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Baloo is the deuteragonist of Disney's 1967 animated feature film The Jungle Book. He is a fun-loving, easygoing, and good-natured sloth bear who becomes the best friend of a "man-cub" named Mowgli.

Background[]

Development[]

In the original book by Rudyard Kipling, Baloo was very different from his Disney incarnation. In the book, Baloo was a humorless, serious, and strict aging sloth bear who utilized militant discipline while mentoring Mowgli and the wolf cubs. When Walt Disney began to develop a film based on the novel, Bill Peet originally wrote a version that was set to be darker and slightly closer to the source material, but many changes were made, including Baloo's personality, which was changed into a fun-loving, humble personality. While that version of the film was scraped, the final version still utilized many of the characterizations featured in Bill Peet's version including Baloo's, with his relationship with Mowgli serving as the heart of the film.

Baloo's trademark song, "The Bare Necessities", was actually written for Bill Peet's original draft of the film. When Walt overtook the project, "The Bare Necessities" and the accompanying songs were cut, with the Sherman Brothers being brought on to write the new songs. However, the filmmakers loved "The Bare Necessities" and pleaded to have it remain in the film; Walt would eventually agree.[1]

Voice[]

When it came to casting Baloo, Walt suggested television personality and social friend, Phil Harris, to provide the voice. This was met with controversy amongst the filmmakers, as they believed Harris was unfit to star in a Rudyard Kipling-inspired film. Walt, nevertheless, encouraged the team to move forth with the idea, additionally using it as a means to further separate the tones of Kipling's stories and the Disney adaptation. Once Harris came into the studio, he felt out of place and hesitant to fully accept the role. To make himself more comfortable, he asked the directors permission to approach the role with his own unique flair and mannerisms. The results were universally beloved, and the character of Baloo was largely shaped to match the personality of Harris, himself, from that moment forward.

Personality[]

Baloo is easily characterized by his laid-back, gentle nature. Often speaking with a soft, smooth tone, the sloth bear is known for his ideals of remaining relaxed as often as possible, and preventing the pressures and responsibilities of life holding one down, as vocalized through his song, "The Bare Necessities". Bagheera, the wise panther, describes him as a "jungle bum"; a seemingly useless member of animal society, only focused on lounging, snacking, scratching his back, and other minimal activities labeled as lazy pastimes. Though lazy, stubborn, and foreign to true responsibility, Baloo has a large heart, often taking his ideals (which are seen to have successfully led him to a happy lifestyle) and sharing it with others, including Mowgli, the man-cub, in hopes of spreading the happiness he's been fortunate enough to experience.

Though Baloo enjoys relaxation and tranquility, he is also a socialite—an unabashed lover of parties, jazz music, and jungle beats. Through the sound of bouncy rhythms alone, Baloo can be seduced into joining a party, going as far as to becoming the center of attention, as seen during the climax of "I Wanna Be Like You". In The Jungle Book 2, Baloo has a reputation of being the "life of the party" and is extremely popular with the jungle's social gatherings because of this and has taken over King Louie's abandoned palace as a result, turning it into a hangout.

However, in spite of his loyalty to his "bare necessities", Baloo is above abandoning morals and disregarding the safety of others for himself, or in what he believes, as evidenced by his decision to ultimately join Bagheera in escorting Mowgli to the Man Village, where he belonged, despite the bond the two had formed by that time, showing the sloth bear is capable of taking responsibility should the circumstances reach a valid level of importance. He is also extremely selfless as he risked his own life to protect Mowgli from Shere Khan despite knowing he would not stand a chance against the tiger's full fury. For this, Bagheera admitted that he was wrong about the bear and the two became good friends after successfully escorting Mowgli to the Man Village.

In the sequel, Baloo is more social than ever and feels his life is somewhat empty without Mowgli, the only one who truly understood him. Overcome with nostalgia, Baloo sneaks into the Man Village where he reunites with the man-cub and takes him back to the jungle. However, he sees later on that Mowgli has matured since their last time together; the man-cub now has grown attached to his own kind and is not as threatened by responsibilities as he once was despite his carefree nature. As a result, Baloo realizes he was wrong to take the boy back to the jungle and after gaining respect for Shanti, Mowgli's close friend, he encourages the man-cub to go back with her to the civilization where he truly belongs.

