Baloo is a main fictional character featured in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book from 1894 and The Second Jungle Book from 1895. Baloo, a bear, is the strict teacher of the cubs of the Seeonee wolf pack. His most challenging pupil is the "man-cub" Mowgli. Baloo and Bagheera, a panther, save Mowgli from Shere Khan the tiger and endeavor to teach Mowgli the Law of the Jungle in many of The Jungle Book stories.
Baloo, based on Kipling's creation, has appeared in various Disney productions, starting with the company's 1967 feature-length animated film The Jungle Book. In this version, Baloo (voiced by Phil Harris) is portrayed as a friendly and even-tempered character who lives a responsibility-free lifestyle, seemingly far removed from the law teacher in Kipling's book. Baloo is one of Mowgli's mentors and friends. Baloo is also patient and strong; apparently, his only weakness is that he's ticklish. Baloo is initially opposed to bringing Mowgli to the Man Village, wanting to raise him as a son. However, when Bagheera explains that Mowgli is easy prey for Shere Khan the tiger and that he's not safe in the jungle, even with Baloo's diligent protection, Baloo realizes that he's right, and reluctantly tries to tell Mowgli the difficult truth. Mowgli turns on Baloo and runs away, prompting him and Bagheera to split up and search for the boy. Baloo isn't seen again until the climax of the film, when he sees Mowgli preparing to battle Shere Khan. Baloo attempts to stop the tiger, but almost gets killed in the process. After Mowgli follows a girl named Shanti into the village and decides to stay there, Baloo is slightly disappointed, but ultimately is relieved that Mowgli is safe at last. He and Bagheera then return to the jungle as they sing a reprise of "The Bare Necessities" together.
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