Adventures of Mowgli (Russian: Маугли; also spelled Maugli) is an animated feature-length story originally released as five animated shorts of about 20 minutes each between 1967 and 1971 in the Soviet Union. They were directed by Roman Davydov and made by Soyuzmultfilm studio. In 1973, the five films were combined into a single 96-minute feature film. The Russian DVD release of the restored footage, distributed by "Krupnyy Plan" and "Lizard", separates the animation into the original five parts.
An English-language version made by Films by Jove was released direct-to-video in 1996 under the name Adventures of Mowgli. Charlton Heston is the narrator in the English version.
This is the second film adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's work released in 1967. Even though the movie was not conceived as a reaction to the Disney adaptation, it proves an interesting contrast, being more faithful to the epic and primal content of Kipling's original work. The Soyuzmultfilm's adaptation appeared more adult and in spirit is closer to Kipling's book. There are scenes of mass fights and duels, blood and death are shown, there is charged atmosphere, suspense. Subjects of life and death, debt and feelings, heroism of the soldier and human essence arise.
Portrayal of characters Edit
- In this version, Bagheera is female (following the Russian translation by N. Daruzes). She is also less willing to spoil Mowgli, as she spanks him after he refuses to apologize for landing on Baloo. This scene has inexplicably been deleted for the English-language version made by Films by Jove.
- Human characters like Messua and Buldeo are not present in this film.
- Bagheera has three cubs in this film, one black and two gold. They are only mentioned in the book while Bagheera's female mate is not.
- In this film, the king's ankus is replaced with a dagger. This is the same departure as in Disney's later film The Jungle Book.
- Unlike most adaptations that show Tabaqui, this is loyal to the story and he is a golden jackal. In most adaptations like Jungle Book Shōnen Mowgli, and The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story, he is a hyena.
- One of Hathi's sons shows similarities to the baby elephant Junior, from the Disney adaptation.
Episode 1 - "Raksha" Edit
The story starts with a golden jackal named Tabaqui walking towards his master, the dreaded tiger known as Shere Khan, who stretches himself, and then walks to the spot of a camp with Tabaqui guiding him. Out of cruelty and hatred, Shere Khan leaps towards the campsite. Whilst doing so, he accidentally burns his right forepaw, forcing a young child, Mowgli, to wander into a wolf cave in the jungle. At that point, Shere Khan (accompanied by his servant Tabaqui) appears at the entrance and demands that the wolves give him his prey, but the wolf mother Raksha refuses. He taunts them and says that the wolf pack will decide. Meanwhile, Tabaqui runs around the whole jungle and tells all the animals that a wolf pack has adopted a human.
A moment later, Bagheera, the melanistic Indian Leopard, is minding her business when Tabaqui appears to tell her the news. Bagheera scolds him for spreading malicious falsehoods, then puts up quite a display that causes Shere Khan to walk away with hatred.
The elders of the wolf pack watch a performance of the wolf cubs and Maugli, with Maugli matching the cubs' every step. The elders are evenly split about whether or not they should allow him to stay until they see Maugli pinch the nose of Tabaqui, who came up to taunt him. At this point, however, Shere Khan appears and demands that he be given his prey. Akela, also known as "The Lone Wolf" and patriarch of the pack, refuses to listen, so Raksha and Baloo (the white-chested bearwho instructs the young wolf cubs) come to his defence, but Shere Khan is undeterred until Bagheera also appears and offers the wolf pack a freshly killed bull in return for keeping Maugli alive. Shere Khan is forced to admit defeat, but vows that he will still eat Maugli one day.
Episode 2 - "The Kidnapping" Edit
Maugli and Raksha's cubs are being taught to hunt by Baloo, who also teaches them the call of the jungle: "We be of one blood, thou and I". Then Bagheera appears and teaches Maugli to climb and jump between trees. The Bandar-logs in the trees watch Maugli perform and decide that he's just like them but without a tail. A short while later, they kidnap him while he's sleeping and take him to their city. Baloo and Bagheera run after him but decide that they need the help of thepython Kaa. They don't know where to look until Chil the Kite, flying above them, tells them that he saw him being taken to the abandoned city; Maugli had used the call of the jungle as he was being carried away and asked him to help. Baloo and Bagheera arrive first and are both overwhelmed by the monkeys. Once Kaa arrives, the monkeys go still and sit quietly on the city ruins around him. Kaa begins a hypnotizing dance, and every so often tells the monkeys to come one step closer. Bagheera and Baloo are nearly caught in the trap as well until they are pulled away by Maugli, after which they leave the scene.
Episode 3 - "Akela's Last Hunt" Edit
Mowgli has grown, and to enable him to take his rightful place in the pack, he needs to arm himself. Python Kaa helps Mowgli find an "iron tooth," -a knife, in an abandoned cave guarded by an ancient white cobra. This happens just in time, because the old enemy tiger Shere Khan raises havoc in the pack, intending to overthrow the leader of the pack; Akela. Only the intervention of Mowgli saves the pack leader from Shere Khan.
