Fun to read this after always wanting to!
SO different from the Disney movie (obviously) but it had been a long time since I had thought about Disney's weirdly motivated "adaptations" of classic stories. BUT I love Disney's Jungle Book, Bill Peet, one of my top three favorite children's book author/illustrators worked heavily on the Disney version, and his style is obvious in Mowgli's gangly body, and how Bagheera and Baloo move. The strangest thing reading Kipling's version, was that Kaa, the massive rock python, is Mowgli's friend/ally in the book, and possibly the animal who comes closest to him as an equal.
I was having all sorts of Kaa dreams after reading this, check out this passage after Kaa sheds his skin "for perhaps the two hundredth time since his birth" - "That afternoon Mowgli was sitting in the circle of Kaa's great coils, fingering the flaked and broken old skin that lay all looped and twisted among the rocks just as Kaa had left it. Kaa had very courteously packed himself under Mowgli's broad, bare shoulders, so that the boy was really resting in a living armchair." Did I mention that Mowgli is a hotty 17 year old for about half of Kipling's jungle book?
I could write a whole paper on this book, Kipling's morals and motivations, making human Mowgli the most superior and powerful being in the jungle and also a stellar example of ideal masculinity/imperialism because of his being raised in the Jungle. I'd also like to write a paper about Kaa's weird sensuality, all of the animals in the jungle are a little in love/lust with Mowgli.
Good read except for all the snake dreams.