baloo as a sloth bear.
King Louie wasn't a common orangutan, evidenced by the lyrics in the song ' I Wanna Be Like You.' Now you might think it's ridiculous, that me, a Gigantopithecus, would ever dream I'd like to team, with the likes of you man cub.' The Gigantophithecus is an extinct species of ape that once lived in China, India, and Vietnam and is the largest species of ape ever known.
According to Kaa, he was burned by the Red Flower (fire) when he attacked Mowgli's father, and fire once ravaged the jungle. Shere Khan now considers man to be forbidden in the jungle. Hence, he wants to eliminate Mowgli in order to maintain the jungle as well as his own dominance.
That the panther does not have a singular species to itself is true. Panthera is actually a genus that encompasses felines that can roar, i.e., tigers, lions, jaguars, cougars, and leopards. 'Panther' is just a commonly-used term for these big cats, expecially ones black in color. Being that Bagheera is from India, he is most likely a black leopard.
This is the Law of the Jungle, as old and as true as the sky. The wolf that keeps it may prosper, but the wolf that breaks it will die. Like the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the Law runneth over and back. For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.'
Cornered by Shere Khan on a dead tree branch with the Red Flower raging beneath him, Mowgli inches out further and further, as does Shere Khan. Suddenly, the weight of the tiger causes the tree branch to break. Mowgli swings off the branch with his vine-rope, and Shere Khan tumbles to the jungle floor and is engulfed in flames. Riding on an elephant, Mowgli returns to the river and to his wolfpack. The elephants use their tusks to dam up the river and make new furrows, changing the river's course until it puts out the fires. The final scenes mirror the opening scene in which Mowgli attempts to outrun Bagheera, Baloo, and the wolves by using the trees and vines, as a man would do. In the end, Mowgli, Bagheera, and Baloo relax on a tree branch. 'I could get used to this,' Baloo comments.
The stories are in the public domain and can be read at Project Gutenburg.
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