Shere Khan has a class analysis.
Shere Khan knows that humans constitute a class that has held itself above all nonhumans, with disastrous consequences for animals and the natural world as a whole.
Mowgli is human. Regardless of any feelings Mowgli may have of being a wolf or whether he identifies with the wolf pack who raised him, his humanness is a biological fact. Raksha’s stereotypical protectiveness of Mowgli does not change this fact. Neither does Baloo’s self-interested affection or Bagheera’s paternalistic fussing.
And how do we know this? What evidence do we have of Mowgli’s human nature?
The fact that, despite his feral upbringing, despite his isolation from humans, and despite repeated warnings that “the red flower destroys everything it touches,” when his own sack is in the vise, Mowgli barely hesitates before grasping the power of his people, decimating the jungle, and endangering the lives of everyone he claims to love — leaving those he’s victimized to resolve the crisis he created.
Understand: I am not saying that Mowgli’s behavior is *caused* by his biology. I *am* saying that his social relationships, and hence his upbringing and acculturation, are inevitably shaped by the fact of his biology. All the animals know that he is a “man cub” and treat him accordingly. Mowgli knows that he is a human, he knows what behavior is right and expected for a human, and so that is how he chooses to behave. He could have chosen to behave otherwise; but he has been unable to free his mind so his ass could follow.
Shere Khan may sound nuts to you, but he has PTSD from taking a burning branch to the face. Mowgli’s father’s brutalization gives Shere Khan insight into human-animal relationships — beyond his personal animosity and desire for revenge — that may not be obvious to others. But you can see his point if you look past the dominant narrative and give his story a little thought.
Hello Hollywood — isn’t it 2016? Whoever is responsible for the revival of this drivel, for the indoctrination of another generation of children into this twisted pathological anthropomorphism, deserves to spend eternity having TED talks by wildlife conservation experts projected onto the inside of their eyelids.
And also, the only character you could imagine re-sexing was Kaa, into a one-scene, predatory, seductively murderous female? Fuck you Disney, for real.