Physical appearance[]

Baloo is a large bipedal sloth bear with grey fur, light-grey belly, periwinkle muzzle, short tail, and big paws with long claws sticking out.

Appearances[]

The Jungle Book[]

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"You'd better believe it."

Baloo is first seen during a peaceful day singing, eating and taking a stroll in the jungle when all of a sudden, he sees a creature he has never seen before; a man-cub named Mowgli.

Curious, Baloo inspects the boy, much to his annoyance. Mowgli slaps Baloo's nose and tells him to go away and leave him alone. Baloo interprets the man-cub's reaction as a sign that he has had a bad day and tries to cheer him up. Mowgli then loses his temper and attacks the bear, who takes notice of his poor fighting skills and does him a favor by teaching him how to fight properly. The lesson goes well, until Mowgli is unable to let out an intimidating roar. Baloo demonstrates how to roar properly, which alerts Mowgli's panther guardian Bagheera and he rushes to the man-cub's aid. After several attempts, Mowgli is able to emit a roar that satisfies Baloo and so they proceed with using what Mowgli has learned in a wrestling match. During the match, Baloo accidentally knocks Mowgli and sends him rolling to a tree log, prompting Bagheera to call the bear out on his irresponsibility. However, Mowgli claims it was not a big deal as he is not injured.

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Baloo and Mowgli bonding.

The match continues and Mowgli is finally able to fight properly. Then Mowgli climbs on Baloo's back and tickles him, but Bagheera deems Baloo to be a bad influence on Mowgli and declares the boy must be escorted to the Man Village immediately, much to Mowgli's dismay. However, Baloo sides with Mowgli, not seeing why the man-cub cannot stay in the jungle where he is happy and is convinced that he can learn to survive the same way he has; with a way of life known as The Bare Necessities. Baloo then begins teaching Mowgli that all he has to do is know what he needs and let nature provide it for him. The two continue bonding and eventually go for a swim in a nearby river. The baffled Bagheera leaves, hoping Baloo will discover on his own why the jungle is no place for the man-cub.

While floating down the river, Mowgli is kidnapped by the bandar-log. The monkeys relentlessly taunt Baloo as he tries to save Mowgli until they push him down a short hill where a boulder hits his head and then carry Mowgli away. Baloo calls Bagheera for help and tells him what happened, leading the panther to conclude that Mowgli was taken to the ancient ruins, the bandar-log sanctuary ruled by the mad King Louie.

Baloo and Bagheera soon arrive at the ancient ruins and witness the monkeys partying as Louie attempts to persuade Mowgli to reveal to him the secret of making fire, a powerful tool that is feared by the jungle's inhabitants and is only accessible to humans. Baloo wants to attack immediately and rescue Mowgli, but becomes distracted by the catchy party music, leaving Bagheera to devise a plan on his own; while Baloo creates a distraction, Bagheera will sneak in and save the man-cub. Baloo disguises himself as an orangutan and dances with Louie while Bagheera attempts to grab Mowgli unnoticed. Unfortunately, Baloo's cover is blown when his disguise falls apart. The bandar-log attacks the trio, forcing them to fight their way out. During the havoc, one of the ancient temples collapses. The trio takes advantage of the situation and flee the scene, albeit with a few bruises.

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Baloo and Bagheera discuss Mowgli's future.

That night, the trio find a place to rest and once Mowgli is asleep, Bagheera chastises Baloo for his irresponsibility that caused the incident with the monkeys and also explains why the bear cannot adopt Mowgli. Baloo accepts his mistake, but insists that he will be more careful next time. Bagheera then tries to convince Baloo that the jungle was never meant to be Mowgli's home, as he is human and thus brings too much unwanted attention to himself even if he did possess the necessary survival instincts to live in the jungle on his own. However, Baloo remains unconvinced and thinks Bagheera is worrying too much until the panther mentions the threat posed by Shere Khan, the notorious tiger who hates humans because of their destructive nature. Although Baloo recognizes Shere Khan as a ruthless and dangerous predator, he insists there must be a way to find a common ground as Mowgli is not the kind of human that Shere Khan fears. The panther dismisses Baloo's naïve suggestion, knowing Shere Khan cannot be reasoned with and thus would not see Mowgli as any different from all the hunters that have attacked him. Baloo realizes how irresponsible he has been but is reluctant to take Mowgli to the Man Village as he already promised the boy that he could stay in the jungle with him. However, Bagheera tells the bear that if he truly loves Mowgli, he should act responsible and do what is best for the man-cub. Baloo concedes and sadly agrees to take Mowgli to the Man Village.

