Baloo
(sometimes goes by 'Baloo Bear'

By Gidget

  

Nicknames:
Ace of the Base (himself)
Baloozy-woozie, Baby Bear (Kitten Kaboodle)
Big Guy (Ace London)
Flyboy, My One-and-Only Pilot (Rebecca)
Fuzzy, Cuz (Louie)
Iron Paws (Bagheera -- The Jungle Book)
Papa Bear (Kit)


Species:
Bear (male)

Age: Mid-30's 

Appearance: Unkempt and sloppy, although he does clean up well when he wants to.  He looks pretty sharp in a tuxedo (My Fair Baloo and For Whom the Bell Klangs, Bringing Down Babyface). 
Cody:  Well, that’s a matter of opinion. ;-)

Eyes: Brown or black (seen up close in A Baloo Switcheroo and From Here to Machinery) Here to Machinery)

Hair:  Yep --- all over (sort of a dark gray)
Cody: (as Rebecca)  *sighs heavily* And sometimes, I just wish he’d wax himself.  He never bathes and all that fur absorbs odors.
 
Body Type:  Tall and overweight, although not obese (take a look at Howard Huge in Bearly Alive!).  He has short legs and can't see his own feet.

Clothing: Yellow flight shirt; (sometimes tan, in the comics) sleeves are rolled up to the elbows; also a red pilot's cap with a dark blue visor.  Small goldish stud on the sides.
Gidget: Kit?  (ducks flying bricks)
Cody:  LOL!!  Let’s face it, that boy’s gonna be trouble when he gets interested in girls.

 

Personality:   Easygoing, lazy, very irresponsible, but will go the entire nine yards to correct a mistake.  Careless, he often loses things, whether it's cargo, his pilot's license (twice -- I Only Have Ice For You and A Wing and a Bear) or his business, the former Baloo's Air Service.  A self-described 'big picture kind of guy', Baloo never pays attention to details, like paying his bills on time or making sure the cargo is delivered on schedule.  He is terrible with money, and spends it as soon as he makes it.  Or else has to pay a large fine for destroying property, which is often (The Time Bandit, Waiders of the Wost Tweasure, Bringing Down Babyface).  It’s the subject of most of his and Becky’s arguments. 

Usually his goofs come from harebrained attempts to get out of work.  When Baloo makes a boo-boo, it's a big one.
Examples:
-fakes a Martian invasion to keep Rebecca from finding out that he and Kit are camping on Lake Flaccid.  This accidentally catches the attention of Colonel Grogg, a trigger-happy fanatic.
-breaks into Rebecca's apartment and changes all her calendars to push up pay day, which somehow puts her in front of a firing squad (The Time Bandit).

Sometimes he's egotistical about his abilities as a pilot:
Best examples: P&L, Bad Reflection, From Here to Machinery (when he's deflated after his loss) and briefly in A Wing and a Bear:
Despite his tendency to be insensitive, his feelings are also easily bruised.  One unkind word and Baloo goes into a self-pitying funk (Bad Reflection, From Here to Machinery).  It takes a pep talk from Kit or Rebecca to keep him from descending into full-blown depression. 

For example, Kit tries to bolster his spirits when he worries about passing his flying test to renew his license:
"You're the best pilot in Cape Suzette."  
"Naw..." Baloo blushes.
"In the country!"
Baloo makes an 'Aw, shucks!' gesture. "No way!"
"In the world!"
Baloo, now completely bolstered, makes a small suggestion: "Uh... you left out 'universe'."
(A Wing and a Bear)
(Thanks, jb!)


In A Wing and a Bear, Rebecca, goes a step further and organizes a 'Pepper Popper Party' at Louie's so all Baloo's friends can remind him of all the times he proves himself to be a great pilot. It's sort of like 'This is Your Life'.
Gidget:  And how did they get to Louie's Place if Baloo's license is revoked?  Maybe Rebecca flew them over?  *shudder*  Boy, keeping this bear from jumping off a building is a lot of work.  ;-) 

Baloo is also very competitive.  He's completely confident of his aviation skills and participates in all the local air races (A Baloo Switcheroo, Feminine Air, The Sound and the Furry, Waiders of the Wost Tweasure, to name a few).  His ego is bad enough, but stand back when Ace London enters the fray.  Battle of the Super Egos! (Mach One for the Gipper).


