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Most of the characters are animals such as Shere Khan the tiger and Baloo the bear, though a principal character is the boy or "man-cub" Mowgli , who is raised in the jungle by wolves. The stories are set in a forest in India ; one place mentioned repeatedly is "Seonee" Seoni , in the central state of Madhya Pradesh. A major theme in the book is abandonment followed by fostering, as in the life of Mowgli, echoing Kipling's own childhood. The theme is echoed in the triumph of protagonists including Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and The White Seal over their enemies, as well as Mowgli's. Another important theme is of law and freedom; the stories are not about animal behaviour , still less about the Darwinian struggle for survival, but about human archetypes in animal form.
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Based on Rudyard Kipling 's book of the same name , it is the 19th Disney animated feature film. Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman , it was the last film to be produced by Walt Disney , who died during its production. The plot follows Mowgli , a feral child raised in the Indian jungle by wolves, as his friends Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear try to convince him to leave the jungle before the evil tiger Shere Khan arrives. The early versions of both the screenplay and the soundtrack followed Kipling's work more closely, with a dramatic, dark, and sinister tone which Disney did not want in his family film, leading to writer Bill Peet and composer Terry Gilkyson being replaced. The Jungle Book was released on October 18, , to positive reception, with acclaim for its soundtrack, featuring five songs by the Sherman Brothers and one by Gilkyson, " The Bare Necessities ".
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