5 Connections India Has With Disney’s The Jungle Book Movie

You know you’re a 90s kid when Sundays meant waking up early to watch another adventure of Mowgli in The Jungle Book on Doordarshan. The thrill of wanting to live in a forest, befriending animals while running around in red shorts was a feeling only left to our imaginations. Now, Disney is all ready to help us re-live those childhood memories and reminisce those care-free days when they release The Jungle Book movie (inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s collection of short stories) on the 8th of April, in India.

We as Indians should be proud of the numerous connections The Jungle Book has with India and here we list down 5 of the most important ones:

1. Rudyard Kipling and his early years in India

Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay on 20th December, 1865 in the J.J. School Of Arts campus, where his father was the Dean. He spent 6 years of his early life in India and returned again after 10 years from London. He spent nearly a decade between 1883-1889 in India and Pakistan where he worked as an assistant editor for a small, local newspaper called the Civil & Military Gazette in Lahore and later with The Pioneer in Allahabad.

Kipling was to write of Bombay:

“Mother of Cities to me,
For I was born in her gate,
Between the palms and the sea,
Where the world-end steamers wait.”

Rudyard Kipling Jungle Book

(Image Source)

The Jungle Book, his collection of short stories, was first published in magazines in 1893-94 whose illustrations were made by his father.

The Jungle Book first edition

(Image Source)

2. Mowgli is being played by an Indian American boy

Neel Sethi, a 12 year old Indian-American boy has been picked to play the role of Mowgli, from among 2,000 children who auditioned for the role. He was hand-picked by director Jon Favreau who was quoted saying, “Finding the right kid to play Mowgli was imperative and we did an exhaustive worldwide search of 2,000 kids before we found Neel. He was one of the last people that I looked at, and right away, I felt that he had the same emotional and physical qualities that Mowgli had in the ’67 animated version. His look was uncanny in how much he evoked what we wanted. He inherently had a good sense of fun and humor.”

Neel will kick-start his international promotion tour from Mumbai, where he will be visiting some prominent tourist sites.

Neel Sethi as Mowgli

(Image Source)




3. The Hindi translation

Disney is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to attracting Indian audiences to the movie. The Hindi version of The Jungle Book will have some familiar voices backing the characters. Nana Patekar give the voice for Shere Khan, Priyanka Chopra as Kaa, Irrfan Khan as Baloo, Om Puri as Bagheera, Sheefali Shah as Raksha and Bugs Bhargava as King Louie. Not just that, Disney has also released four Hindi posters promoting the same, which was unveiled by film critic Taran Adarsh.

The Hindi dialogues have been written by Mayur Puri.

The Jungle Book Movie Hindi Poster

(Image Source)

4. A new version of “Jungle jungle baat chali hai pata chala hai..”

One of the most iconic songs of our childhood has got to be the classic title track of The Jungle Book. Even after 20 years, the lyrics seem as vivid as ever. The song was written by Gulzar and music composed by Vishal Bhardwaj.

Hear the newest version of the song:

Do you think it is better than the original?

5. Jungle locations inspired from India

While the main visual production was done in studios in Los Angeles, a lot of the inspiration for the jungles came from actual remote jungles in India, which were extensively photographed and referenced for the animation. Have a look at the image below and observe the distinct Indian stone temples in the background.

The Jungle Book Movie poster
(Image Source)

Are you looking forward to watching this movie?



(Cover Image Source) | (Facts’ Source1)(Facts’ Source2)(Facts’ Source3)

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