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Baloo reluctantly tells Mowgli he must take him to the Man Village.

In the morning, Baloo wakes Mowgli up, and they say goodbye to Bagheera as they begin their journey to the village. During the journey, Baloo breaks the news gently to Mowgli that he must take him to the Man Village, much to Mowgli's shock. Baloo was then angered after Mowgli accuses him of being just like Bagheera, stating that it was going too far. Mowgli runs away deep into the jungle, heartbroken and bitter as Baloo tries to catch up with him, but now lost him. Hearing Baloo calling for Mowgli, Bagheera rushes in and asks what has happened now. Baloo explains to him that he used the same words the panther used and the boy ran out on him. Bagheera and Baloo then immediately separate themselves to find the boy, and Baloo blames himself for this and hopes nothing bad will come of Mowgli, or he will never forgive himself.

Baloo spends several hours looking for Mowgli, but eventually finds him just in time in a barren wasteland confronted by Shere Khan. Baloo grabs Khan's tail, holding him back a bit. Unfortunately, the beast is too much for Baloo to handle even with the help of Mowgli and a group of vultures. Baloo begs the vultures to get Mowgli away from Shere Khan, and they comply. Enraged at Baloo's interference, the tiger unleashes his full fury and brutally attacks Baloo. Fortunately, a lightning strikes a nearby tree and sets its branches on fire. The vultures inform Mowgli of Shere Khan's pyrophobia, and the boy ties one of the burning branches to the tiger's tail. Shere Khan panics and runs away in terror.

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Mowgli tries to revive the seemingly dead Baloo.

Despite the victory, darkness falls on Mowgli as Baloo lies unconscious on the ground and the man-cub tries to revive him but begins to fear the worst. Bagheera arrives and presumes Baloo is dead. The panther tries to comfort Mowgli and assure him that Baloo will be immortalized as a hero. Meanwhile, Baloo slowly begins to wake up but due to being touched by Bagheera's eulogy, he does not reveal that he is alive until Mowgli and Bagheera are about to depart. When he does, the overjoyed Mowgli embraces the bear and the trio head back into the jungle.

As they reach the edge of the jungle, Baloo praises Mowgli for the resilience he showed in the fight against Shere Khan and believes it is enough proof that the man-cub can survive in the jungle after all. Suddenly, however, Mowgli hears an angelic voice in the distance and rushes to its source. Bagheera notes that they have arrived to the Man Village, but Mowgli is more interested in the beautiful girl emerging from the village heading to a riverside to fetch water. Baloo tells Mowgli to forget about her, believing she is nothing but trouble, but Mowgli wants to have a closer look at her. Baloo tries to stop him but Bagheera tells him to let the boy have it his way. As Mowgli makes contact with the girl, Baloo begins to worry about what might become of their friendship. At the village entrance, Mowgli looks back at Baloo and Bagheera, uncertain about where he wants to belong. Baloo begs Mowgli to come back but Bagheera encourages him to keep following the girl. Eventually, Mowgli becomes so entranced by the girl's beauty that he cannot help but accept that he truly is a man and shrugs to his animal guardians as a way of saying that he has made up his mind and enters the village.

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Bagheera, Baloo and Mowgli arrive at the Man Village.

Baloo is noticeably disappointed that Mowgli chose the girl and the village over him and the jungle but Bagheera is not surprised as the boy obviously could not resist his own nature, or his inevitable manhood, no matter how hard he tried and declares that Mowgli is finally where he belongs. Baloo realizes he is right, but is nevertheless content that Mowgli would have made an excellent bear. Baloo then enthusiastically suggests they head back to where they belong. Having gained a respect for Baloo, Bagheera loosens up and the two sing "Bare Necessities" while strolling into the jungle.

The Jungle Book 2[]

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Baloo in The Jungle Book 2.

Some time after the events of the first film, Baloo is seen in the jungle creating a dummy version of Mowgli. He attempts to sing with it but begins to realize, Mowgli is gone. Depressed, and anxious to see Mowgli, Baloo sneaks toward the Man-Village, only to be confronted by Bagheera and Colonel Hathi. They attempt to stop Baloo from going any farther, but the bear makes an escape with the help of Hathi's son.

