The Adventures of Mowgli (1973) Poster

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Simply amazing!
vawlkee_20008 March 2010
I grew up on Disney's version of Jungle Book. Soyuzmultfilm had done an earlier version of this tale but this version is a stunner! By this time (1973) the quality of Soyuzmultfilm's animation was definitely on the decline. Where this film shines is it's emphasis on character. Baloo looked like an "Asian" bear would and Bagherra as a female??! They really did their homework on this one. Whenever Bagherra appears on screen SHE steals the show, looking for all the world like a piece of living art from the deco era. The voice work was superb as would be expected from Soyuzmultfilm. Anatoly Popanov voiced Shere Khan and sounded a hell of a lot better than did George Saunders. Popanov was best know in "Russia" for his voice work in the famous "Nu Pogodi" series, as a lecherous wolf. The atonal music added real depth and atmosphere. I could go on and on - but not enough space. Not to be missed! See the Russian version.
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A Classic
Saaska P2 October 2007
"Mowgli" is far truer to the spirit of Kipling's story than the singsong Disney version (incidentally, there are no songs to speak of in this one). Animation is rather unusual, with rather sweeping strokes and not a lot of color detail, but very detailed movements. I for one love watching Bagheera (who is female here for grammatical reasons), and Tabaqui is also a treat. It's always been hard to stop an episode of "Mowgli" in between, especially the Red Dog episode always has me sitting on the edge of the seat.

This is a classic that every Russian child since 1967 grew up with and I keep returning to it. One of the best in Russian animation, and that means something.
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Very similar to the novel! (Spoiler warning.)
Esmeralda11 June 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I liked this film version of Kipling's book a lot! Honestly, it's even better than the Disney film because it faithfully follows the events of the novel. The only radical plot change is Mowgli falling in love in the end.

I especially liked Baloo being the law teacher of the wolfcubs and Kaa helping Mowgli, instead of chasing him. Shere Khan's character was very impressive. The few songs, instead, were not necessary for the storyline.
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Classic Russian animation
TheLittleSongbird19 August 2013
The 1967 Disney film The Jungle Book will always be a childhood and personal favourite, it is an enormous amount of fun with terrific songs and great characters. Adaptation-wise though, this Russian animation is far more faithful to Rudyard Kipling's book and stands on its own feet wonderfully. The animation is wonderfully detailed and expansive, the colours are not as rich but they're still appealing and never ugly. The music fits very well and while atonal music has more appreciation than love with me it is very interesting and haunting rhythmically and melodically. The dialogue is thoughtful and very well-written, and the story is likewise always engaging, it has its heart and charm but any conflict is also done very convincingly. The voice acting is excellent, especially for Shere Kahn, the suave menace is done perfectly. It is indeed with the characterisation where Adventures of Mowgli(or Maugli) really shines, Bagheera steals the show though those who are familiar with and love the story will really appreciate how close in detail and spirit the characterisation is for all the characters, especially with Baloo. In conclusion, a classic Russian animation, if you love the book or Russian animation in general(both even as well) you'll find much to love with it. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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ed-schaefer8 February 2019
Classic. The favorite cartoon of my childhood. In my opinion the best Disney.
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My review for the five short films that make up this movie:
Horst_In_Translation22 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Maugli. Raksha" is a Russian 20-minute animated movie from almost 50 years ago. It was directed by Roman Davydov as the first of 5 short and the writer who adapted Rudyard Kipling's tale is Leonid Belokurov. It came out approximately at the same time as the famous Disney classic and is the Soviet take on the matter. In here, this is how it all begins. A bunch of wild animals find a human baby in the jungle and keep the evil tiger from eating it right away. Afterward, the animal council meets in order to decide what to do with the human. Bring him up like one of their own or stay away and not further pay any attention to him? You know the choice for sure. You will find some of the characters that you know very well, including a female version of Bagheera the panther who moves swiftly like a gazelle in here. A solid beginning I might say and worth checking out for everybody who loves the American approach.

"Maugli. Pokhishchenie" is the second of five 20-minute animated films by Roman Davydov and Leonid Belokurov and came out a year after the first. The two give us the Soviet approach on the famous Kipling work and the time when this came out can be described as the Golden Age of Soviet animation which happened 2-3 decades later than the American. In this one, which runs 20 minutes again just like the first, Mowgli was accepted by the jungle animals and protected from some natural enemies. He becomes a boy and Bagheera and Baloo become his closest friends. We see him adjust (sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much) to life in the jungle and the most interesting addition is Kaa, a snake that possesses the talent of hypnotizing his enemies. A successful continuation after the first. I recommend it.

"Maugli. Poslednyaya okhota Akely" is the third of five installments from the Soviet Mowgli series from the late 1960s / early 1970s. The protagonist has further grown up here. the first 10 minutes are mostly about him getting closer friends with Kha and meeting another snake, a white cobra, who provides him with a strong weapon. The second half is about those we are familiar with already from the previous entries. The wolf leader goes missing and Mowgli has two fateful encounters, one with a young woman, one with Shir Khan. There is some plot development in here that is not part of the American animated film, which makes the watch a here a bit unusual, but not less interesting. It is certainly worth seeing.

"Maugli. Bitva" is the penultimate episode, the 4th of 5 entries from Davydov's and Belokurov's Jungle Book mini series from the 1960s/1970s and even if we see Mowgli physically as a man in here, his actions show that he is still very childish and not intelligent in his actions. He does not see who his friends are, who his enemies are and as a consequence gets the lives in danger of those that matter the most to him and to whom he matters the most. Kaa apparently turns into the main antagonist with the scary tiger being chased away with the help of fire. The human storyline from the ending of the 3rd short film is not further elaborated on. All in all, this felt like maybe the weakest episode to me as it sometimes lost itself in animation instead of elaborating steadily and reasonably on some of the plot points, but this does not mean it was a bad watch. It was still decent and I also recommend this one. It is probably also essential to see in order to understand the chronology and the final episode that is about to come.

"Maugli. Vozvrashchenie k lyudyam" is the final entry to Davydov's and Belokurov's Jungle Book series and I think all in all they managed a good ending, even if I had hoped for something great and this was not it. The series has gotten a little bit worse since the really strong start and this also shows here. the battle sequence with Shire Khan is great and the actual farewell scene at the end is also fairly emotional. Nonetheless, the fact that he leaves could have been better elaborated on. He saw the human girl earlier and she ran away from him and now the same again. Obviously, he realizes where he belongs, but I did not feel he made a truly emotional connection with the humans that really would let him give up life with the animals. Anyway, two more differences: Baloo is the voice of reason in these films and has no parallels to the funny stuff from the American version that came out at the same time or slightly earlier. And Kaa is not as evil as in the American version apparently either, apparently not evil at all, which is somewhat hard to believe with the scary voice provided here. All in all, this last installment was a decent watch that makes sense watching in the grand scheme of things (i.e. if you have seen the previous parts), but as a standalone film disappointed me a bit.
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