Akela, like the other wolves, is seen at the beginning of the film. He appears when the pack learns that Shere Khan had returned to their part of the jungle. Akela states that Shere Khan wants to kill Mowgli and not even the strength of the entire pack could fight him off, so he has Bagheera take Mowgli to the Man-Village. Akela and the wolves are not seen again afterwards.
Akela and his mate, Leah, appear as teenagers in the episode "The Coming of the Wolves". Their pack leader, Cain, has had feelings for Leah and wanted her all to himself, but she rejects him. Akela and Leah then decide to leave the pack. When Cain and his pack give chase, Akela and Leah manage to escape and seek refuge in the lair without knowing it belongs to the cubs. After Hathi panics at the sight of the two wolves and flees, Akela and Leah laugh awkwardly and decide to rest where they are. The cubs later have a falling-out with Akela and Leah, who both eventually decide to leave. However, when Cain and his pack arrive at the lair and plan to attack, Akela and the cubs all stand up to him. Akela and Cain then engage in a brutal fight over Leah. In the aftermath, Akela defeats Cain and then orders him to leave the cubs' lair and never return. Cain picks himself up and reluctantly does so. Shere Khan and the other cubs tell the two wolves that they can stay at their lair. Just then, Leah goes into labor and has 8 wolf puppies. As a reward for the cubs' kindness, Akela and Leah make them the godfathers of their puppies.
Akela has been slated to appear in the upcoming 2016 live-action film adaptation, voiced by Giancarlo Esposito.
- Akela means "single or solitary" in Hindi; Kipling also calls him the "Lone Wolf."
- Despite Akela's page in Disneystrology being on January 17, Raksha along with her puppies' picture is seen instead.