Kaa is an enormous snake who serves as the secondary antagonist in The Jungle Book, its sequel, and its television series. He was voiced by Sterling Holloway in the first film. Since Jungle Cubs, Kaa has been voiced by Jim Cummings.
Kaa was loosely based on the character of the same name from Rudyard Kipling's book The Jungle Book. While the book character was considered a mentor to Mowgli, akin to Baloo and Bagheera, the film character is portrayed as a villain. This was most likely due to the developers' belief that the public of the time would not accept a snake as a heroic character.
Kaa is a sly snake who is almost constantly hungry. Kaa is known for being persuasive and tricky. He has the ability to hypnotize other creatures through eye contact, which causes many animals to respect, if not fear him. He is often seen pursuing Mowgli, in an attempt to devour the man-cub, but always fails. Despite fearing Shere Khan, Kaa dislikes the tiger, as Shere Khan is only wanting to kill Mowgli because he is human, rather than killing for food.
Kaa is a python that has grown to be extremely large in width. He was animated by Frank Thomas in his entrance appearance where he first met Mowgli and nearly ate Bagheera. Later on in the film he was animated by Milt Kahl whose design for Kaa may be more iconic, being that his scene was longer and included his trademark song and Shere Khan's talk with the snake.
Kaa comes across Mowgli and Bagheera in the branches of a large tree that the pair have chosen to spend the night in. As Bagheera is nearly asleep, he is unaware of Kaa as he investigates Mowgli. Annoyed, Mowgli angrily tells Kaa to leave him alone. Bagheera sleepily orders Mowgli to go to sleep, as he has assumed Mowgli was speaking to him. Kaa decides to take advantage of the situation, and hypnotizes Mowgli, wrapping the boy in his coils, with the intent of devouring him. During the hypnosis and coiling, Mowgli tries to call for help, but is silenced when Kaa tightens Mowgli's neck with his tail and then squeezes the boy with all his coils, from legs to neck. But Mowgli's struggles awaken Bagheera, and he is able to rescue Mowgli. However, Kaa is angered by the interference, and begins to hypnotize Bagheera. By now, Mowgli has awakened, and the boy shoves Kaa's massive coils off the branch, resulting in Kaa falling to the ground in a heap. While Mowgli awakens Bagheera, Kaa begins to slither off, swearing revenge. However, his slithering is inhibited by a knot in his tail, which Mowgli laughs at.
Kaa later reappears near the end of the film, coming across Mowgli, who is lost in the jungle. He tries to hypnotize Mowgli again, who has learned from his last encounter and is wary of the snake. Mowgli tries to leave, with the response that he doesn't trust anyone. However, Kaa uses the boy's desire to stay in the jungle as a means of gaining his trust. Kaa is able to hypnotize Mowgli again and sleepwalk him into his coils while singing the song Trust in Me.
Before Kaa can devour Mowgli, Shere Khan stops by after hearing Kaa's singing. As Shere Khan is looking for Mowgli, Kaa is forced to hide the boy. Kaa is able to trick Shere Khan into believing that Mowgli is nowhere in the area, despite Shere Khan choosing to inspect Kaa's coils. Shere Khan walks off to continue the search, leaving Kaa safe to admit his disgust for the tiger. When Kaa shivers after seeing the tiger walk off, Mowgli awakens. Kaa takes a moment to pity the helpless Mowgli, but reverts once he remembers his own intentions. At that point, Mowgli is able to push Kaa's coils to the ground. On the ground, Mowgli confronts Kaa and accuses the python of lying. Kaa, assuring Mowgli that he indeed can't trust anyone, moves in to attack, but is once again stopped by a knot in his tail. As Mowgli runs off, Kaa gives up on trying to catch the man-cub, slithering off again.
One night, Kaa appears in the film, when Mowgli meets up with Baloo near the beginning of the film. Like before, Kaa attempts to corner Mowgli, but faces many accidents and injuries as he pursues them. Mowgli and Baloo remain unaware of Kaa's presence, and the two walk away unharmed.
Kaa angrily states that he never wants to see another Man-Cub again, but changes his mind after he comes across Shanti. Kaa manages to corner and hypnotize the young girl. Before he can eat her, Shanti is saved by Ranjan, who beats up Kaa with a large stick. He is then encountered by Shere Khan in his search for Mowgli; Khan believes that Kaa is hiding the location of Mowgli, but truthfully, Kaa doesn't. To save his skin, Kaa lies and tells Khan that Mowgli is at the swamp, allowing him to flee.