Like most men of the time, Baloo tends to define himself by his job.  He hates work, but loves to fly.
(Kit:  "Anyone can fly!  The plane does all the work!") and cannot imagine his life as anything but a pilot.   That's why certain episodes (The Old Man and the Sea Duck, A Wing and a Bear,) are so significant to defining his character.  "Flyin' is what life's all about!" is his philosophy.

Voice: Ed Gilbert


Comments by Others:

Rebecca:  "You're always helping Louie!  Why not me?"
Baloo: "Because Louie asks nicely. He gives me lots of what you give me none of. --- respect!"
Rebecca: "I give you all the respect due a guy who's always partying, always broke, and is never gonna amount to anything!"
(The Balooest of Bluebloods)

Austin Featheridge, attorney-at-law:  "I am looking for a certain gentleman."
Rebecca (glancing at Baloo, still in drag): "Have you ever come to the wrong place!"
(The Balooest of Bluebloods)

"I'm glad to see you're as good a pilot as that lazy bum.  Maybe a little competition will shake him up a bit!"
(Rebecca to 'Tan-Margaret' in Feminine Air)


"Anyone can look good in a tuxedo.  Even you." 
(Rebecca in Gruel and Unusual Punishment)

“Ah, Papa Bear. You’ve forgotten more than most pilots ever learn.”
(Kit’s comment to Baloo as they fly through Mirkel Pass in The Old Man and the Sea Duck)

"You are the most idiotic, imbecilic...!"
"You left out 'moronic'."
"... moronic driver in the world!" 
(Drivers Ed teacher Ralph “Love to Flunk ‘em” Throgmorton berates Baloo for crashing his car into a fire hydrant in On a Wing and a Bear)

Baloo defends Kit from an angry pilot at Louie's:
"Hey, cut the kid some slack, Jack!"
"Yeah, listen to the fat lady."
"Lady!"
"Whatever."
(Kit's first encounter with Baloo in drag in Plunder & Lightning)

Baloo preens. ”Guess I’m just her type.”
”Yeah, big, dumb and hairy.”
(Baloo and Louie argue over Princess Lotta in The Road to Macadamia)

"You're disruptive, lazy and a nincompoop!" 
(Principal Pomeroy in Sheepskin Deep)

"Here, Baloo.  I'll be the head... And, you can just be yourself."
(Baloo and Plane Jane prepare to share a horse costume in Waiders of the Wost Tweasure)

(In the tunnels, searching for the ruby)
"That guy's got rocks in his head --- or he will if he doesn't stop running."
(Plane Jane watches Baloo try to outrun a big boulder in Waiders of the Wost Tweasure)


Best Episodes:
(as Baloo is in every episode, these are the ones in which he shines)

The Balooest of Bluebloods

(Watch him come unglued in a haunted house!)
Cody:  Do Becky and Wildcat bring some Krazy Glue to put him back together?

Bearly Alive

(Believing that he has a short time to live, Baloo re-examines his life and decides to fly through the Bearmuda Trapazoid)

Bygones

(Baloo meets his boyhood idol, Rick Sky)

Feminine Air

(In trying to teach a chauvinistic pilot a lesson, Baloo ends up learning a thing or two himself.  And gets a proposal!)

From Here to Machinery
(Baloo fights to protect his livelihood, as well as those of fellow pilots.)

A Fuel Dollars More
(Baloo's competitive streak once again rears its ugly head)

My Fair Baloo
(You just can’t take this bear anywhere…)

The Old Man and the Sea Duck
(Shows his sentimental side --- a companion piece to Bygones)

Plunder and Lightning
(The Ace of the Base)

Save the Tiger

(Baloo is uncharacteristically greedy and gets away with extortion!)

