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    Incredible Characters Wiki

    NOTE: This page is dedicated to both the late George Sanders (1906-1972) and the late Tony Jay (1933-2006).

    Shere Khan
    "No matter how fast you run, no matter where you hide, I will catch you."
    Gender: Male
    Type: Tyrannical Predator
    Species: Tiger
    Portrayed by: George Sanders (1967)
    Tony Jay (1990-2003)
    Idris Elba (2016)
    Status: Alive
    Media of origin: The Jungle Book


    Shere Khan is the main antagonist of Disney's 1967 animated feature film The Jungle Book, its 2003 direct-to-video sequel and its 2016 photorealistic remake.

    Why He is a Notorious and Fearsome Tiger

    1. He has become one of the most iconic Disney villains of all time with his menacing presence.
    2. He is deeply feared as the most ferocious predator in the jungle. His reputation was such that he only needed to show himself to intimidate his victims.
    3. Throughout the film, he becomes obsessed with hunting down the young human child, Mowgli, who is raised by wolves in the jungle.
    4. He becomes unaffected by Kaa's hypnotize by simply slapping a choke-hold on the python.
    5. His design is really cool as he stands out from the rest of the characters.
    6. Being a tiger, he possesses incredible physical prowess, with powerful muscles, sharp claws, and lightning-fast reflexes that make him a formidable adversary.
    7. Behind his fierce and menacing façade, he possesses complex motivations and demonstrates a certain level of intelligence, making him a compelling villain.
    8. He lunges at Mowgli, only to be stopped by Baloo grabbing his tail. While he is chasing Mowgli, the vultures help by grabbing Mowgli and getting him to safety. He furiously attacks Baloo, almost killing him, only to be defeated when Mowgli grabs a large flaming branch and ties it to his tail, causing him to panic and run away.
    9. He returns in the second film. Unlike the first film, he appears much earlier, and he turns far more evil and antagonistic than before, as he becomes less calm and controlled than he was in the previous film.
      • In fact, every scene with him is made a million times better due to massively raising the tension. It easily makes him the most memorable part of the film.
    10. His portrayal in the remake is significantly darker than in the original film. He still wishes to kill Mowgli, but he is more psychotic and vicious and lacks the charming and affable nature that he had in the original film.
      • He has several noticeable burns, including a blinded left eye.
      • He appears at the beginning instead of appearing towards the end and learns directly about the existence and the name of Mowgli.
      • He also directly threatens the life of every wolf if they attempt to protect Mowgli.
      • He kills Akela for refusing his demands to give Mowgli to him, and it is later revealed that he also killed Mowgli's biological father, as well as the one responsible for Mowgli being adopted and raised by Bagheera and the wolf pack in the first place.
      • Compared to his animated counterpart, he has a body count that we see him rack up over the course of the film. In the final confrontation, he goes through a pack of wolves, who try to attack him at the same time, but gets completely overwhelm, Baloo, whom he out-muscles and incapacitates with a bite to the neck for the rest of the fight, and Bagheera, whom he also very nearly killed with a bite to the neck. He does all of this one after another without breaking a sweat or slowing down. While he is injured, he doesn't let it stop him.
    11. Unlike Scar and Jafar, he wasn't flanderized in the remake. Instead, he's more intimidating, menacing, and threatening than his other counterparts.
    12. The late George Sanders and Tony Jay both do brilliant jobs voicing him.
      • Idris Elba also does an amazing job voicing him.

    The Only Bad Quality

    1. In the 1967 version, despite being the main antagonist, he doesn't show up onscreen until about 47 minutes into the film.

    Trivia

    • The word Shere (or "shir") translates as "tiger" or "lion" in Persian, Hindi, and Punjabi. Khan translates as "sovereign", "king", or "military leader" and so forth in a number of languages influenced by the Mongols, including Pashto. In other words, Khan's name means "Tiger King" or "King of the Tigers".
    • One of the only things that both the 1967 and 2016 versions share is their reputation as a feared vicious predator in all the jungle, something that the Rudyard Kipling's incarnation never owned.
    • Shere Khan is the only villain to date who survived in his original appearance, but is killed in a live-action adaptation.
    • Contrary to popular belief, Shere Khan did not serve as an inspiration for Scar in The Lion King as his lead animator and designer Andreas Deja avoided watching The Jungle Book exactly because he did not want Scar to end up too similar to Shere Khan.

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