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Villain Overview
Ah, you have spirit for one so small! And such spirit deserves a sporting chance. Now, I'm going to close my eyes and count to ten; it makes the chase more interesting for me. One, two, three, four... you're trying my patience. Five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten!
~ Shere Khan giving Mowgli a chance to run.
Oh please. Don't insult my intelligence. It makes me...irritable.
~ Shere Khan interrogating Kaa on Mowgli's whereabouts, despite the snake truthfully telling him that he has no idea where the Man-Cub is.

Shere Khan (sometimes spelled as Shere-Khan) is the main antagonist of Disney's 19th full-length animated feature film The Jungle Book, and its 2003 sequel The Jungle Book 2. He also appears as a protagonist in Jungle Cubs and the 1994 live action film Rudyard Kiping's The Jungle Book. He is a ferocious Bengal Tiger with an undying hatred of mankind, as well as Mowgli's arch-nemesis. 

In the first film, he was voiced by the late George Sanders, who also played Mr. Freeze in the Batman series. In the second film, he was voiced by the late Tony Jay, who also played Galactus in the 1994 Fantastic Four TV Series, Baron Mordo in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Khartoum in Disney's Aladdin series, Megabyte in the ReBoot TV series, Monsieur D'Arque in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, the Transcendent One in Planescape: Torment, and Judge Claude Frollo in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Personality

Shere Khan is a large and powerful tiger who is known for his sadistic, greedy, intimidating, ruthless, and vicious attitude. Everyone including Bagheera knows that he is powerful, especially he himself, resulting in a very arrogant, proud, boastful, and supercilious personality. He is very sophisticated and suave, and shown to be incredibly gentlemanly and polite when he wants to, but gets mean and cantankerous when angered. All animals of the jungle fear Shere Khan and he is often known as the "Lord of the Jungle". The vultures addressed him as "Your Highness". He puts on a snooty, yet sociable face, even when about to kill.

His only known fears are man's guns and man's fire which he overcame in the sequel as the climax took place in a temple surrounded in lava, though he didn't seem to care. This fear led to Shere Khan's vow to murder any human that entered his jungle which he has been known to do successfully with the exception of Mowgli. Shere Khan speaks with a British accent and openly thinks highly about himself seeing various other animals namely Colonel Hathi as "ridiculous".

History

Jungle Cubs

Shere Khan appears as a cub and hero in the animated series Jungle Cubs. In this series it shows that Shere Khan was originally friends with Baloo, Bagheera, and others. He was also more of a cocky bully in the series rather than a dangerous predator, as he usually tags along with Baloo and their friends on many adventures.

The Jungle Book

Despite having been referred to and spoken of several times, Shere Khan did not make a live appearance in the original film until about two-thirds into it. He is first seen stalking a deer, but his hunt was ruined when Colonel Hathi came marching by with his heard and scared it away, much to Khan's chagrin. After Bagheera stopped them, Shere Khan eavesdropped on their conversation and was delighted when he heard about Mowgli. After they had left, he began his hunt for Mowgli.

After searching some, he heard Kaa singing and became suspicious. He grabbed his tail and got him to come down. He politely questioned Kaa about Mowgli and Kaa acted strangely while answering his questions. Kaa's suspicious behavior prompted Shere Khan to search his coils for Mowgli, but still wasn't totally fooled when he didn't find him. He told Kaa if he saw him, he was to inform him first before continuing his search.

Later, he heard several vultures singing and investigated the occasion. He then found Mowgli and easily scared off the vultures with the word "Boo". He intimidates Mowgli and after being impressed by his courage, gave him ten seconds to run away (mainly for his own enjoyment). Refusing to run, Mowgli instead fetches a stick to fight off Khan, causing Khan to become annoyed. However, Baloo, arriving just in time, grabbed Shere Khan's tail before he could get to the boy. After a chase, the vultures help Mowgli get to safety.

Furious, Shere Khan attacks Baloo, almost killing him, but the vultures distract him long enough for an angry Mowgli to tie a burning stick on Shere Khan's tail, much to his shock. As a result, Shere Khan roars in fear and pain as runs off in defeat as the burning stick hurts his rear.