A Star is Torn
(Baloo acts more goofy than usual when he’s smitten!  --- also in The Road to Macadamia and For Whom the Bell Klangs)
 
Time Waits for No Bear

(Watch Baloo try to be in two places at once!)

War of the Weirds

(B&B in a classic duel of wits)


Worst Episodes:
Bullethead Baloo, Flight of the Snow Duck, Flying Dupes, Jumping the Guns


Best Lines:

“That guy’s about as pleasant as a pair of sand paper underpants.”

(Baloo’s comment about Seymour in All’s Whale, That Ends Whale)

"I've heard of going through a second childhood --- but not somebody else's!"
(when trapped in Kit's body in A Baloo Switcheroo)

"What's with you, buddy?  Never seen a pair of bongos before?”

(Baloo (in drag) can't understand why he's being stared at in The Balooest of Bluebloods)

"What about Hogzilla here?"
(The Bigger They Are, the Louder They Oink)

"He's loud, obnoxious, ugly and... (sniffs)... smelly."
"Well, so are you!  Besides, it's my plane!"
(Baloo tries to convince Rebecca to give up the pig in The Bigger They Are, the Louder They Oink)

"It's just that... I've been a wienie."
(apologizes to Dunder (while in a hot dog costume) in The Golden Sprocket Of Friendship)

Baloo: "So swave. So de-boner. (groaning as he tries to button the vest) So... so..."
Kit: "FAT!"
Baloo (grunting): "N-not...fat... just well... upholstered."
(Gruel and Unusual Punishment)

"Please, sir... can I have some more?"
(Baloo asks for more gruel Gruel and Unusual Punishment)

"The only reason Spigot'll find anything is he's closer to the ground!!"
(One of Baloo's repertoir of 'short' jokes in The Idol Rich)

"I ordered a three-bean salad an' I only got two!  Just waitin' for the other bean to show up."
(The Idol Rich)

"Never trust a bubble you don't blow yourself."
(to Kit, in The Idol Rich)

"It's not the heat, it's the stupidity."
(commenting to Kit about Rebecca learning to fly using a manual in I Only Have Ice For You)

"It's the wax in her ears, it's gotta be the wax!"
(Baloo's theory about why Rebecca isn't listening to him in I Only Have Ice For You)

"Too bad these don't come with brains..."
(Baloo's comment about Covington's discarded toupee in Mollycoddled)

"This is one bear without the bare necessities!" 
(On a Wing and a Bear)

“We’re closed, lady. Come back when the sun’s warm, like June. Bye-bye.”

(Baloo’s introductory remark, with a wink of an eye, to Rebecca, in Plunder and Lightning)|

"He's ugly, obnoxious, and looks like the losin' end of a pillow fight."-
(Baloo insulting Ignatz the parrot in Polly Wants A Treasure)

"Can you conjugate a verb?"
"That is none of your business!"
(Baloo, defending his private life in Sheepskin Deep)

The B&B love-hate retorts here are classic:
Jail scene: "Brilliant deduction! You an' Spiggy went ta th' same school?!!"
Plus it allows Baloo to be the "brains" of the operation here -- especially when he's proven right about Jack while Becky's caught up in the romanticism of "the Mission".
(A Spy In the Ointment
Thanks, jb! 

"I've never lost my cargo before.  Late, yeah, but always with my cargo!"
(Baloo is genuinely remorseful that he cost H4H $10,000 in The Time Bandit)

"Becky, that guy's about as shifty as a ten-speed clutch."
(Baloo has a bad feeling about Weazel in Vowel Play)

"Oh no! Gone with the wind, again!"
(Baloo (as his shirt flies out the window of the Duck in Vowel Play)
Cody:  Why the moron had the windows down in the first place, we’ll never know.

