It is natural to think of Disney's The Jungle Book while you are watching Mowgli: Legend of The Jungle on Netflix. The original movie brought fun and joy to our childhood. But the same does not hold true for Netflix's Mowgli.
While the story line remains the same, it is different from the original Disney movie on so many levels.
1. It's much darker than Disney's The Jungle Book.
If you've read Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, you would know that its story is not as light and fun as portrayed in several movies. Netflix's Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, comes quite close to the original work of Kipling. It has some really scary and terrifying moments that were never a part of the Disney movie.
There are no songs in the film. You won't be seeing any favourites, like, Bare Necessities and King of the Swingers.
2. Baloo's role is different from the one in Disney's original movie.
In Netflix's Mowgli, Baloo is a strict trainer who is given the task of teaching Mowgli to live according to the rules of the jungle.
The other characters of the movie like Akela and Bagheera are also a lot more serious and less playful than the Disney portrayals.
3. Unlike the Disney movie's ending where Mowgli walks into the village, Netlfix's adaptation shows him living in the village.
When Mowgli is captured by hunters, he goes on to live with them in the village. Initially, he is locked up in a cage and later also given a makeover. There, he also tries to adapt himself to the life of human beings.
4. Unlike in the previous versions of The Jungle Book where Mowgli stayed back in the village, he returns to the jungle in Netflix's adaptation.
The original Disney movie ends with Mowgli being sent to the village, but here, he returns to the jungle to free the jungle from the tyranny of Sher Khan and avenge his best friend's death.
5. Netflix's adaptation introduces a new character who is not in The Jungle Book or in Kipling's book.
One of the most popular characters in Netflix's Mowgli, Bhoot, the little albino wolf cub becomes Mowgli's best friend. They relate to each other as both of them are different from their community and are outcasts.
6. Netflix's Mowgli shows Hyena as Sher Khan's assistant, which was mentioned in the Kipling's book, but wasn't there in the Disney adaptation.
Netlfix's Mowgli introduces us to a new character that has been mentioned in the original book but finds no place in the Disney's film - the Hyena. He acts as a right hand to Sher Khan.
Furthermore, when the monkeys kidnap Mowgli, the Netflix movie doesn't show their king, who did find a mention in the Disney movie as King Louis.
7. Kaa, the python, has been portrayed in a positive role as opposed to Disney's The Jungle Book.
When Mowgli gets trapped in the jungle, Kaa comes to his rescue in Netflix's Mowgli. She also tells him about the past and future. This is just opposite to Disney's The Jungle Book, where Kaa tries to eat him up when she first meets him.
8. The movie brings to fore the issue of captivity and tells us that Bagheera was once owned by humans.
When Mowgli is caged by humans, Bagheera comes to visit him in the village. He tells Mowgli that he used to be a captive in a king's darbaar.
9. In Netflix's Mowgli the entire narrative around elephants helping Mowgli in the end has been changed.
Unlike in the previous versions, the elephants help Mowgli in getting rid of Sher Khan because of the hunter and not because he saved an elephant cub. Mowgli promises to tell them about the hunter who took one of the elephants' tusks.
10. Netflix's Mowgli portrays man-animal conflict in a more real way.
While before the release it was being assumed that the movie would just be another film meant for children, it goes much beyond than that. It touches upon the issues of wildlife encroachment, rampant killing of wild animals, illegal use of animals' body parts, and animals bred in captivity.
Differences aside, the movie still remains a must watch not only for children, but also for adults.