EFL Movie Study Guide for:
Story: The jungle is filled with laughter, song, suspense and
friendship, in one of the funniest and best cartoons Walt Disney (1901-1966)
ever made. A human orphan is raised by wolves, but when a tiger threatens
the wolf pack, leaders decide that the best place for Mowgli is the
man-village. When young Mowgli runs away (so he can stay in the jungle), it
becomes a race to see who will find him first: his friends (including a
panther, bear and elephant herd) or his enemies (a snake and a tiger). Add
great songs, colorful animation, and wonderful lessons on contentment and
friendship, and you get an unforgettable movie night! (1967; 78 minutes;
cartoon/comedy/musical/adventure) (This was the last cartoon Disney worked
on; he died before it was finished.)
Setting: India; inspired by a Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) novel
Note 1: English doesn't have as many "measure words"
as Chinese, but there are several "measure words" for groups of animals: a
herd of elephants/cows/sheep, a pack of wolves/dogs, a flock of birds, a
pride of lions, a school of fish, a gaggle of geese, a litter of
Note 2: India is located in Southern Asia bordering
China, Burma and Pakistan (among others). India is slightly more than
one-third the size of the US (or China). The capital is New Delhi. The
climate varies from tropical rainforest in the south to temperate in the
north. [from the World Factbook; cited at
www.capitolarts.com/pdf/junglebooksg.pdf; this link didn't work in
Mowgli: an orphaned human child (called a man-cub in the
story), raised by wolves
Bagheera or Baggy: the panther, and Mowgli's friend/guardian
Baloo: a bear, who enjoys a lazy life and promises to help
Mowgli stay in the jungle with him
Colonel Hathi: head of a "military" herd of elephants
(pachyderms) who call themselves the "Jungle Patrol"
Kaa: a snake (boa constrictor), who hypnotizes his victims,
squeezes them to death, and then swallows them
King Louie: the orangutan who is head of a "swinging/hip"
pack of monkeys; Louie wants to learn the secret of fire from his "cousin"
Shere Kahn: the tiger (the primary villain in this story)
the Vultures: a singing
foursome of unpopular birds; they meet Mowgli when he needs a friend
A few terms and sayings (vocabulary):
bare necessities: the basic things; the minimal things that
are essential (for life, a trip, etc.)
brawn: physical strength
to drill (military drill): to march in an organized way,
often for long hours, doing the same thing over and over
fraud: a fraud is sb who deceives; sb who isn't what they
pretend to be
gibberish: something you write or say that has no meaning or
that is too difficult to understand; meaningless or unintelligible talk
gonna: oral English, meaning "going to" (you should never
write the word "gonna" because it is not really a word)
gotta: oral English, meaning "have got to" (you should never
write the word "gotta" because it is not really a word)
hypnotize/hypnosis: a sleep-like state where one's thoughts
can be influenced by another person
orphan: someone without mother or father
a recruit: a new soldier; someone new in an organization, esp
rendezvous: (from French) meeting
to tickle: to use your fingers, a feather, etc., to make
trunk: an elephant's long nose
V.I.P.: Very Important Person
wanna: oral English, meaning "want to" (you should never
write the word "wanna" because it is not really a word)
"Cross my heart, hope to die!": means "I promise"; esp said
by children to add weight to a promise
"don't try to kid me": don't try to fool me or lie to me; I
"get with the beat": (1960s slang) keep up with the music or
the times (said to someone who is out of step or old-fashioned; that is,
said to a "square" [more 60s slang])
"He's hooked": He is caught, like a fish on a hook; he is
addicted--he won't be able to change
"Man, what a beat!": Wow, this is great jazz/music! [It was
"cool" in the 60s to start a sentence with "Man…" but this is not common
"Search me?": slang, meaning "I don't know"; but literally
meaning "examine me, my pockets, etc., if you think you will find what you
are looking for"
"I was just takin' five": I was just resting; taking a
"What we gonna do?" "I dunno,
what'cha wanna do?": What are we going to do? I don't know, what do you want
Sentences or conversations from the movie:
(there are a lot more at
imdb's website is a great place to find
movie facts and more)
1. Baloo: Now, look. It's like this, little britches
[child's pants]. All you gotta do is...
Baloo: [singing--this song was nominated for an Oscar]
Look for the bare necessities / The simple bare necessities / Forget about
your worries and your strife / I mean the bare necessities / Are Mother
Nature's recipes / That bring the bare necessities of life / Wherever I
wander / Wherever I roam / I couldn't be fonder / Of my big home / The bees
are buzzing in the tree / To make some honey just for me / When you look
under the rocks and plants / And take a glance at the fancy ants / Then
maybe try a few...
Mowgli: You eat ants?
Baloo: You better believe it. And you're gonna love the
way they tickle. / The bare necessities of life will come to you! / …So just
try and relax. Yeah. Cool it. Fall apart in my backyard. 'Cause let me tell
you something, little britches: if you act like that bee acts... Uh-uh.
