Kipling is a jingo imperialist, he is morally insensitive and aesthetically disgusting. It is better to start by admitting that, and then to try to find out why it is that he survives while the refined people who have sniggered at him seem to wear so badly... Although he had no direct connexion with any political party, Kipling was a Conservative, a thing that does not exist nowadays. Those who now call themselves Conservatives are either Liberals, Fascists or the accomplices of Fascists. He identified himself with the ruling power and not with the opposition. In a gifted writer this seems to us strange and even disgusting, but it did have the advantage of giving Kipling a certain grip on reality. The ruling power is always faced with the question, ‘In such and such circumstances, what would you do?’, whereas the opposition is not obliged to take responsibility or make any real decisions... Kipling sold out to the British governing class, not financially but emotionally. This warped his political judgement, for the British ruling class were not what he imagined, and it led him into abysses of folly and snobbery, but he gained a corresponding advantage from having at least tried to imagine what action and responsibility are like.
Now this is the Law of the Jungle—as old and as true as the sky;And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back—For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
In-between the 1967 and 2016 versions came the 1994 live-action version, a 1998 live-action prequel, and a 2003 animated sequel. These were forgettable and have largely been forgotten. The 1994 version has certain charms of its own as a kind of British Imperial version of Indiana Jones completely divorced from the actual books. It came from the same episode of modestly entertaining live-action period pieces by Disney, including The Three Musketeers (1993), The Rocketeer (1991), and Newsies (1992).
This version of The Jungle Book is virtually in name only, owing far more to Tarzan and bearing no resemblance to Kipling's work except for a few set-pieces. Lena Headey plays the Jane to Jason Scott Lee's fully-adult Mowgli, who herself becomes a pawn in rogue British officer Cary Elwes' plot to have Mowgli lead him to the treasure chamber of the lost city of monkeys. Sam Neil plays her father and Elwes' commanding officer, at the height of his early 1990's, post-Jurassic Park coolness. Bagheera, Baloo, the wolf pack, and Shere Kahn are all represented, as is King Louis (yes, named for the King of France, in one of the few attempts at humour that the film actually lands). To its credit, this "Poor Man's Indiana Jones" echoes the 1942 version by opting not to anthropomorphize or voice over the animals. It is somewhat shocking that this film owes so much to Tarzan, and that entire scenes (like using a magic lantern to teach Mowgli English) were lifted practically verbatim into Disney's 1999 animated Tarzan film.
Between 1967 and 1971, Soviet studio Soyuzmultfilm released their own 5-episode animated adaptation called The Adventures of Mowgli. As in many such cases, a Soviet animated version provides an interesting contrast with the more familiar Disney version. Soyuzmultfilm was itself created in 1936 with the commission to develop the "Disney-style" animated film in Russia. Its 1957 adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen is perhaps the finest Soviet animated film from the period.
Soyuzmultfilm always provides an interesting contrast with Disney. There is always a temptation among the public to downplay the creative accomplishments of Disney, but this is warrantless. One needs only look at Fantasia or The Three Caballeros or even Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first feature-length cel-animated film ever made. Nevertheless, Disney did have a distinctive style of art and storytelling that contrasts greatly with the more stylized forms of Soviet animation. The Adventures of Mowgli bears more resemblance to the pop-art modern style of UPA or even Hanna-Barbera than the style of a Walt Disney or a Chuck Jones. It also retains much more of the original story, with episodes pulled from both Jungle Books, including rarely-filmed incidents like the war between the wolves and dholes. It is probably the most faithful and stylish adaptation of the Mowgli stories.
Though most famous for his Looney Tunes classics, Chuck Jones struck out on his own in the 1970's and produced three adaptations of stories from The Jungle Book. These made-for-TV adaptations are Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (1975), The White Seal (1975), and Mowgli's Brothers (1976). Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is likely the most adapted story from The Jungle Book after those of Mowgli. A decade prior to Chuck Jones' film was another by Soyuzmultfilm (again), and a live-action Soviet-Indian production was also released in 1975. Once again, these provide an interesting contrast in American and Soviet, traditional and pop-art modern animation styles.
Though lacking the sheer volume of films featuring Tarzan, Mowgli, Kipling, and The Jungle Book rarely stray far from theatres... Or streaming. The most recent version is 2018's Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle produced and distributed by Netflix. Sadly the all-star cast, including Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Kahn, do little to offset the uncanny valley of the animals. CGI has allowed the integration of live-action human and animated animal actors in ways that were impossible in 1942 or 1994, but like all CGI it needs to be done well to be watchable at all.