|This is a beautiful technicolor movie with Oscar-nominated cinematography, art direction, music, and special effects, with some elaborate sets and lots of shots of wild animals. It must have been exciting at that time to see them all in full color. The story is loosely based on Rudyards Kipling's classic book. In the beginning, we see a story teller introduce the animals of the jungle - jackals, hyenas, wolves, panther, leopard, bear, croc, tiger, etc. When he introduces Kaa the rock snake, we see film of a live Boa Constrictor.
He continues, telling the story of Mowgli, a boy who wandered away from home as a toddler to be raised by wolves in the jungle, and who can communicate with the animals. His father was killed by a tiger. After he's grown and comes to live in the village among humans, he vows to kill the tiger. He meets Mahala, a young girl, and takes her one night to a lost city. When she falls into the king's treasure pit, Mowgli jumps in after her. In the treasure chamber she is threatened by a large old talking cobra who guards the treasure. Mowgli catches him and finds that he has no more venom. (At first we see a real cobra, briefly, then we see a fake one.)The cobra is ashamed and asks Mowgli to kill him. Mahala takes only one gold coin when they leave after the cobra convinced them that taking any treasure would bring them death.
Mowgli buys a "tooth" or a knife and sets out to find and kill the tiger. He wakes Kaa, a giant sleeping python, and convinces Kaa to take him to the place where he can find the tiger. Mowgli grabs on and Kaa swims up a river with him until they reach a waterfall pool where Mowgli kills the tiger.
The gold coin taken by Mahala was found by her mean and greedy father. He tries to torture Mowgli to find the location of the treasure, but fails. Finally he and two other men follow Mowgli to the lost city. Mowgli knows they are following him and hopes the guardian cobra's words will become true and the three men will die after they steal some treasure. As one of the men climbs down a rope into the treasure pit, another man above shoots the cobra with his rifle. Soon the three men fight and kill each other over the treasure and, true to the cobra's prediction, they all die, with the last man being eaten by a crocodile.
Most of the snakes we see are fakes but they look good enough for a fantasy tale like this, and they even have flickering tongues to make them more lifelike.