That night, Baloo sneaks into the village and reunites with Mowgli. Unfortunately, Mowgli's sweetheart Shanti begins to panic at the sight of Baloo, a wild animal. The villagers rush to the scene, while Baloo and Mowgli escape to the jungle. Once in the safety of the jungle, Baloo is informed of the "tortured" life of the villagers. To steer away from the village life, Mowgli and Baloo reprise "The Bare Necessities". The next morning, Baloo is informed by Bagheera that the villagers are in the jungle searching for Mowgli. After Bagheera departs, Baloo and Mowgli head to King Louie's Palace, which to the jungle animals is a popular hot spot, to hide.

There, Baloo tells the animals of the "horrid" village. Mowgli begins to feel sorrow, showing that he misses his village and his girlfriend. At the mere mention of Shanti, Mowgli leaves the palace and heads into the jungle. Baloo goes out looking for him, and spots Mowgli reuniting with Shanti, accompanied by Mowgli's adoptive brother Ranjan. Earlier that day, Baloo and Mowgli had advised a plan to scare Shanti off if she happens to find them. Following the plan, Baloo proceeds to scare Shanti. She learns that Mowgli planned the scare and storms off.

Feeling angry and regretful for what Baloo had done, Mowgli rushes off the find Shanti and Ranjan. He finds them, but also finds Shere Khan. Mowgli and Shanti are pursued by the tiger while Ranjan hides. Ranjan runs into Baloo and alerts him of Shere Khan. Baloo and Shanti later put aside their differences and rush to the rescue, where they find themselves in the ancient ruins. Together, Baloo, Mowgli, and Shanti attempt to confuse Khan by banging on gongs, until Shanti's collapses. Khan heartens to kill Shanti unless Mowgli reveals himself. He follows Khan's orders, and a chase follows. Baloo tries to stop Khan to no avail, and the chase leads to an open lava pit. Khan, Mowgli, and Shanti begin to fall, but Baloo grabs Mowgli and Shanti while Khan falls into the pit, before Baloo bids a heartfelt farewell to Mowgli as he rejoins the village. The next day, however, it shows that Mowgli, Shanti, and Ranjan visit Baloo and Bagheera every day in the jungle. They dance off singing "The Bare Necessities".

TaleSpin[]

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Baloo as a pilot in TaleSpin.

Baloo is the protagonist of the TV series, and a pilot.

In this series, Baloo and other characters live in a world of anthropomorphic animals that wear clothing and live in large cities, much like the world of Mickey Mouse.

Baloo (full name on the show: Baloo von Bruinwald XIII) lives in Cape Suzette, where he runs his own air-freight shipping company, Baloo's Air Service. However, his business usually does not make enough profit, and when it does, Baloo is often too forgetful to pay his bills or the mortgage. As a result, the bank forecloses on Baloo's mortgage and repossesses his business, including his plane, the Sea Duck. It is quickly purchased by a businesswoman named Rebecca Cunningham, who changes the company's name to Higher for Hire. However, she has a hard time finding a pilot until she meets the unemployed Baloo, and rehires him as the main pilot for his former business, mainly due to the fact that, as the new owner, she has possession of the Sea Duck only until Baloo is able to pay her off, and reclaim ownership of it.

Baloo's best pal and foster son is a bear cub named Kit Cloudkicker, a former air pirate who used to work for Don Karnage, and now serves as Baloo's co-pilot on the cargo plane, the Sea Duck. His strange, but incredibly ingenious mechanic, Wildcat, takes care of all the equipment maintenance for Higher for Hire.

Baloo enjoys the good life, and can often be found hanging out in his pal Louie's tropical cabana night club. Baloo is constantly troubled by the business tycoon Shere Khan, the air pirate Don Karnage and the crazed military hog Colonel Spigot, among others.

Although he still has claws on his toes like in The Jungle Book, he has none on his fingers in this series.

Jungle Cubs[]

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Baloo as a cub in Jungle Cubs.

