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Look me in the eyes when I'm speaking to you! Both eyes if you please! You have just sealed your doom.
~ Kaa hypnotizing Bagheera.
I have my own... subtle little ways. But first, you must trust me...
~ Kaa manipulating Mowgli.
Are you lost, little one? Are you hungry? I'm starved...
~ Kaa to Shanti.
Kaa is the secondary 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 an anti-hero in its 1994 live action film and the prequel television series Jungle Cubs, and one of the supporting antagonists of Mickey's House of Villains. He is a massive Indian python who seeks to capture and eat human children, especially Mowgli, and later Shanti.
In the original film, he was voiced by the late Sterling Holloway, who also voiced the Cheshire Cat in Disney's Alice in Wonderland. In Disney's Greatest Villains, he was voiced by the late Hal Smith. In the 1994 live action film, his vocal sound effects were provided by Frank Welker. In the prequel TV series and the 2003 sequel, he was voiced by Jim Cummings, who also notably voices the Disney villain Peg Leg Pete.
Kaa is known as a sly, sneaky, callous, seductive, knowledgeable and unscrupulous snake who speaks with a soft and often entrancing tone to either lure his victims into a weary and dreamlike state or manipulate them into bestowing their trust whilst he wraps them up in his coils, thus allowing him to devour them unexpectedly. He furthers this by the use of his iconic ability to hypnotize his prey with his eyes, rendering them enchanted and under his command. A powerful and dangerous ability, Kaa is a feared member of the jungle, as evidenced by his interaction with the often composed and fearless Bagheera. However, such fear does not resonate with the unofficial ruler of the jungle, Shere Khan the tiger, whom Kaa holds a dislike for, believing the act of murdering for pleasure, as opposed to survival, to be extremely treacherous and dishonorable. The two beasts are often at odds, though Shere Khan views Kaa as an "eyes and ears" of the jungle, relying on him to assist his quest in finding Mowgli at one point in the film. However, Kaa was also extremely dishonest and manipulative, so he was able to steer even Khan in the wrong direction, further showcasing his knowledge.
While he is not as cruel, traitorous and bloodthirsty as Shere Khan, Kaa is still a fairly villainous and mysterious character. His first attempt to devour Mowgli was a casual means to eat and survive, but over time, his goal to eat the man-cub was mainly driven out of spite, evidenced by one of his speaking lines "Just you wait 'till I get you in my coils!". Furthermore, he is perfectly willing to murder those who get in the way of his meals, as seen when he sadistically tormented, and nearly murdered, Bagheera.
Though calculating, dangerous and devious, Kaa is not without his faults, as he can be fearful, clumsy, and easily preoccupied from his primary objective: to murder and devour Mowgli. This results in his interactions with the man-cub to often end in embarrassment to some degree.
In the sequel, it's revealed that Kaa doesn't just want to eat Mowgli specifcally, but bascially all humans in general (which is understandable as a lot of constrictors might feed on humans for survival), as shown when he attempts to eat Shanti after brainwashing her.
Kaa appears as a young python in the animated series Jungle Cubs. In this series, it shows that Kaa was originally friends with Baloo, Bagheera, Hathi, Louie, and even Shere Khan. As a young snake, he has yet to master hypnosis, usually failing or hypnotizing the wrong creature by mistake. Kaa is more of the cowardly friend in the group, often being doubtful and questionable on tagging along with Baloo and their friends on many adventures.
The Jungle Book (1967)
Kaa first appeared on a large branch where Mowgli and Bagheera are resting on for the night. Upon spotting Mowgli, Kaa attempts to hypnotize him into getting closer to his coils. However, Bagheera manages to brush this (and him) off, resulting in an annoyed Kaa hypnotizing Bagheera, which bought Mowgli enough time to free himself and push the snake off of the tree in a humiliating way. Kaa angrily swears to get Mowgli next time.
Kaa eventually gets his second chance to hypnotize Mowgli again, but this attempt was foiled, ironically by Shere Khan, who came looking for the boy. Shere Khan's interference allowed Mowgli to escape from Kaa's coils, and when Khan leaves without noticing, Mowgli pushes Kaa out from the tree again and escapes. Realizing now that Mowgli is not worth the trouble, Kaa finally gives up and slithers away.
The Jungle Book 2
Kaa plays a smaller role in the 2003 sequel, though his role is as same in the original film. In the sequel, he first appears when Mowgli meets up with Baloo near the beginning of the film. Like before, Kaa attempts to eat Mowgli, but faces many accidents and injuries as he pursues them wanting to eat Mowgli. Mowgli and Baloo remain unaware of Kaa's presence, and the two walk away unharmed.