 

"You’re making me laugh.” Then Plane Jane squawks in terror, seeing danger ahead.
"That’s a laugh?"
(Baloo in Waiders of the Wost Tweasure)

"We’re gonna crash!" shouts Jane.
"Well, maybe we shoulda taken your airplane!"
(Baloo has second thoughts in Waiders of the Wost Tweasure)

"The nerve of that gal… spendin’ her money before it’s hatched!"
(Baloo is shocked by Rebecca's spending habits in Your Baloo's in the Mail)

Kit: “Baloo, she’s never going to trust you again!”
Baloo: “I know how to get her ta trust me  -- we’ll steal her plane!"

"Moose season – gotta hurry if we want to catch us chocolate one.  Bye!” (Baloo’s lame attempt to deflect Rebecca’s questions)

Then he decides to tell Becky the ‘truth’: “It’s a letter to Santa… I thought if we promised to be real good this year, he’d cough up a hundred grand for us too!”
(Your Baloo's in the Mail)


Relationships


Rebecca Cunningham
Baloo and Rebecca have a sort of love-hate thing going.  They have extremely different ideas on how to handle money and constantly lock horns on how to spend it.   He feels like an indentured servant --- he’d quit H4H in a Starrywood minute if he didn’t have to leave his beloved Sea Duck behind.   His easygoing attitude toward work and punctuality drives her insane.  Goes to show you that you can’t be a person’s friend and their boss. 


Kit Cloudkicker
What can I say?  Theirs is a loving father-son relationship, or as close to it as an orphaned ex-pirate and a genial bachelor slob is likely to get.   Next to Louie, Kit is probably Baloo’s best buddy.  Although they share a love of aviation and adventure and open skies, they often argue about authority.  Kit is used to being his own boss, and as much as he loves Baloo, resents the idea of the adult bear trying to tell him what to do.  Baloo is inexperienced as a parent, and tends to be either too permissive (letting Kit cloudsurf, no matter how careful  the kid is) or suddenly dropping the ‘best buddy’ role and trying to be  ‘Papa Bear’.  He means well, but doesn’t always get that Kit resents this attitude the way Baloo balks against working for Rebecca.

Molly Cunningham
If Molly were Baloo’s daughter, she would definitely be a Daddy’s girl.  He plays with her, carries her on his shoulders on long walks and is definitely the type to buy her ice cream when he’s not broke.   She knows his weaknesses and isn’t above blackmailing him into letting her tag along to Louie’s with him and Kit. 
Gidget:  She’s got him wrapped around her sticky little finger.
Cody:  Ugh.  Probably threatens to withhold the insulin if he doesn’t give her exactly what she wants.

Wildcat
Worked as Baloo’s mechanic when H4H was called ‘Baloo’s Air Service’.  Probably one of the few people in the world slower than Baloo.

Louie Lamount
Baloo’s best friend and friendly rival over pretty faces.  They’ve been friends for a very long time and Louie is generally tolerant of Baloo’s inability to pay off his massive tab.  However, the businessman in him can’t ignore the money he’s losing, so he occasionally insists on money, much to Baloo’s chagrin.

Don Karnage
Baloo’s nemesis, yet not enemy enough that they seriously want to do each other in.  In Stuck on You, Karnage had several opportunities to off Baloo, but he saved him instead.  Each seems to regard the other as more of a nuisance than a real threat. 

Shere Khan
Rarely interacts with the Big Guy unless he needs a patsy to fly into dangerous regions.  After all, Khan doesn’t want anything to happen to his own planes.  When Khan makes the mistake of underestimating Baloo, it comes back to haunt him (Save the Tiger).  Khan also underestimates the pilot  in Bad Reflection (thinking he can't be upset for being used --- until a wad of cash changes his tone) and From Here to Machinery (led to believe that robot pilots could do a better job than his own pilots -- remember, he was "deceived" by Professor Torq and was not pleased.
(Thanks, jb!)


Love Life

These are the ladies who get the Big Guy's engine running! 

Broadcast Sally (The Time Bandit)
This big and stylish lady hippo has an unrequited crush on Baloo, and is sweetly
aggressive in her pursuit of him.  With her drop-dead sexy voice, she is ideal for her profession (in radio, that is!).  She’s not above blackmail or calling in favors (even keeps track of them on a wall calendar), and squeezes a date out of Baloo.