Baloo appears as a young cub in the series voiced by Pamela Adlon. In the series, Baloo is best friends with Shere Khan, Kaa, Bagheera, King Louie, and Hathi. Like his older self, Baloo is lazy, laid back, carefree and always looking for a good scratch. Baloo is often the leader of the group, although Shere Khan often tries to take the role instead. In the series, Baloo's all-time best friend is Prince Louie. Here, he has also light gray prints on his foot soles, which in his adult counterpart hasn't. During the second season, he becomes slightly taller with a darker, bluish fur and, while still having the same voice actor, speaks in a slightly deeper, raspier voice.

The origin of Baloo's favorite philosophy; "The Bare Necessities", was also revealed in the series's final episode "Sleepless in the Jungle". After a long day of worrying and pondering, Baloo was encouraged by his friends to relax and unwind for a bit, leading Baloo and the animals to sing his trademark number and revert to his laid-back self.

In the Jungle Cubs: Born to Be Wild DVD, Baloo, as an adult, Mowgli and Bagheera are making their way back to the Man Village. Like in the film, Baloo tried to convince Bagheera to let Mowgli stay; however, Bagheera denies because of the danger of Khan. Along the way, they meet up with the old gang and reminisce about their past adventures. Ed Gilbert reprises his role from TaleSpin.

House of Mouse[]

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Baloo with Mowgli in House of Mouse.

Baloo makes several, non-speaking appearances in the animated series. In the opening, he is seen talking with Little John.

In "Jiminy Cricket", he is seen sitting at a table with Kaa, Shere Khan, Mowgli, and Bagheera.

In "The Stolen Cartoons", he is temporarily seen in the background.

In "Not So Goofy", after Baloo was finished with his banana, he tossed it on the ground and Goofy nearly tripped over it.

In "Goofy's Menu Magic", Baloo is one of the many guests to openly enjoy Goofy's magical soup. Later after a mishap with it, however, Baloo and the other guests demand Goofy never to make the soup again.

In Mickey's House of Villains, Baloo was one of the many heroes trapped in the kitchen when the Disney Villains took over the House of Mouse on Halloween. In the end, he and everyone else cheered for Mickey after he defeated Jafar and the other villains. Baloo also appeared in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse.

Other appearances[]

In the episode "When Chaos Comes Calling" of Aladdin, Genie turns into Baloo and flies in the skies of Agrabah with the Zingalow. In this scene, he also transforms Jasmine into Rebecca Cunningham, Abu in King Louie, and Iago in Kit Cloudkicker. These transformations here are a reference to TaleSpin.

In The Lion King 1½, Baloo made a non-speaking cameo in the form of a silhouette during the finale of the film with Mowgli and several other Disney characters in watching the movie again with Timon and Pumbaa.

In Meet the Robinsons, a poster featuring Baloo and Mowgli can be seen on the field during Goob's baseball game.

Baloo appears on The TaleSpin Logo in a ad for Higher for Hire in the DuckTales (2017 series) reboot episode, ''The Lost Cargo of Kit Cloudkicker!''.

Live-action appearances[]

Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book[]

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The live-action Baloo in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.

In the 1994 live-action Disney film, Baloo is portrayed by an American black bear rather than a sloth bear and like all the other animals featured, does not speak. He first meets Mowgli as a bear cub when Mowgli finds him trapped inside a broken log. Mowgli frees him and they become fast friends.

Years later, Baloo has grown into an adult bear and is seen running with an adult Mowgli and his adult pet wolf, Grey Brother. He is later seen eating honey out of an overturned beehive. Later, when Mowgli is reunited with his childhood sweetheart Kitty Brydon, Baloo appears and playfully wrestles with Mowgli when the latter pretends to save her life. After scaring off a few British soldiers who were harassing Mowgli, and whom one of them accidentally shot Mowgli on the arm, Baloo is seen lying down with Mowgli and Grey Brother while he and Grey Brother are being caressed by Mowgli.

A few days later, after Mowgli has learned the ways of men and re-entered civilization thanks to Kitty and Dr. Julius Plumford, Baloo is seen being caressed and introduced to Kitty by Mowgli along with all the rest of Mowgli's jungle animal friends. Baloo and the other animals watch as Kitty teaches Mowgli some dancing lessons, much to their amusement.

In a later tussle against soldiers working for Captain William Boone, the main villain, Baloo is shot and left for dead, but Mowgli finds him and locates Dr. Julius Plumford to save his life.

