The Jungle Book (1894) is a collection of stories by the English author Rudyard Kipling. Most of the characters are animals such as Shere Khan the tiger and Baloo the bear, though a principal character is the boy or “man-cub” Mowgli, who is raised in the jungle by wolves. The stories are set in a forest in India; one place mentioned repeatedly is “Seonee” (Seoni), in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

The Jungle Book has been adapted many times in a wide variety of media. In literature, Robert Heinlein wrote the Hugo Award-winning science fiction novel, Stranger in a Strange Land (1961), when his wife, Virginia, suggested a new version of The Jungle Book, but with a child raised by Martians instead of wolves.

Elephant Boy (1937)

Elephant_BoyZoltán Korda’s Elephant Boy is a British adventure film starring Sabu in his film debut. The film was made at the London Films studios at Denham, and in Mysore, India, and is based on the story “Toomai of the Elephants” from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book (1894).

Released September 13, 1937 (UK); April 5, 1937 (US)

Toomai (Sabu), a young boy growing up in India, longs to become a hunter. In the meantime, he helps his mahout (elephant driver) father with Kala Nag, a large elephant that has been in their family for four generations.

Jungle Book (1942)

MOWGLI, HALF-BOY, HALF WOLF . . . armed only with a knife and the love of a girl, meets the challenge of Shere Khan, the Killer Tiger!

Jungle_Book-1942Jungle Book is an independent Technicolor action-adventure film by the Hungarian Korda brothers, based on a screenplay adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, about a wild boy who is kidnapped by villagers who are cruel to animals as they attempt to steal the jungle’s lost treasure that is possessed by the dead king.

The film was directed by Zoltán Korda, produced by his brother Alexander and art directed by their younger brother Vincent. The film starred Sabu Dastagir as Mowgli.

Released April 3, 1942 (US)

In an Indian village, Buldeo, an elderly storyteller, is paid by a visiting British memsahib to tell a story of his youth. He speaks of the animals of the jungle and of the ever-present threats to human life posed by the jungle itself. He then recalls his earlier life.

The Jungle Book (1967)

The Jungle is JUMPIN’!

The_Jungle_Book-1967The Jungle Book is an American animated musical comedy adventure film produced by Walt Disney Productions. Inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s book of the same name, it is the 19th Disney animated feature film. It was the last film to be produced by Walt Disney, who died during its production. The plot follows Mowgli, a feral child raised in the Indian jungle by wolves, as his friends Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear try to convince him to leave the jungle before the evil tiger Shere Khan arrives.

Released March 21, 1968 (UK); October 18, 1967 (US)

The Jungle Book (1994)

The_Jungle_Book-1994The Jungle Book is a live-action American adventure film. It is the second film adaptation by The Walt Disney Company of the Mowgli stories from The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. In this version, the animals do not speak.

Released February 17, 1995 (UK); December 30, 1994 (US)

Notable Cast

  • Jason Scott Lee as Mowgli
  • Lena Headey as Katherine “Kitty” Brydon
  • Cary Elwes as Captain William Boone
  • Sam Neill as Colonel Geoffrey Brydon
  • John Cleese as Dr. Julius Plumford
  • Jason Flemyng as Lt. John Wilkins