You're working too hard. And don't spend your time looking around for
something you want that can't be found... / When you find out you can live
without it / And go along not thinking about it / I'll tell you something
true / The bare necessities of life will come to you.
2. Bagheera: This will take brains, not brawn.
Baloo: You better believe it, and I'm loaded with both.
3. Mowgli: Hello. What are you doing?
Junior (elephant): Shh. Drilling.
Mowgli: Can I do it too?
Junior: Sure, just do what I do. But don't talk in
ranks. It's against regulations.
Colonel Hathi: Espirit de Corps. That's the way I
earned my commission in the Maharajah's Fifth Pachyderm Brigade. Back in '88
it was. Or... or was it?
Winifred: Here it comes. The Victoria Cross bit [a
worn-out speech] again.
Colonel Hathi: It was then I received the Victoria
Cross [award] for bravery above and beyond the call of duty. Ha ha! Those
were the days. Discipline! Discipline was the thing! Builds character, and
all that sort of thing, you know.
4. See below
1. What do you think are "the bare necessities" of life? [my
14-year-old son said: "food, water, and a computer"]
2. At Baloo's funeral, Bagheera used this quote: "Greater
love hath [has] no one than he who lays down his life for his friend." Is
this truly the greatest expression of love? Explain. Do you think you could
"lay down" your life for someone else? Under what circumstances?*
3. The wolfpack elders were convinced that the best place for
Mowgli was the man-village, but Mowgli disagreed. Tell your partner of a
time when you disagreed with a parent or teacher, but later found out he/she
was correct and you were wrong.
4. Is it difficult to move from one place to another (like
Mowgli having to move from the jungle to the village)? Why or why not? Tell
your partner some of the struggles you had when you had to move to a new
The following summary is adapted from
titles in quotation marks are songs. [broken link?]
An orphaned boy, Mowgli, is raised by wolves in an Indian
jungle, but when Shere Kahn, the tiger, returns to that part of the jungle,
Bagheera, the panther, plans to guide him to the safety of the man-village.
Kaa, the snake, interrupts their first night. At first Bagheera doesn’t
notice Kaa, but he wakes up just in time divert Kaa's attention; then Mowgli
pushes the huge snake out of the tree. Next they encounter a herd of
elephants, ("Colonel Hathi's March"), and Bagheera rescues Mowgli one more
time. Then they meet Baloo, a lazy bear, who "adopts" Mowgli. While Baloo is
singing ("The Bare Necessities"), a group of monkeys kidnaps Mowgli. The
monkeys take him to their leader, King Louie. While King Louie tells Mowgli
that he wants to learn how to be a man ("I Wan'na Be Like You"), Baloo, in
disguise, distracts King Louie, while Bagheera rescues the boy. Bagheera
convinces Baloo that Mowgli isn't safe in the jungle, but when Baloo tells
Mowgli, he runs away again, and is almost caught by Kaa ("Trust in Me") and
the tiger. When hope is almost gone, Mowgli is befriended by the Vultures
("That's What Friends Are For"). Shere Khan arrives, but before he can
attack, Baloo appears, rallying the other jungle creatures into battle. The
battle is exciting, and it has a surprise ending I don't want to spoil!
Eventually, Mowgli "accidentally" ends up at the man-village, where a
beautiful girl (Shanti) makes Mowgli face the choice between his desire to
stay in the jungle, and this new feeling of wanting to be near Shanti and
people of his own kind.
4. The following dialog is important, but if you read
it before watching the movie, it might spoil a surprise:
Mowgli: [to the lifeless Baloo] Baloo, get up. Oh,
please get up.
Bagheera: Mowgli, try to understand.
Mowgli: Bagheera, what's the matter with him?
Bagheera: You've got to be brave, like Baloo was.
Mowgli: You... you don't mean... Oh, no. Baloo.
Bagheera: Now, now. I know how you feel. But you must
remember, Mowgli, "Greater love hath [has] no one than he who lays
down his life for his friend."
[Here, the audience sees that Baloo is not dead, but
Bagheera and Mowgli still don't know]
Bagheera: Whenever great deeds are remembered in this
jungle, one name will stand above all others: our friend, Baloo the bear.
Baloo: [quietly to himself] He's cracking me up. [i.e.,
he's making me laugh]
Bagheera: The memory of Baloo's sacrifice and bravery
will forever be engraved on our saddened hearts.
Bagheera: This spot where Baloo fell will always be a
hallowed place in the jungle, for there lies one of nature's noblest
Baloo: [still talking to himself] I wish my mother
could have heard this.
Bagheera: It's best we leave now. Come along, man cub.
Baloo: Hey, don't stop now, Baggy. You're doing great!
There's more, lots more!
Bagheera: [Angry] Why, you big fraud! You-you-you…
I-I'm fed up!...
*This is a quote from Jesus in the Christian Bible.
Reference: John 15:13