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Snakes in Movies
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Must Die!
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Snakes in Movies
The Jungle Book (1994)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
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This is a Disney live action version of Rudyard Kipling's classic story book. This movie uses some of the characters but doesn't really attempt to re-tell the stories. Since live animals are used, they don't talk in this movie, which they do in other Jungle Book movies, which makes this movie a lot different. The movie also adds a Tarzan and Jane romantic plot that wasn't in the books or in Disney's 1967 animated film of the books. It also leaves out one of the major characters, Kaa the snake. That's understandable, since Kaa was just one of many stories and characters in the book. It would also be futile to try to train a real snake to portray Kaa. Fortunately, the movie does include the giant snake that guards the treasure in the monkey temple, however they don't use a real snake. The snake charmer we see in the movie doesn't even have a real snake. When he plays his flute, we see a rope rise from his basket until it gets so high that people climb up the rope.

The main character is Mowgli, an orphan boy who was raised by wild animals. After growing to adulthood he sees Kitty, a girl he knew before he was orphaned at the age of five. He becomes attracted to her, not knowing that she's engaged to a soldier under her father's command, and follows her to her father's huge estate. Kitty tries to civilize Mowgli, teaching him to read and to dance, but her fiance's jealousy forces Mowgli back into the jungle.

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The first snake scene

One day a monkey steals Mowgli's bracelet. It's the one Kitty gave him when they were both five years old so he's determined to get it back. Mowgli chases the monkey into Hanuman, a lost city hidden in the jungle that is full of monkeys. After Mowgli falls into a huge chamber filled with treasure, the monkeys watching him from above start to panic. They know what's coming. We see something big moving under a pile of jewels and treasure, and soon we see a giant snake crawling on the floor. The snake rears up face to face with Mowgli then forces him into some water below. They fight in the water until Mowgli attacks the snake with a knife. We see blood around the snake, then Mowgli gets out and leaves the temple. We don't know if the snake was wounded or killed until much later in the movie when we return to the treasure chamber and see the snake again.

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The second snake scene

Greedy British soldiers kidnap Kitty and use her to force Mowgli to take them to the monkey temple treasure. The leader of the soldiers and Kitty's ex-fiance, Boone, falls into the treasure room where he fills his backpack with treasure and puts it on his back. Then we see a snake crawling through the treasure again. It rears up in Boone's face and forces him into the water. Boone struggles to get his heavy pack off to fight the snake but he fails, doomed by his own greed. Disney didn't show violence in those days so we don't see Boone die, but we do see air bubbles flow from his mouth underwater and then we see bubbles coming out of the water but he doesn't come up, so his death is implied.

The body of the giant treasure-guarding snake is painted to look like an Anaconda, a South American species, instead of the cobra the book describes. The snake's body is a prop snake puppet, and so is the snake when we see it underwater. When we see the snake's head and fangs, it's made with CGI animation. According to IMDB, the snake is made of CGI, animatronics and puppetry. It's hard to tell what part of the snake is animatronic. It's probably when we see the snake raise up and go after Mowgli, though it hardly moves at all and could easily be another prop snake.

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As a bonus, the monkey temple also includes a large statue of a five-headed cobra which is part of the temple's lighting system. When Boone lights the oil in a trough, flames spread throughout the temple to illuminate it, and flames also shoot out of the five cobra mouths to make it a giant cobra lamp. I would love to have one of those in my monkey temple.