Many strange legends are told of these jungles of India, but none so strange as the story of a small boy named Mowgli.
Mowgli, commonly referred to as the Man-Cub, is the main protagonist in the 1967 Disney film The Jungle Book and its 2003 sequel, The Jungle Book 2.
The Jungle Book
Mowgli is first seen as an infant lying in a basket in the remains of a boat deep in the Indian jungle. He is found by a panther named Bagheera and taken to a wolf pack where he is cared for by Raksha and her mate Rama alongside their own cubs.
10 years later, a tiger named Shere Khan arrives in the area of the jungle where the pack live. Knowing of Shere Khan's hatred of man, the pack's leader Akela, fearing for Mowgli's safety, decides that he should be sent away. Bagheera suggests taking Mowgli to a nearby Man Village, which Akela agrees to. Later, Bagheera begins to escourt Mowgli to the Man Village, before napping in a tree. However as Bagheera sleeps, a python named Kaa hypnotises Mowgli and tries to eat him, only for Bagheera to wake up and save Mowgli. Angered, Kaa then hypnotieses Bagheera, but Mowgli saves him by pushing Kaa off the tree, sending the python falling to the ground and swearing vengence. After this, Mowgli and Bagheera go back to sleep.
The following morning, Mowgli is awoken by Colonel Hathi's patrol and soon befriends Hathi's son Hathi Jr.. Afterwards, Mowgli and Bagheera get into an argument over Mowgli refusing to leave the jungle and go their seperate ways. After wandering on his own, Mowgli meets and befriends a bear named Baloo, who sings "The Bare Necessities". Later, whilst swimming in a river with Baloo, Mowgli is taken by a group of monkeys and is taken to their leader, an orangutan named King Louie, who says that he can help Mowgli stay in the jungle if Mowgli teaches him how to make fire. However, Mowgli does not know how to make fire. Luckily, Baloo and Bagheera soon arrive and save Mowgli. Later that night as Mowgli sleeps, Baloo agrees with Bagheera that Mowgli should go to the Man Village. The next day, Baloo reveals to Mowgli that he has to take him to the Man Village, much to Mowgli's dismay, who storms off.
Mowgli then runs into Kaa, who tries to eat him again, only to be distracted by Shere Khan, who wishes to know Mowgli's whereabouts. Mowgli later meets and befriends a group of vultures before encountering Shere Khan. With help from Baloo and the vultures, Mowgli manages to defeat Shere Khan by tying a burning branch onto his tail, causing the tiger to flee. Mowgli then moarns an apparently dead Baloo, who had been attacked by Shere Khan. However much to Mowgli's happiness, Baloo is alive.
Later whilst travelling through the jungle with Baloo and Bagheera, Mowgli hears singing and follows the sound. He finds a girl around his age collecting water for the Man Village. Smitten by the girl, Mowgli helps her collect water and decides to go with her to live in the Man Village as Baloo and Bagheera watch on.
The Jungle Book 2
Not long after Baloo and Bagheera dropped Mowgli off at the Man Village, Mowgli has since been adopted by the village leader and his wife. He now has a little brother named Ranjan and has become close friends with the girl that lured him into the village, Shanti. Though he enjoys playing with Ranjan and Shanti, Mowgli misses his jungle life and hopes to one day return to it. During a normal day, Mowgli almost led the village children to the jungle to show them how fun it can be. However, the village leader halted the event as he, and the other villagers, believe the jungle is a dangerous place.
Later on that night, Baloo sneaks into the village, reuniting with his "bear cub." When Shanti spots Baloo, she panics and alerts the villagers. Baloo and Mowgli make a run for the jungle, but the villagers attack Shere Khan, who also journeyed into the village to extract revenge on Mowgli. In the jungle, Mowgli and Baloo catch up, singing a reprise of "The Bare Necessities". The next day, Mowgli and Baloo are gathering mangoes when Bagheera arrives. He asks Baloo if he is knowledgeable about the whereabouts of Mowgli, but Baloo denies (Mowgli is hiding in a tree during Baloo and Bagheera's conversation). He also tells him that the entire village has entered the jungle, searching for the man cub.
Bagheera's news makes Mowgli placate, and he wonders if Shanti is also searching with the villagers. For the sake of his friendship with Baloo however, Mowgli decides to shelve the feelings and asks Baloo to find a good hideout for the two of them. The duo heads over to King Louie's place, but Louie has departed, and the jungle's inhabitants turned it into the biggest hangout around. After a party, Baloo begins to tell the animals about the village, using information from Mowgli to recite. Baloo repeats all that Mowgli has complained about, but, unknowing to Baloo, Mowgli actually misses the village, and runs off to be alone for a while.
Suddenly, Shanti and Ranjan appear after searching far and wide for Mowgli. As Baloo searches for him, he spots Shanti. Earlier, Mowgli and Baloo planned on scaring Shanti away if she ever found them, so, Baloo made himself appear to be vicious, successfully scaring her. As Mowgli has changed his mind, he tries to stop Baloo, accidentally revealing that he planned the entire scare. Shanti and Ranjan leave, having Mowgli follow to apologize. He finds them cornered by a vengeful Shere Khan, and a chase follows. It leads to ancient ruins where Baloo, Mowgli, and Shanti battle the tiger, while Bagheera watches over Ranjan.
After his defeat, Mowgli and Baloo bid farewell, as Mowgli decides to stay in the village. Soon, it is revealed that Mowgli, Shanti, and Ranjan are now allowed to visit Baloo and Bagheera as they please. A relationship between Mowgli and Shanti also blossoms.