The film was originally produced as a direct-to-video film, but was released theatrically first, similar to the Peter Pan sequel, Return to Never Land. It is the third Disney sequel to have a theatrical release rather than going direct-to-video after The Rescuers Down Under in 1990 and Return to Never Land in 2002. The film is not based on The Second Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, first published in 1895. However, they do have several characters in common. When released, it was criticised mainly for its cut-rate animation and a lazily similar plotline to the original film.
Disney released the VHS and DVD versions on June 10, 2003. On June 17, 2008 a Special Edition DVD was released.
Taking place some short time after the first film, Mowgli is in the Man Village, living with his adoptive parents and new little brother, Ranjan. He has become sweethearts with Shanti, the girl who lured Mowgli into the Man Village. One day Mowgli tries to take the Village Children into the Jungle but Shanti realizes this and yells stop when Mowgli and Ranjan's father arrives and orders the kids back into the village and scowls at Mowgli telling him the jungle is a dangerous place and shows Mowgli a scar on his left arm. He also punishes Mowgli by sending him to his room without dinner. After Mowgli gets in trouble, he blames Shanti and won't talk to her, then Mowgli starts to miss the jungle. After an escape from a stampede of elephants, Baloo sneaks into the Man Village - unnoticed by the villagers - to visit Mowgli and get him back. Also, Mowgli's old arch enemy, Shere Khan, a vicious tiger, returns for his revenge. Meanwhile, Shanti tries to apologize to Mowgli, but she sees Baloo with Mowgli, and shrieks for help. Shere Khan sneaks into the village and everyone thinks he's the wild animal. After Baloo and Mowgli escape into the jungle, Shanti, believing her boyfriend was kidnapped, follows them. Shere Khan's sidekick, Kaa, a python, spots Mowgli and Baloo talking, and attempts to eat him. But, fortunately, he fails.
Later, Kaa spots Shanti alone, and tries to eat her. He manages to subdue her with his hypnotic stare, which causes her hands to hang loosely at her sides, and to not be able to look away, until Ranjan comes forward and pulls Shanti away in time, releasing her from Kaa's trance. Ranjan starts beating Kaa with a stick, and Kaa ends up accidentally swallowing a large rock. The weight of the rock makes his coils fall on top of him. While Ranjan keeps hitting Kaa, Shanti grabs him to get away from the snake. Ranjan soon scares Kaa from behind, and causes Kaa to fall off a nearby cliff and into a coconut tree, and Shanti and Ranjan soon leave. Mowgli seems to enjoy the jungle as he used to and tells Baloo about his life in the Man Village and Shanti.
Soon, Mowgli's old panther guardian, Bagheera, figures out that Mowgli had escaped the Man Village with Baloo, when the villagers are in the jungle screaming Mowgli and he tries to find him. Shanti and Ranjan are still looking for Mowgli, then get lost in the jungle. They soon find Mowgli sadly sitting in a tree and when he sees Shanti, he falls into some vines and gets tangled. Baloo finds them and scares Shanti, but gets caught in the vines and punched in the nose by Shanti's fist. Shanti learns that Mowgli told Baloo to scare her, and she gets angry at him and runs away with Ranjan. Mowgli gets angry at Baloo for scaring Shanti and goes after them. He finds them and wants to explain, but Shanti points to Shere Khan, who is behind him. The children run and Mowgli tells Shanti and Ranjan to stay put in a bush. Shanti goes to help Mowgli and tells Ranjan to stay, Ranjan (after snagging his loincloth on a branch and getting sling-shotted backwards while trying to follow Shanti) encounters Baloo. He tries to run away, but Baloo picks up Ranjan by the loincloth and tells him to calm down and asks him where Mowgli is. Ranjan shouts "Shere Khan!" and Baloo takes Ranjan on his shoulders while running after Mowgli. Mowgli finds an ancient temple and hides. Baloo and Ranjan run into Bagheera, whom Baloo leaves Ranjan with when they all arrive at the temple, which Shanti has arrived at as well. She and Baloo encounter each other and soon learn that they are on the same side and split up. Baloo begins banging on a gong, soon being joined by Shanti and Mowgli each in their hiding places and confuse Shere Khan. Shanti's gong falls down and Shere Khan threatens her. Mowgli comes out of his hiding place and Shere Khan runs to kill him. Mowgli begins to run and Baloo pushes Shere Khan away. Mowgli and Shanti run up a staircase, soon being followed by Shere Khan after Baloo tries to stop him again and soon run into a crater and jump across and land on a tiger head statue. Shere Khan jumps onto the tiger head which starts to fall. Shere Khan falls and lands on a rock and the tiger head lands down trapping him inside. Mowgli and Shanti fall too but are saved by Baloo. Meanwhile, Lucky, a new member of the vultures, comes down and begins to tease Shere Khan. After returning to safety, Mowgli, Shanti, and Ranjan say goodbye to Baloo and Bagheera, and reunite with their families where Mowgli's father apologizes to him for not understanding that the jungle is apart of who he is and they return to the village. Not long after returning to the village, Mowgli, Shanti, and Ranjan secretly return to the jungle to spend some time with their new jungle family, unaware that Mowgli and Ranjan's parents know where they're going.
Mae Whitman, the voice actor of Shanti, also played Tinker Bell from Tinker Bell Trilogy, Leslie Dunkling from Teacher's Pet, Girl from Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas, Patricia Whitmore from Independence Day, and Amanda Willis from Nights in Rodanthe.
Cast of Characters Edit
Returning from the first film Edit
- Mowgli, voiced by Haley Joel Osment
- Baloo, voiced by John Goodman
- Bagheera, voiced by Bob Joles
- Shanti, voiced by Mae Whitman
- Shere Khan, voiced by Tony Jay
- Kaa, voiced by Jim Cummings
- Colonel Hathi, voiced by Jim Cummings
- Hathi, Jr., voice by Jimmy Bennett
- Buzzie, Flaps, Dizzy, & Ziggy, voiced by Jim Cummings, Jeff Bennett, Baron Davis, and Jess Harnell
- Flunkey (listed in credits as "M.C. Monkey"), voiced by Jim Cummings
New in this film Edit
- Lucky, voiced by Phil Collins
- Ranjan, voiced by Connor Funk
- Ranjan's father, voiced by John Rhys-Davies
- Messua, voice by Veena Bidasha