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Balooo, at the base of a tree on page 23 of the 1895 edition of The Two Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling

Baloo is the fictional bear featured in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book.

Contents

Name and species

He is described in Kipling's work as "the sleepy brown bear". Robert Armitage Sterndale, from whom Kipling derived most of his knowledge of Indian fauna, used the Hindustani word "Bhalu" for several bear species, though Daniel Karlin, who edited the Penguin reissue of The Jungle Book in 1989 states that with the exception of colour, Kipling's descriptions of baloo are consistent with the sloth bear, as brown bears and Asian black bears do not occur in the Sioni area where the novel takes place. Also, the name "sloth" can be used in the context of sleepiness. Karlin states however that Baloo's diet of ".. only roots and nuts and honey" is a trait more common to the Asian black bear than to the sloth bear.[1]

In Kipling's work

Baloo teaches the cubs of the Seeonee wolf pack the Law of the Jungle. His most challenging pupil is the "man-cub" Mowgli; despite Bagheera's objections he sometimes finds it necessary to use corporal punishment against Mowgli, although when called upon to defend the man-cub against the Bandar-log he does not hesitate.

Baloo is one of Mowgli's mentors. He, Bagheera and Kaa sing for Mowgli "The Outsong" of the jungle.

In Disney productions

Baloo the Bear
Baloo.jpg
Cast Member as Baloo in Disneyland Paris.
First appearance Jungle Book (1967)
Created by Rudyard Kipling
Voiced by Phil Harris (The Jungle Book)
Ed Gilbert (TaleSpin)
Pamela Adlon (Jungle Cubs)
John Goodman (The Jungle Book 2)
Corey Burton (The Jungle Book Groove Party)

A character named Baloo, based on Kipling's creation, has also appeared in various Disney productions, starting with that company's feature-length version of The Jungle Book. In this version, Baloo is an easygoing and fun-loving character who shirks responsibility -- seemingly far removed from the law teacher in Kipling's book. This version of the character has appeared in three animated series, TaleSpin (as a pilot), Jungle Cubs (as a cub) and Disney's House of Mouse (as a guest), as well as a feature-length sequel to the animated movie, while Disney's Robin Hood, interpreting the traditional characters as anthropomorphic animals, features a version of Little John that strongly resembles Baloo. He also made a cameo appearance in the Disney on Ice play, Disney Presents Pixar's The Incredibles in a Magic Kingdom Adventure, meeting up with Violet. Disney's Baloo is arguably the most popular character in The Jungle Book. Baloo was made famous by the song The Bare Necessities, sung by Phil Harris, in which he tells Mowgli how a life of leisure can be achieved by living off the land - if you know the tricks.

Baloo, as depicted by Disney.
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Interpreters

Baloo's voice has been acted by

In an unproduced show called B-Players about supporting characters from Disney movies, Baloo was intended to appear as one of the better-off veterans of Disney films. Although the series was never made, it helped re-familiarize the Disney TV animation department with Baloo.[2] [3]

References


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