Kaa is the secondary antagonist in The Jungle Book and its sequel. He is a powerful snake, but is ironically more cowardly and sneaky than his physical strength might indicate. His key motivation is survival... like all animal predators. This requires two things: Food and staying on the good side of those more powerful than he is, namely, tiger Shere Khan. He does possess a certain capacity for mesmerizing eye contact. In the past he has hypnotized man-cub, Mowgli, once while hypnotizing Bagheera as well, and again while seductively singing his slithery entreaty, "Trust in me."
A reviewer once wrote about Kaa, "Not the most fear-inspiring villain, he definitely makes an impression as the cunning type... Kaa is a likable villain, namely because his own pride gets in the way of him actually doing anything truly evil."
He embodies the Sin of Gluttony for his crave for food, and possibly Pride for his overconfidence. He spotted #28 in The Top 30 Disney Villains (One better than Governor Ratcliffe, but one under Randall Boggs).
Character and PersonalityEdit
In The Jungle Book, Kaa is markedly different from his original counterpart. Rather than being a wise mentor and good friend to Mowgli and his companions, he is a villainous, selfish, and idiotic character who twice tries to trap Mowgli in his coils in order to devour him throughout the film. He does this through the use of hypnotic eyes as opposed to the original version, in which he uses a serpentine dance to control his prey. His attempts to eat Mowgli always end in a comical failure. He is also quite cowardly, attempting to curry favor with Shere Khan whenever he is around. While his actions appear evil, he performs no truly heinous crimes as he is just a predator who just wants to eat, and still has his benevolence and cowardice that he had since childhood, along with his obvious naivety. As revealed in one of the episodes of Jungle Cubs, Kaa is at his most benevolent and less threatening after he has already eaten when as it appears that he is about to devour a bird, he only greets it with a friendly tone and lets it go. This would be short-lifted of course, as after he digests his food, he becomes his sneaky self again. Thankfully, if what he eats is as big as a wild boar, it would take a whole year of digestion before he'll be his old self once more.Shere Khan, whose cause for aggression is wrath and intolerance. This contrast is most acutely shown in a scene in the first movie, where Kaa berates (to himself) Shere Khan's mock gentlemanly manner, comparing what he's doing to picking on the child, before he remembers that he aims to consume Mowgli himself.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Unlike most pythons, Kaa doesn't constrict his prey until they die of suffocation, but utilizes his hypnotism.
A hypnotic induction with Kaa usually results in the prey being devoured. Mowgli, Bagheera, and Shanti are some of the only exceptions to this as they all have escaped his coils. Kaa will gain eye contact with the victim after weakening his / her free will by seductively speaking. Once he gains eye contact, he uses his hypnotic eyes to seize their will. His yellow eyes and pupils shrink and are replaced with a yellow spiral of color. This is then followed by a green spiral and a blue spiral, then yellow once again. The speed of the spirals depends on how fast the victim is hypnotized. If the victim should maintain eye contact with Kaa, his / her will glaze over, followed by the shrinking of the pupils. A spiral will then appear followed by another. If the victim is hypnotized at a fast speed, the spirals may come slowly, one at a time. If they've been hypnotized before or Kaa is using faster spirals, the victim's eyes could spiral faster. The speed of the spirals also depends on how fast the victim will fall into a trance. With the victim's eyes spiraling, Kaa maintains complete control over the mind and coaxes him/her into a trance. While this happens, Kaa brings his tail and wraps up the victim. The coils usually make the victim feel warm and comfortable, resulting in the victim falling deeper into a trance. If Kaa should choose so, as he did with the Mowgli encounter, he will tighten his coils around the victim's neck, making his / her eyes shoot open. Because of the pain, the victim's eyes will usually not spiral but have the backs of their eyes a solid color. Kaa will then come back into their field of vision and re-hypnotize them, making their eyes spiral again. The victim will fall into a euphoria and then a trance. With this, Kaa will slide the victim into his stomach and have another meal for himself. The victim will not wake up due to his / her still being in a trance while being digested.