In the final scene, after Boone's defeat, Dr. Plumford is revealed to have successfully healed Baloo and is seen standing with the bear beside a waterfall.

The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story[]

He appears in the 1998 movie voiced by Brian Doyle-Murray and was portrayed by Bonkers the American black bear.

The Jungle Book (2016)[]

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Baloo in the 2016 film.

Baloo appears in the live-action 2016 film, voiced by Bill Murray. In this version, he is depicted as a Himalayan brown bear (though in the film he is clearly stated to be a sloth bear by Bagheera). He is also somewhat wiser compared to his 1967 counterpart, although still laid-back like him.

Baloo first appears in the film as Mowgli is about to be devoured by Kaa. Baloo fights her off and carries Mowgli to safety. Baloo then tells him of how he saved Mowgli from Kaa before saying that he owes Baloo for saving him. He then persuades a reluctant Mowgli into gathering honey for him from the top of a cliff under the pretense of needing it for winter so he can hibernate and since he is afraid of heights too. As they spend time together, Mowgli and Baloo bond, and use their combined power (Mowgli's innovative tricks and Baloo's strength) to obtain things easily. Mowgli then decides to stay with Baloo until winter, especially when Baloo tells him that Mowgli can be himself and remain in the jungle after showing him a man village one night.

When Bagheera returns to find Mowgli, he is angry to find that Mowgli has decided to stay with Baloo and is using his inventions as opposed to living as the wolves who raised him to do. A heated debate ensues with everyone agreeing to sleep on the subject of Mowgli returning to the Man-village for morning. During the night, Baloo and Bagheera witness Mowgli form a bond with the elephants, whom all the other jungle creatures avoid or bow to, after saving their calf. After, he and Bagheera converse about Mowgli's situation, the death of the wolf Akela (Mowgli's wolf leader) and that Shere Khan is hunting him. Thus, reluctantly, Baloo tries to send Mowgli away by telling him that they were never friends, which greatly hurts Baloo. Before Mowgli can decide on what he wants to do, monkeys, macaques, langurs, and gibbons commanded by King Louie kidnap him. Baloo and Bagheera give chase and climb to the monkey temple to rescue Mowgli, despite Baloo's fear of heights. Baloo then enters the temple and distracts King Louie while Bagheera and Mowgli try to sneak out. When they are discovered, Baloo and Bagheera fight the monkeys off while Mowgli hides from Louie. After Louie is seemingly killed by the collapsing temple, Mowgli asks on the fate of Akela, revealed to him by Louie, and angrily decides to run away and face Shere Khan when he finds out that it is true.

Baloo and Bagheera quickly give chase to find Mowgli returning to face Shere Khan with a burning torch, which accidentally starts a wildfire. When he throws the torch away and Shere Khan readies to attack, Baloo, Bagheera and Mowgli's wolf family led by his adoptive mother, Raksha, intervene and fight him. In the battle that follows, Baloo is the first to attack the tiger, and fights bravely and fiercely until he is injured too much to fight any longer. However, his actions and those of Bagheera and the wolves buy Mowgli enough time to set a trap and kill Shere Khan. After the fire is put out and Raksha assumes the mantle of Alpha wolf, Baloo is seen relaxing with Mowgli and Bagheera in a tree, content with Mowgli's choice to be a human and still live in the jungle.

Video games[]

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Baloo in The Jungle Book.

Baloo has appeared in a few video games over the years including the video game adaption to his film, appropriately titled The Jungle Book.

TaleSpin[]

Baloo is the star of the TaleSpin games. This game involves the adventures of Baloo and Kit, two bears delivering cargo for Rebecca, another bear. However, Shere Khan, the evil tiger tycoon, wants to put Rebecca out of business, so he hires pirates, led by Don Karnage, to do his dirty work. In the NES and Gameboy games, Baloo has to deliver his cargo across the world while fighting the pirates who are trying to stop him. In the Sega game, Baloo and Kit face up against Shere Khan's company in a contest to earn a lifetime work contract from the city. This is a platformer for up to two players. In the TurboGrafx game, Louie tells Baloo of an ancient artifact, the pieces of which are scattered across the road.

The Jungle Book Groove Party[]

Baloo appears in the game playing the exact role as the film. However, upon meeting Mowgli for the first time, he becomes attached to him a lot faster and decides to keep him in the jungle as a cub immediately.

