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About The Characters
As voiced by Haley Joel Osment ("The Sixth Sense"), MOWGLI is the same easygoing, carefree young man we remember from the original film though his feistiness and jungle spirit are finding conflict within his new family in the comfort and safety of the human village. When the challenge of adapting to village life grows too great, Mowgli is only too happy to return to life as a bear with his pal Baloo. Mowgli and Baloo enjoy great adventures together in the jungle but along the way, Mowgli discovers how much he misses his village family and how much they love him, and he must finally make a choice about where he truly belongs.

"We tried to maintain that sense of the ‘you can't take the jungle our of the boy' to give Mowgli that fish-out-of-water issue to cope with," says Trenbirth. "Mowgli has certain mannerisms established in the original story that are unique to a jungle animal -- the way he moves and uses his environment and we took some of that a step further to emphasize his problems with fitting in."

"Mowgli's got that jungle mindset of independence and freedom he still isn't civilized, responsibilities and rules are very foreign concepts to him, and he still doesn't know how to act around other kids his age," says Osment. "It's fun to play that sort of free spirit, to really revisit what it's like to be, essentially, a carefree little kid."

John Goodman ("Monsters, Inc.") captures the true spirit of BALOO as the ultimate party animal, a bighearted bear with a penchant for play. He lives for the moment without any concern for the future though he definitely misses his pal, Mowgli. The fun-loving Baloo sets the tempo for the jungle, blazing a jazzy trail for all to follow.

"He just loves kicks," says Goodman. "He's kind of a bohemian type who is just crazy about music, having a good time and living irresponsibly. How can you not enjoy voicing a character like that?"

Mae Whitman ("Independence Day") gives voice to SHANTI, the proper, sheltered young village girl with a hidden fiery streak that shines through at unexpected moments. Mowgli intrigues her, but she's also frightened of the jungle and embarrassed when he finds our it scares her. When Shanri sees Mowgli being abducted by what she thinks is a ferocious bear, even her fear of wild beasts wont keep her from saving her new friend. Ultimately, timid Shanri transforms into a brave young girl ready to face any dangers alongside her pal, Mowgli.

"Shanri offered us the opportunity to answer so many questions of who this sweet little village girl was and how her relationship with Mowgli would evolve," says Trenbirrh. "It was an important part of the genesis of the idea for the sequel, and gave us a great, new character to develop. She fears the very jungle and animals that Mowgli so adores, and that provides a great dynamic for their relationship."

"Shanri is the reason Mowgli came into the village, and they've become good, good friends," explains Osment. "He's never been around humans before, and she's really the only person that truly understands Mowgli."

RANJAN is Mowgli's new kid brother, an  irrepressible ball of energy with a wild imagination. Voiced by newcomer Connor Funk, Ranjan idolizes Mowgliand is enthralled with his stories of the jungle. Ranjan would love nothing more than to live like a wild jungle beast, too. He gets his chance when he sneaks away from home and follow


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