Not going to lie, the Disney Renaissance classic The Jungle Book, based loosely on the Rudyard Kipling novel of the same name, was probably one of my favorite movies as a kid. That being said, there are a few things about it that I just don't get. For example, what does Bagheera eat? Under what circumstances did Shere Khan have his first negative experience with hunters? Exactly which animals besides Bagheera think Baloo is a bum? There are dozens of other questions that could be asked about this film, but for this article, we're going to stick with these three.
What does Bagheera eat?
Think about it. Bagheera is a black panther, and most black panthers tend to eat things like deer, warthogs, and wild boar. However, when these are scarce, they have also been known to prey upon rabbits, fish, reptiles, and occasionally even insects. But in The Jungle Book, eating deer appears to be frowned upon and there is a conspicuous lack of warthogs and wild boar in the jungles of India. That being said, Bagheera's diet likely consists largely of fish.
Under what circumstances did Shere Khan have his first bad experience with hunters?
Bagheera: Shere Khan is not going to allow you to grow up to become a man. Just another hunter with a gun.
Mowgli: Aww, well, I'll explain I'd never do a thing like that.
Bagheera: Nonsense. No one explains anything to Shere Khan.
It's a fairly established fact that tigers have become a rapidly endangered species and this may have been the beginning of it. Shere Khan's survival instinct is very clearly being challenged in this film, and he's not a fan of men with guns stalking into his jungle with the express purpose of turning him into a rug. From other quotes in the film, we gather that Shere Khan has menaced the jungle in the past, but has recently been elsewhere, and has within only the past few days returned. This being said, it is likely that in his previous tenure as lord of the jungle, men with guns came from the village and forced Shere Khan into hiding. Now, believing himself to be safe, he has returned.
Is Bagheera the only one who thinks Baloo is a bum?
According to Bagheera, everyone claims that Baloo is a bum, but nobody else in the film appears to share this opinion. That being said, is it possible that Bagheera is actually the only animal who has a poor opinion of Baloo? I mean, on the one hand, I can certainly see why Bagheera has this opinion, but on the other hand, Baloo's sacrifice to save Mowgli from Shere Khan proved that in times of crisis, the "bum" of the jungle is just as much a hero as Bagheera or anyone else.