Having enough of this, Kaa decides to focus his attention towards a little girl named Shanti. He manages to corner and hypnotize the young girl. Before he can eat her, Shanti is saved by Ranjan, who pulls Shanti out of the way, beats up Kaa with a large stick which resulted in him swallowing down a large rock which Shanti was standing in and sends him sliding down a cliff to a coconut tree after Ranjan scares him.
Eventually, Kaa gets confronted by Shere Khan, who demands to know the location of Mowgli. But truthfully, Kaa has no idea where Mowgli is, but Shere Khan will not believe him and continues to threaten the snake. To save his skin, Kaa fearfully lies to the tiger that Mowgli's at the local swamp, allowing himself to flee. He is not seen again for the rest of the film, but is mentioned by Shere Khan when he arrives at the swamp where Mowgli is nowhere to be seen and angrily splashes the water after realizing that Kaa lied to him.
House of Mouse
Kaa appears several times in the television show, being threatened by Shere Khan and trying to eat Mowgli. He appears as one of the many villains in the 2002 TV film Mickey's House of Villains, even getting a solo part in the song "It's Our House Now". When Jafar is defeated, he flees out of the House with the rest of the villains.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
A snake closely resembling Kaa appears at the end of the film, though the film takes place in 1947 before The Jungle Book was released for about twenty years after.
Kaa appears as an antagonist in The Jungle Book Groove Party.
Kaa appears as an add-on accessory to a costume weapon in Disney Universe.
Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book
A far more menacing incarnation of the character appeared as a supporting antagonist (later anti-hero) in the 1994 live action film. In this film, Kaa serves King Louie and the Bandar Log, killing any intruders to the city when the orangutan clapped his hands nine times to summon him. Kaa first appeared when he attacked Mowgli inside Monkey City by tackling him into the moat and attempted to drown him, but Mowgli wounded him with a bejeweled dagger, the snake is then seen fleeing in a cloud of his blood.
By the time Mowgli returns to the city with the evil British captain William Boone and Kitty, Kaa has fully healed from their prior confrontation. After defeating Boone, King Louie summons Kaa, who stalks Boone while letting Mowgli and Kitty escape. Boone starts gathering as much treasure as he can, but suddenly notices that the monkeys have gone silent; Kaa suddenly appears and scares Boone into the moat, where the heavy load of treasure he is carrying weighs him straight to the bottom in a cloud of his own blood. Desperately trying to struggle free, Boone sees the skeletal remains of Kaa's past victims, just seconds before the snake finally kills the evil captain for good.
In the 2016 live action remake of the 1967 animated film, Kaa, voiced by Scarlett Johansson, appears as the supporting antagonist. In this incarnation, Kaa is female and far more menacing and intelligent than her original cartoon counterpart.
Kaa also appeared in the season 7 episode "Batman Forever 21" of the adult animated comedy series Robot Chicken, in the sketch "The Baloo Identity", which comically combined The Jungle Book, TaleSpin, and The Bourne Identity. He tries to eat Mowgli before being killed by Baloo.
In Disneyland, Kaa appears in Mickey and the Magical Map and Fantasmic!.
In Walt Disney World, Kaa appears in Celebrate the Magic.
At Tokyo Disney, he is part of the Jubilation parade.
At Disneyland Paris, he appears in Disney Dreams!.
In Hong Kong Disneyland, he appears in Flights of Fantasy and Villains Night Out!.
The name "Kaa" means "possession" in Hindi.
He is ranked #28 in the Top 30 Disney Villains.
In the original Jungle Book, Kaa is originally a protagonist and one of the friends of Mowgli, serving as a mentor training him how to fight. However, this is changed in the Disney version, in a belief that he will gain less popularity since snakes in those times when the movie was released were not accepted as protagonists since snakes are highly associated with The Devil in mythology and popular trope of villain.
However, in Jungle Cubs, the TV series that appeared as a prequel to the original film has portrayed Kaa as based from his original counterpart and is seen to be originally friends with Baloo, Bagheera, Hathi, Louie, and, at times, even Shere Khan.
Kaa's hypnotic gaze is present in the book, though he uses it to hypnotize the Bander-Log tribe to rescue Mowgli (who, incidentally, was immune to Kaa's hypnosis) and uses a dance instead of his eyes.
In The "Jungle Cubs: Born to Be Wild" DVD, there is a scene, where Kaa tries to eat Mowgli, before Baloo throws Kaa into a big hole. The fighting scene between Kaa and Baloo in the 2016 adaptation, may have been inspired from the scene from Jungle Cubs.
Kaa seems to have gained a large number of fans following over the years, especially amongst the erotic hypnosis and vorephile communities, many of whom considered Kaa as an introduction to such fetishes.
Jim Cumming's current voice for Kaa in The Jungle Book 2 has been criticized by fans and critics due to it sound too similar to his current voice of Winnie the Pooh who was also originally voiced by Sterling Holloway.