Shere Khan was a tiger of the Indian jungle and the main antagonist of The Jungle Book. Shere Khan was Mowgli's archenemy.
After accidentally stepping into a bear trap , and derisively nicknamed Lungri (The Lame One) by his own mother, Shere Khan was arrogant and regarded himself as the rightful lord of the jungle. It seemed, however, that the only creature who looked up to him was Tabaqui, the cowardly, despised jackal.
One of Shere Khan's failed attempt to hunt humans caused a human "cub" to stray from his parents. By the time Shere Khan caught up with the infant it had already been adopted by the wolves Raksha and Father Wolf, who have named it Mowgli. Despite Shere Khan's bluster, Mowgli was accepted into Akela's wolf pack and protected by Bagheera and Baloo. Furious at losing his kill, the tiger swore that the cub would be his some day.
Over the next decade, while Mowgli was growing up, Shere Khan infiltrated the wolf pack by promising the younger wolves rich rewards once Akela was deposed. His plan came to a head when the young wolves maneuvered Akela into missing his kill, and the pack council met to expel him.
At the meeting Shere Khan threatened that if the wolves did not give him Mowgli he would take over their hunting territory. Having been warned by Bagheera, however, Mowgli attacked Shere Khan and his allies with a burning branch and drove them away. Akela left the pack to become a lone hunter. Mowgli returned to the human village, but swore that he would return one day with Shere Khan's skin.
After he reached the village Mowgli was adopted by Messua and her husband and learned human ways. He also learned that the villagers had heard of the lame tiger, which had a price on its head, but believed it was lame because it was the reincarnation of a money-lender who was lamed in a riot. When Mowgli scoffed at these fanciful tales the villagers decided to put him to work herding buffalo to keep him out of trouble. While he was doing so he met his wolf friend Grey Brother, who told him that Shere Khan was still planning to kill him. Grey Brother forced Tabaqui to tell him where and when Shere Khan was planning to strike, and then killed the jackal. With the help of Akela, Grey Brother and Mowgli traped Shere Khan in a narrow canyon and stampeded the buffalo, which trampled him to death.
Mowgli then set out to fulfill his promise by skinning Shere Khan, but while he was doing so he was interrupted by the village's elderly chief hunter Buldeo who wanted the tiger's hide for the reward. Mowgli called Akela, who pinned Buldeo down while Mowgli finished removing the hide.
Mowgli assumed that this would be an end of the matter, since in the jungle quarrels were usually settled quickly, but when he returned to the village with the buffalo the villagers drove him away, accusing him of witchcraft. Furious at being driven out of not one but two 'packs', Mowgli left. That night he fulfilled his pledge by laying Shere Khan's hide upon the wolf pack's council rock, and then danced upon the hide singing of his anger and confusion.
Thus Shere Khan's story came to an end, but the consequences of Mowgli's actions in defeating him continued to affect Mowgli and his adopted parents. Soon afterwards Mowgli discovered that the villagers were preparing to burn Messua and her husband to death for harbouring a witch-boy, and so he prepared to rescue them and take revenge on Buldeo and the villagers.
- Bubu/Claw the Lion from Kimba the White Lion character to resemble by Shere Khan the Lion rip-off at Africa and India, expect for Aryll's New World from Astro Boy Productions, renamed of Chere Chan.
The Disney versionEdit
In Disney's 1967 animated adaptation of The Jungle Book, Shere Khan is the main antagonist, entering the story about three-quarters of the way through. His seductive, purring voice was supplied by the late George Sanders, and by Carlos Petrel in the Spanish version of the movie. He was designed and animated by master animator Milt Kahl. Khan is not depicted as being lame — quite the contrary, he is extremely powerful, deadly, and sophisticated. His mere presence in the jungle compels the wolf pack to send Mowgli away, since Shere Khan will kill him just on the principle that Mowgli is human; Man's gun and Man's fire are the only things Shere Khan fears. He easily avoids falling victim to Kaa's hypnotic powers, though whether it is from experience, observation, or immunity is unclear.
In the climactic battle of the movie, he finds Mowgli and gives him a ten second head-start. Once he reaches ten, Baloo grabs his tail and holds him back. Shere Khan chases Mowgli, who is being carried away by the vultures, while dragging Baloo behind him. Baloo proves such an impediment to Khan that he turns and attacks Baloo until the vultures arrive and distract him. Mowgli finds a burning branch from a lightning-struck tree and ties it to Khan's tail. When a vulture's comment prompts Khan to notice the branch, he tries in vain to put the fire out and winds up running away frantically.
In the Disney animated television show TaleSpin, Shere Khan is a recurring character. He's been anthropomorphized and personifies the wealthy industrialist archetype, the president of a huge conglomerate called Khan Industries. Occasionally, he would engage in somewhat dishonest business practices, but, for the most part, his most consistent characterization was as a cutthroat, often ruthless, but largely honorable businessman, who seemed to hold to a personal code of integrity (though that code was never very well-defined.) His business practices occasionally put him at odds with Baloo and the other TaleSpin heroes, but he is essentially a fair-minded man and gets on reasonably well with them. In the show, he was very grim-faced and serious. He had an almost unflappable demeanor, able to maintain an icy cool exterior even while (on at least one occasion) being shot at by air pirates (not flinching even when bullets missed him by inches.) His voice in the series was provided by the late Tony Jay.
In the television series Jungle Cubs (1996-1998), a prequel to the original 1967 film, Shere Khan appears as a young tiger cub. The show reveals that he was once friends with Baloo, Bagheera, King Louie, Kaa and Hathi and much like Kaa he to was also seen having somewhat of a less malevolent personality as a cub than as an adult, but is still arrogant and haughty. In one episode, he laughs when Bagheera loses his voice in an attempt to roar like him; in another, he refuses to fight the invading Red Dogs alongside his friends, preferring to battle them alone; in another, to prove that he is the bravest in the jungle, Khan travels to the forbidden wastelands, but his good side surfaces when he saves his friends (who came to follow him) from the evil baboon Mara and her sons. He was voiced by Jason Marsden in the series and Enzo Fortuny in the Spanish version.
Shere Khan appears again as the main antagonist in the theatrical sequel to the 1967 film, The Jungle Book 2 (2003). When Mowgli returns to the jungle, the tiger seeks revenge and places Mowgli's friend Shanti in jeopardy, only to be defeated again, but not killed. He is again voiced by Tony Jay in the film. Tony Jay also provided the voice when Shere Khan was featured as a guest in House of Mouse.