Kaa appeared as a much younger snake in the Jungle Cubs, with Baloo, Bagheera, Colonel Hathi, King Louie and Shere Khan. As a younger snake, Kaa has yet to master hypnosis at his young age, usually failing or hypnotizing the wrong person by mistake. Kaa is more of the cowardly friend in the group often being doubtful when an adventure is at hand. Most of the time his fearfulness can be understandable being that the children often find themselves in some of the most dangerous predicaments in their jungle. Kaa is often seen attempting to eat a local Shrew with a wise-cracking persona. However, as the Shrew is too clever for the snake, he ultimately fails in the end.
Many episodes revolve around Kaa including one where his birthday arrived yet everyone forgot. To make up for it, they acted as if his hypnotism was excellent and pretended to be in trances. In the end, Kaa discovers this and breaks down. His friends comfort him and apologizes leaving all to be well.
In the Jungle Cubs: Born to Be Wild DVD, Kaa, as an adult, was the first character to be revisited by Baloo, Mowgli, and Bagheera. Here, he attempts to devour Mowgli whilst he rested, but Baloo foiled the snake by grabbing his tail and throwing him into a gorge.
A snake-like character resembling Kaa made a cameo during the final scene with the other Disney characters.
Kaa makes several cameos in the show House of Mouse. In the episode "Ask Von Drake", he is seen being threatened by Shere Khan while Ludwig Von Drake sings a song. In "Turkey Day", Kaa was seen attempting to devour Mowgli after not receiving a turkey for dinner. In "Jiminy Cricket", he is seen sitting at a table with Baloo, Mowgli, Shere Khan, and Bagheera. In "Max's Embarrassing Date", he is seen sitting a table with Sir Hiss. In "Goofy's Menu Magic," Kaa is seen having coiled and hypnotized Mowgli when Mickey mentioned the guests were getting hungry.
Kaa joins his fellow villains in taking over the House of Mouse on Halloween. He joins in the hostile takeover during the song "It's Our House Now!", while attempting to hypnotize Mickey and Minnie, during which he briefly reprises "Trust in Me". He later stands by Jafar's side when he battles Mickey and soon enough flees with the other villains when Mickey and his friends defeat Jafar.
Kaa's likeness can be found on numerous Disney Villains merchandise throughout the park and makes occasional appearances in a small amount of showings and parades.
In Disneyland Paris, Kaa is seen in the castle spectacular Disney Dreams! during the "I Wanna Be Like You" section where he tries to hypnotize the shadow of Peter Pan. However, he failed when King Louie's ruins fell apart on top of him.
In the Disneyland version of the show, Kaa appears in Mickey's dreams of the jungle. Kaa also appears in the Tokyo DisneySea version of the show floating about as he did in the Disneyland version. He does not appear in the Disney's Hollywood Studios version of the show, as he is replaced by Jafar's snake form.
Kaa is only briefly mentioned by Mowgli in this game.
Mowgli: "If anybody sees Kaa slithering around, let me deal with him."
- In the original book Kaa was one of Mowgli's closest friends, but in the film and following appearances Kaa is a dangerous threat to Mowgli's life. Interestingly enough, the Jungle Cubs incarnation of the character is so far the most accurate depiction of the character when compared to the original novels. The reason Kaa is an antagonist is because the filmmakers thought he wouldn't be well received as a protagonist.
- Despite popular belief, Kaa is not a henchmen to Shere Khan being the fact that he does none of his evil bidding and the two appear to dislike each other.
- Kaa is the second character originally voiced by Sterling Holloway and later taken over by Jim Cummings, the first was Winnie-the-Pooh.
- Kaa is very similar to Sir Hiss from Robin Hood, both are snakes, both use hypnosis and both suck up to the film's main antagonist, except they are a different color and Hiss wears a cape and a hat.
- Kaa was seen in concept art for the attraction Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom over at Walt Disney World, but did not appear in the finished project. However, according to Imagineers, it is possible that more Disney themes will be added to the game in good time.
- During one of the attempts at the classic musical number The Bare Necessities from the second film, two prickly pears land on Kaa's head and one tiny one on his nose, making him look like Mickey Mouse, this could possibly be an example of a Hidden Mickey.
- Though Kaa was not one of the ringleader villains in Mickey's House of Villains, he is featured on the cover of the DVD and home video. Though he does assist kicking Mickey and Minnie out of the club.
- For more pictures and screenshots of Kaa, click here.
- Kaa on Wikipedia
|The Jungle Book|
Characters: Mowgli | Bagheera | Baloo | Colonel Hathi | King Louie | Kaa | Shere Khan | Raksha | Rama | Wolf cubs | Akela | Wolf Council | Winifred | Hathi, Jr. | Jungle Patrol | Bandar-log | Flunkey | The Vultures | Shanti | Shanti's mother | Ranjan | Ranjan's father | Messua | Lucky | Arthur and Cecil | The Croc
See also: TaleSpin