The Jungle Book

Book vs. Movie

Jungle Book book    Jungle Book movie

I feel really embarrassed to admit this, but I have never watched the animated version of the Disney’s classic.  I don’t recall ever seeing it from beginning to end, or I might have been too small to remember the film in its entirety.  While I’m at it, I might as well confess that I only read the actual stories by Rudyard Kipling, a few weeks ago.  I had no idea that there were TWO Jungle Books.  I found out that the movies were based on three stories in the first book (“Mowgli’s Brothers”, Kaa’s Hunting” and “Tiger! Tiger!”).  I was interested to see the most recent version because it was a live action film that was directed by Jon Favreau—whom I admire.  I thought I would give it a shot to see if it appealed to me.  I really ended up liking it and have to say I was impressed.  That being said, I couldn’t ignore the differences between what was on film compared to the book.  First off, Mowgli’s parents do not die in the tale; Baloo and Bagheera are the ones who stand up for the child when he enters the wolf pack (therefore, Mowgli has known Baloo ever since he was little and does not meet the bear later on—like in the movie); Kaa is actually a friend of Mowgli and never is there any attempt from the snake to kill the boy; there is no King Louie and finally, the way Shere Khan meets his demise differs very much from the big screen.  I would have to say that the movie used the characters but changed the plot quite a bit.  Still, it was nice to see that the recent film included the recitation of the “wolf pack law”, which is in the book.  I continued to read the stories from the second Jungle Book because it follows Mowgli’s adventures throughout his later years, where he goes back to the village and meets his biological mother.  In the last Mowgli tale (“The Spring Running”), he decides to leave his jungle family for good.  I also found out that Rudyard Kipling wrote a story in 1893 called “In the Rukh”, which describes Mowgli’s return to the world of men and where he ends up getting married.  Whatever version you prefer (the written tales did seem a little darker than the movie), they are both told well and they each bring enjoyment in their own way.



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