Kinect Disneyland Adventures[]

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Baloo in Kinect Disneyland Adventures.

Baloo appears in the game as a meet-and-greet character in front of the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland.

When the player visits him early in the game, Baloo is waiting for Mowgli to return when he grows an appetite. Knowing he should stay at his spot to wait for Mowgli, Baloo asks the player to find him some papaws for him to eat (which can be found in the Jungle Cruise mini-game). Right after that, Baloo asks if the player can show-off some of the talents they've learned to liven things up in the area by using the magic wand from Cinderella.

Later on, Baloo becomes curious of how man-cubs catch fish. Using the fishing rod from Stinky Pete, the player catches a few fish and feeds them to Baloo. Right after, Baloo asks if the player can teach Mowgli how to fish like a man-cub, thus spawning Mowgli for meet-and-greets alongside Baloo, Aladdin, Genie, and Jasmine. After the task is complete, the player learns from Mowgli that Baloo's bananas for lunch were stolen by the monkeys. The player recovers the bananas and returns them to Baloo, much to his delight.

Disney Heroes: Battle Mode[]

Baloo appears in the game as one of the playable and unlockable characters with thirty tokens, he can only attack with his claws, he can also use his monkey disguise to enchant the enemies and heal himself, when he is about to be defeated, he only falls asleep under a palm tree until he wakes up ready to return to battle.

Disney Infinity series[]

Baloo appeared as a townsperson in the 2.0 edition of the game. He is also a playable character for Disney Infinity 3.0, and the figure was released on March 15, 2016, and he requires an online patch that makes him playable in the game.[2]

Other games[]

A costume of Baloo is available as an add-on download in the video game Disney Universe.

In Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, Baloo makes an appearance in the Dahl Engineering Corridors.

In August of 2016, two medals featuring Baloo were added into Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ, as part of an event based on The Jungle Book.[3]

In addition, he appears in Disney Emoji Blitz, Disney Heroes: Battle Mode, and Disney Sorcerer's Arena.

Baloo sports his TaleSpin outfit again in Disney Mirrorverse.

Disney Parks[]

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Baloo posing for a photo at one of the Disney Parks.

Disneyland Resort[]

One of Baloo's most prominent roles at the parks was in the Plane Crazy stage show that ran at Disneyland as part of Disney Afternoon Avenue in 1991. In the stage show, he is recruited along with Chip and Dale and Launchpad McQuack to recover the X-22 spy jet when it is stolen by Don Karnage and Fat Cat.

He also sported his TaleSpin outfit during the 90's Nite at Disneyland and Halloween in Disney's California Adventure.

Walt Disney World[]

An oversized statue of Baloo is featured at Disney's Pop Century Resort.

Baloo also has a spell card known as "Baloo's Coconut Cascade" in Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. Also in the Magic Kingdom, Baloo briefly appears in Happily Ever After.

Baloo appears in the bubble sequence and the riverboat finale in Disney's Hollywood Studios' version of Fantasmic!.

He also meets in Asia at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Tokyo Disney Resort[]

In the Tokyo DisneySea version of Fantasmic!, Baloo appeared in the jungle sequence as a large inflatable figure on one of the barges. Baloo sometimes appears at Tokyo Disneyland as a meetable character as well.

One of the messages on the message board in the Country Bear Theater's lobby is from Baloo, taking the form of a pet adoption ad reading "Free to Good Home! Man Cub, approx 10 yrs. and growing! Well behaved, sings and dances. Has all shots, call Baloo".

Disneyland Paris[]

In Paris, Baloo appeared at the very end of Louie's segment in Disney Dreams!, "I Wanna Be Like You", scatting and dancing with Louie just as they did in the film. He meets in Adventureland very often.

He also wore his TaleSpin outfit again during Fandaze in 2018 and Guest Star Day alongside Louie.

Hong Kong Disneyland[]

Baloo is seen in Hong Kong Disneyland's Flights of Fantasy Parade, where he and Louie join Tantor from Tarzan, and Rafiki and Timon from The Lion King in the jungle section of the parade.

Baloo also appears in Mickey and the Wondrous Book at Storybook Theater in Hong Kong Disneyland, performing "The Bare Necessities" onscreen.

Baloo can be seen with Mowgli in the Hong Kong Disneyland version of It's a Small World.