The Jungle Book 2

Shere Khan returns in the 2003 sequel, where he is determined to kill Mowgli in revenge for humiliating him. He made his way to the Man-Village where Mowgli currently lives, sneaking quietly past the sleeping villagers. He heard one of Mowgli's friends, a girl named Shanti, call out his name and found Mowgli's house. He then waited impatiently for the Man-Cub to show himself. However, he was chased off by the villagers just as he saw Baloo and Mowgli heading into the jungle. He interrogated Kaa on Mowgli's whereabouts; Shere Khan believes Kaa knows where Mowgli is (after hearing him say "Man-Cub"). Though Kaa truthfully has no idea where Mowgli is, Shere Khan doesn't believe him, and continues to threaten the python, which finally forced Kaa to fearfully lie that Mowgli's at the swamp, allowing him to flee.

When Shere Khan arrives at the swamp with Mowgli nowhere to be found, he splashes the water in fury after realizing that Kaa lied to him. Shere Khan then gets annoyed by Lucky, the newest part of the vulture gang. However, he gets alerted of Mowgli's actual location from the unwilling Lucky, whom he seemingly killed as revenge for his utter annoyance. With that in mind, Khan encounters Mowgli, Shanti, and Ranjan. He chases down Mowgli to a place of ruins with a moat of lava. After confusing Khan, one of the gongs fell off, revealing Shanti. Mowgli revealed himself and Shere Khan chased them both. In the end, he gets trapped in the lava gorge with a large head on top. Lucky (who somehow survived Khan's attack, but was left bruised) came back and annoyed him even more as retaliation for attacking him, much to Khan's chagrin.

Other Appearances

Television

TaleSpin

Main article: Shere Khan (TaleSpin)

Shere Khan appeared, in a more anthropomorphic form, in the television series TaleSpin as a recurring antagonist (and sometimes an anti-hero). His character, while still villainous, had taken on a more corporate identity, as he serves as the CEO of his very own corporation Khan Industries (founded by his ancestors). He wears a white shirt, a red tie, and a blue suit, but he still goes barefoot.

Cameo Appearances

  • The version of Shere Khan from TaleSpin makes a cameos on a mugshot in Darkwing Duck and Bonkers.
  • Shere Kahn appears as a regular guest and antagonist in House of Mouse.

Video Games

  • Shere Khan appears as a boss in the Donald Duck game QuackShot.
  • Shere Khan appears as the main antagonist of the Virgin Studios video game adaptations of The Jungle Book and The Jungle Book 2.
  • He appears as the main antagonist of The Jungle Book Groove Party, singing the original song "Run".
  • He appears as a costume in Disney Universe.

Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book

Main article: Shere Khan (1994)

In the 1994 film, Shere Khan appears as a more anti-villainous character, serving as a protector of the jungle who fights back against the oppression of men who hunt for sport.

The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story

Main article: Shere Khan (Mowgli's Story)

In the 1998 film, Shere Khan, voiced by Sherman Howard, is a bloodthirsty man-eater who desires to hunt and kill humans to devour them, and wants Mowgli the most.

The Jungle Book (2016)

Main article: Shere Khan (2016)

In the 2016 live action remake of the 1967 film, Shere Khan, voiced by Idris Elba, appears once again as the main antagonist. In this incarnation, Shere Khan has a burn scar on the left side of his face sustained in a fight with Mowgli's father.