The Jungle BookEdit
Kaa appears in the beginning of the film. When Mowgli and Bagheera are resting up in a tree, Kaa swoops down and notices the man cub. He gently talks to him. Mowgli doesn't like him and wants him to go away. Bagheera mistakenly hears this and tells Mowgli to go to sleep. Kaa sees this opportunity to hypnotize and devour the man cub. He starts telling Mowgli to go to sleep, turning his eyes into bright, swirling colors. Mowgli foolishly stares back in defiance and Mowgli's eyes soon reflect the same colors as Kaa's. Mowgli's eyes droop with sleepiness. Kaa also begins gently swaying his head to confuse mowgli further. Soon Kaa's big and long tail comes around behind Mowgli and starts wrapping it around the boys skinny frame. Soon his whole body is wrapped in the coils. Meanwhile, mowgli is having a mental battle, struggling between the temptation of sleep and the the need to keep looking into kaas eyes. Deep in his hypnosis addled mind he realizes he needs to alert his chaperone. He manages to sleepily stammer out bagheera before kaa abruptly tightens his coils around mowglis neck to silence him. Luckily Bagheera hears Mowgli croak his name and slaps Kaa in the head ending his trance. He appears later on in the film as well. When Mowgli runs away from Bagheera, who is trying to return the boy to his own kind, Kaa meets up with Mowgli, who sitting in a tree. Kaa deceives Mowgli into trusting him and seizes this opportunity to quickly put the Man-cub back under his spell. Seductively singing "Trust in Me", he makes Mowgli relax and sleepwalk on his body, before slipping the boy back into his coils. This attempt to eat Mowgli is also foiled, ironically by Shere Khan, who is not convinced by Kaa's bluff even after searching Kaa's coils and not feeling Mowgli inside; the distraction caused by Khan allowed Mowgli to regain consciousness and escape.
He especially appears in Jungle Cubs, this time as a friend of the other animals when they were young. Although he still uses hypnosis on occasion, his skills at this age are far less efficient than when used as an adult, with him failing to hypnotize a sleeping Mowgli and only hypnotizing by accident. He was also seen having far a less malevolent personality as a cub than as adult, once going to great lengths to save Baloo after he believes that he has endangered his friend and even befriending a young mongoose (which is considered an enemy to snakes) named Mungo, but he still has his sneaky ways in which he often attempts to (unsucessfully) hypnotize the other cub, partly threatening on one occasion.
The Jungle Book 2Edit
Kaa appears in The Jungle Book 2. He tries to hypnotize Mowgli's new friend Shanti, but is thwarted by Mowgli's new brother Ranjan. After that Kaa is faced by Shere Khan, who is now hunting Mowgli in revenge. Shere Khan asks Kaa where the man-cub and Kaa frightenedly replies that he does not know where he is. Not wanting to anger Shere Khan, Kaa quickly bluffs by saying that Mowgli is at the swamp. Kaa is not seen through the rest of the film.
Mickey Mouse Club Edit
Kaa makes cameo appears as one of those Disney characters in Mickey Mouse Club.
Other Media AppearancesEdit
The Magic Mirror version of Disney's Villains appeared on the 1982 Disney's Halloween Treat and Disney's Greatest Villains.
He was also seen in the prologue to the series on the Disney Video version, where he once again puts Mowgli back under his spell before being thwarted by Baloo. His voice was done by Jim Cummings, who reprised this role in Jungle Cubs and The Jungle Book 2. Kaa appeared briefly in Shere Khan and in the feature film where he sang "Trust in Me" again during the main villain musical number. He is also a playable character and a mini-boss in Monkey City.
Kaa has also earned himself a small following among hypno-and-snake-fetishists. There are several role-playing websites one can visit that features Kaa (or a similar character of the role-player's imagination) hypnotizing and coiling helpless victims.
Kaa appears in Basil Of Baker Street as one of the citizens. He also made a cameo appearance in the straight-to-video Disney animated movie House of Villains, singing "It's Our House Now" with the other villains.
- Kaa is the last Disney Villain to sing his own song until Ratigan in 1986.
- Jim Cummings' performance of Kaa is questionable since it has some traces of Winnie-the-Pooh in it (even when he giggles)
- In the Jungle Book film, it appears Shere Khan is the only one invulnerable to Kaa's hypnotic powers.
- Kaa (2016) is very similar in appearance to Air Conditioner from The Brave Little Toaster (1987).