He now meets frequently in Karibuni Marketplace.

Shanghai Disneyland[]

Baloo meets regularly in Happy Circle in Adventure Isle.

Disney Cruise Line[]

In Disney's Believe, Baloo is one of the "magic makers" to take part in the show on board the Disney Dream. Here, Baloo is the first magic maker to use the mystic elements of the jungle. Baloo performs "The Bare Necessities" to the busy-body father to help his imagination grow for the sake of his daughter's happiness.

Differences from the source material[]

  • In the books, Baloo was the polar opposite of the Disney version. While Disney's Baloo was fun-loving, laid-backed, friendly and easygoing, Kipling's Baloo was strict, no-nonsense, knowledgeable and short-tempered. In many ways, one might say that Disney swapped Baloo and Bagheera's personalities.
  • In the books, Baloo was an honorary member of the wolf pack and taught the Law of the Jungle to the wolf cubs. Thus he met Mowgli when he had just been adopted by Raksha. In the Disney version, Baloo had no connections to the wolf pack at all and never met Mowgli until he was 10 years old.
  • Baloo was considerably older in the books than his Disney counterpart. By the end of the second book, Baloo had become so old that his eyesight was failing him. While Disney's Baloo was in his prime.
  • As Kipling's Baloo was a strict teacher who used military discipline, he would sometimes hit Mowgli and the other students if they misbehaved or paid no attention, earning him the nickname "Old Iron Paws" from Bagheera. While Disney's Baloo only hit Mowgli once by accident, though caused no injuries.
  • Like the Disney version, the original Baloo taught Mowgli how to fight. However, the original Baloo taught Mowgli to kill his opponent while Disney's Baloo merely taught him how to defend himself.

Gallery[]

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Trivia[]

  • Walt Disney was used as a reference for the dance moves seen when Baloo is introduced in The Jungle Book.
  • Baloo's full name was given as Baloo Bear or Baloo von Bruinwald XIII in TaleSpin.
  • In the 1994 film, Baloo is played by an American black bear.
  • In the 2016 film, Bagheera acknowledges that Baloo is a sloth bear. However, his statement is inaccurate as Baloo rather resembles a Himalayan brown bear than a sloth bear, the Himalayan brown bear is a species of bear that also lives in Northern India but it is not native to the Seoni area, where the story takes place.
  • Even though Mowgli is the true protagonist, Baloo and the other animals are promoted more than the man cub.
  • Baloo actually means "bear" in Hindi, so in a way, Baloo is named after his own species.
  • Baloo bears a striking resemblance to Little John from Disney's Robin Hood, who were both voiced by Phil Harris, who also voiced Thomas O'Malley in The Aristocats.
  • Baloo and Little John perform the same dance moves with King Louie in The Jungle Book and with Lady Kluck in Robin Hood, complete with recycled animation.
    • Interestingly, Baloo was originally designed with brown fur, as shown in one production cel and original theatrical release posters of the film.
  • Although Baloo's species mainly eats plants, they are known to be aggressive, and also the bear species that has the greatest tendency to kill people. Ironically, it is an interesting comparison with a real sloth bear and the fun-loving, completely harmless Baloo.
  • When Bagheera was saying his speech about Baloo, he wished his mother heard it, hinting that she is deceased.
  • Aside from King Louie, Baloo is the only animal character to walk on two legs in the film.
  • There is a bear in the "Say It with a Slap" sequence from Bongo that highly resembles Baloo. This is most likely because Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston were animators for that scene, and there is a possibility that the bear was a prototype of Baloo.
  • Bill Murray, who voices Baloo in the 2016 film, is the younger brother of Brian Doyle-Murray, who also voiced Baloo in The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story. In short, both Murray brothers had voiced Baloo in two different live-action Jungle Book projects.
  • Bing Crosby was considered to voice Baloo.
  • Baloo is visibly afraid of Shere Khan; as real tigers eat sloth bears, this is not surprising.
  • Real sloth bears don't have opposable thumbs. Strangely, in some shots, Baloo is portrayed with opposable thumbs to make him more human.
  • Baloo was originally going to appear in a DuckTales episode that would have explored his fate alongside those of Rebecca Cunningham, Shere Khan, and the original Don Karnage. However, plans were scrapped after the series wasn't renewed for a fourth season.[4]

References[]

External links[]

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