Quotes

What beastly luck. Confound that ridiculous Colonel Hathi.
~ Shere Khan annoyed that Colonel Hathi and his herd scared a deer away that he intended to devour.
How interesting.
~ Shere Khan after hearing Bagheera say Man-Cub.
How delightful.
~ Shere Khan delighted to hear that Mowgli ran away.
Element of surprise? Oh, I say. And now for my rendezvous with the little lost Man-Cub.
~ Shere Khan about to begin his own hunt for Mowgli.
It's me, Shere Khan. I'd like a word with you if you don't mind. (Kaa: Shere Khan, what a surprise.) Yes, isn't it? I just dropped by. Forgive me if I've interrupted anything. (Kaa: Oh, no, no, nothing at all.) I thought perhaps you were entertaining someone up there in your coils. (Kaa: Coils? Someone? Oh, no. I was just curling up for my siesta.) But you were singing to someone. Who is it, Kaa? (Kaa: Uh, who? Oh, no. Well, I was just singing, uh, to myself.) Indeed. (Kaa: Yes. Yes, you see I have trouble with my sinuses.) What a pity. (Kaa: Oh, you have no idea. It's simply terrible. I can't eat. I can't sleep. So I sing to myself to sleep. You know, self-hypnosis. Let me show you how it works. Ah, trust in me...) No, I can't be bothered with that. I have no time for that sort of nonsense. (Kaa: Some other time perhaps?) Perhaps. But at the moment I am searching for a Man Cub. (Kaa: Man Cub? What Man Cub?) The one who's lost. Now where do you suppose he could be? (Kaa: Search me.) That's an excellent idea. I'm sure you wouldn't mind showing me your coils, would you, Kaa? (Kaa: Uh, certainly not. Nothing here. And nothing in here. My sinuses.) Hmm. Indeed. And now, how about the middle? (Kaa: The middle? Oh, the middle. Absolutely nothing in the middle.) Really? Well, if you do just happen to see the man cub you will inform me first, understand? (Kaa: I get the point. Cross my heart, hope to die.) Good show. And now I must continue my search for the helpless little lad.
~ Shere Khan questioning Kaa about Mowgli.
That's what friends are for. Bravo, bravo. An extraordinary performance. And thank you for detaining my victim.
~ Shere Khan having finally managed to find Mowgli.
Why should you run? Could it be possible that you don't know who I am? (Mowgli: I know you, all right. You're Shere Khan.) Precisely. Then you should also know that everyone runs from Shere Khan. (Mowgli: You don't scare me. I won't run from anyone.) Ah. You have spirit for one so small. And such spirit is deserving of a sporting chance. Now, I'm going to close my eyes and count to ten. It makes the chase more interesting... for me. One, two... three... four... You're trying my patience. Five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten!
~ Shere Khan impressed by Mowgli's courage and giving him a chance to run away.
Let go, you big oaf!
~ Shere Khan to Baloo.
I'll kill you for this!
~ Shere Khan threatening and viciously attacking Baloo.
Stay out of this, you mangy fools.
~ Shere Khan's last words in the first film before he runs off in panic after Mowgli ties a burning branch to his tail.

Disney Parks

  • Khan is the main antagonist of Journey into the Jungle Book at Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
  • He appears in the Once Upon a Dream parade at Disneyland Paris.
  • At Hong Kong Disneyland, he appears in Flights of Fantasy, Villains Night Out!, and The Nightmare Experiment.

Trivia

  • Voice actor Richard Waugh claimed that he got the inspiration for his voice for Albert Wesker on Shere Khan (specifically, the 1967 original classic).
  • Shere Khan is the Big Bad in the franchise, except for the 1994 film, where his role as the Big Bad is outranked by William Boone, who has bigger plans than anyone else in the film; Boone even desired to kill both Shere Khan and Mowgli for his own pleasure.
  • In the 2016 remake, Shere Khan and Bagheera fight each other. In real life, tigers and leopards are competitors and enemies; tigers will drive leopards from their kills and will kill both adults and cubs to rid themselves of competition. Leopards will also kill tiger cubs if and when they can find them to rid themselves of competition for food and territory. However, tigers and leopards can be friends when they are raised together as cubs in an animal sanctuary.

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           The Jungle Book Villains

Books
Shere Khan | Tabaqui | Bandar Log | Nag | Nagaina | Dholes

Movies
The Jungle Book 1 & 2: Shere Khan | Kaa | King Louie | Bandar Log
Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book: William Boone | Buldeo | John Wilkins | Tabaqui | Sergeant Harley | Shere Khan | Kaa | King Louie | Bandar Log
The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli & Baloo: Buldeo
The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story: Shere Khan | Tabaqui | Bandar Log
The Jungle Book (2016): Shere Khan | King Louie | Kaa | Bandar Log

Television
Jungle Book Shonen Mowgli: Shere Khan | Tabaqui | Dholes | Grizzle | Alba | Dusty & Jocko
TaleSpin: Don Karnage | Air Pirates (Mad Dog) | Shere Khan | Professor Torque | Douglas Benson | Sheriff Cleghorn & Deputy Wendell | Thaddeus E. Klang
Jungle Cubs: Cain | Mahra | Arthur & Cecil | Dholes