Episode 4 - "The Fight" Edit
A terrible threat looms over the wolf tribe and all those living in the jungle. A large pack of dhole descends on the jungle, destroying everything in its pack. It seemed that nothing can resist them, but Mowgli comes up as to oppose them.
Episode 5 - "Return to Mankind" Edit
Mowgli stood at the head of a wolf pack. Finally it's time to pay the principal enemy of Mowgli tiger Shere Khan, who broke the law truce during a drought. In the jungle, the time comes to upgrade, and the flowering of love. Mowgli vaguely feels anxiety. It's time to leave the pack and go back to the people.
Note: Crew information for episodes 4 and 5 is incomplete.
|Director||Roman Davydov||Роман Давыдов|
|Scenario||Leonid Belokurov||Леонид Белокуров|
|Art Directors||Pyotr Repkin|
|Animators||Pyotr Korobayev (1, 2, 3)|
Boris Butakov (1)
|Camera Operator||Yelena Petrova||Елена Петрова|
|Executive Producer||A. Zorina (1, 2)|
Lyubov Butyrina (3)
|Composer||Sofia Gubaidulina||Софья Губайдулина|
|Sound Operator||Georgiy Martynyuk||Георгий Мартынюк|
|Script Editor||Arkadiy Snesarev||Аркадий Снесарев|
|Editor||Lyubov Georgiyeva||Любовь Георгиева|
|Voice Actors||Sergei Martinson (1, 2, 3, 5)|
L. Lyubetskiy (1, 3, 5)
|English Voice Actors||Cathy Weseluck (Young Mowgli)|
Ian James Corlett (Mowgli)
Other companies Edit
|Japan||Fuji TV, Sunrise (company), Toei Animation||ハーロック||Morning Musume|
|Spain||Clan TVE||Aventuras de Mowgli||Enrique Igesilas|
|Thailand||Channel 3 (Thailand)||การผจญภัยของ Mowgli||N/A|
|Italy||Italia 1, Rai Uno||Adriano||Giorgia (singer)|
|Philippines||ABS-CBN||Pakikipagsapalaran ng Mowgli||Makisig Morales|
|Republic of China||YOYO TV||冒險無忌||N/A|
|India||Imagine TV||मोगली की साहसिक||Kareena Kapoor|
|Poland||TV4 (Poland)||Księga Dżungli||Edyta Górniak|
|Germany||RTL Television||Abenteuer von Mowgli||No Angels|
|Sweden||SVT||Berättelser om djungler||Carola|
|Denmark||DR1||Moungli - Dreng fra junglen||Emmelie de Forest|
|France||France 3, TF1, M6||Manlene||Mylene Farmer|
|South Korea||SBS||Mowgli의 모험||4Minute|
|Finland||YLE TV1||Mowgli - viidakko Kirja||Saara Aalto|
|Bulgaria||BNT||Маугли - Момче от джунглата||Lili Ivanova|
|Serbia||Happy TV||Мовгли||Milan Stankovic|
|United Kingdom||BBC One, CITV||Mowgli|
Other voice actors Edit
|Philippines||Makisig Morales (Young Mowgli) (1, 2)|
|Japan||Nana Mizuki (Bagheera) (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), Ono Daisuke (Adult Mowgli) (3, 4, 5)|
|Italy||Adriano Celentano (Kaa) (old dub) (2, 3, 4, 5)|
Technical details Edit
During the 1980's the animated film was released in the USSR on VHS by Videoprogramma Goskino. In the early nineties it was released on VHS by "Krupnyy Plan". In the mid-nineties the cartoon series was also released on VHS by "Studio PRO Video" with Hi-Fi Stereo sound in PAL format. Also, the Lizard Company released the cartoon on Video CD disks.
In 2003 the movie was restored and re-released on DVD by Krupnyy Plan.
American/Canadian version Edit
The dubbed English version was released in the US on video in 1996, renamed as "The Adventures of Mowgli". The American/Canadian adaptation made numerous changes for which it was subjected to severe criticism by those familiar with the original. The music was completely replaced, some songs were added (the original film did not have songs), and the narrator and some of the characters were dubbed to have many new lines which were not in the original film. Moreover, the film was subjected to some censorship: the scene in which Maugli chops off a tail of a wild dog was removed; during the battle with wild dogs shots in which Maugli stabs dogs were removed; during the final fight of Maugli versus Shere Khan, the blood-red final shots were cut.
- Maugli (series) at the Animator.ru
- Maugli (1973 film) at the Animator.ru
- Maugli at the Internet Movie Database
- Review of Krupnyy Plan DVD release (Russian)
- A page of stills from the movie (linking to bigger versions)