Gidget:  No, not the kind you eat.

And is she ever
strong!  On their date, she tosses him over her shoulder and carries him off for an evening of ‘fun.’ 

Gidget:  Carrying a struggling bear over your shoulder is no mean feat!
Cody:  ’Specially one who’s so well upholstered!


Katie Dodd (For Whom the Bell Klangs)
Katie is a beautiful archaeologist who finds herself caught in the middle when both Baloo and Louie vie for her attention.  For someone who spends most of her time in the desert, this vixen takes very good care of herself.  With blue eyes, lustrous red hair falling softly down her back, and a figure that would give Kitten Kaboodle a run for her money, our Katie wouldn't be caught dead without her lipstick.  She wears khakis, gloves and a pith helmet, but she does pack a sky-blue strapless evening gown for fancy occasions.  And a pair of black-rimmed glasses for distance.

Katie prefers to keep to herself, and is hardly a social butterfly.  She travels all over the world alone and almost seems to be a misanthropist.  Her beauty is a burden, because men simply don't leave her alone.  As smitten as they are, neither Baloo nor Louie take her seriously and treat her as a prize (at first).  She's outspoken, even shrill at times, but it's hard to blame her.  She understandably resents being patronized, and unwelcome male attention just gets in the way when she's trying to find the lost city of Tenabula.  She demands her rights and isn't shy about telling people off.  People don't scare her, but a box of red-eyed beetles sure will.

Cody:  *sniffs* Don’t see what she got so worked up about.  It was just a few bugs. 


Her abrasiveness can be off-putting, but she's also brave and quick-thinking when she's in her element (eg: using her knowledge to open a gate operated by harmonics, she sings the right note).

Katie has unfortunate D.I.D. tendencies (Damsel in Distress), and that suits Baloo and Louie just fine, because it gives them just the opening they need to impress her.  When kidnapped from her hotel room, she screams a lot, but at least it makes it easy for the guys to follow.   
Gidget:  I can't stand that side of her.  Also, when she beats on Klang's chest, I do so much eye-rolling that I go temporarily blind.     

Serious and single-minded about her work, she has no time for foolishness.  However, she does warm up to the boys when they rescue her from a runaway camel, giant beetles, robed thugs and villain with a severe overbite.  However, no matter grateful she is that Baloo and Louie helped her make a significant discovery, Katie will cheerfully blow off dinner and dancing if the date falls on the same night as the chance to give a lecture on Tenabula.
  

Kitten Kaboodle (A Star is Torn)
Kitten (or 'Kiki', as she likes being called) is a spoiled, glamorous feline movie star of dubious talent.  Her hair is long, blonde and styled like Veronica Lake (with one baby-blue eye peeping from beneath a lock of hair).  She fills out her long white gown with a 'body that can stop a moose at fifty paces', and uses her physical charms and sultry voice to get what she wants.   At first she seems really interested in the star-struck pilot, getting him a job as a stuntman, taking him to fancy restaurants and flattering statements such as, "Your humor is so... humorous!" 

But she's far from a so-called dumb blonde --- every word and deed is calculated to cast her as the victim, whether she's staging accidents to boost publicity for her latest film or deliberately baiting Rebecca and making her look bad.   She has t
wo personalities, actually.  One is purringly seductive and charming (around big dumb galoots) and her real one is petty, selfish, spoiled and feel abnormally entitled to attention.  Concerned only with her own career and dwindling star status, Kitten is blithely unconcerned about other people’s safety.   She shows all the signs of being a sociopath.



Princess Lotta Lamore (The Road to Macadamia)
Lotta is a sweet-voiced vixen who wears a sort of
tiger-striped harem outfit with a few strands of black hair peeking out from the front of her turban.  The daughter of King Amuck (a rabbit), she is very sheltered and naive.
Gidget:  How else do you explain why they would so willingly let Baloo and Louie into the palace, just because they claim clairvoyance?
Cody:  Boredom. :D
Brought up to be diplomat, Lotta is much more tactful in her dealings with Hope and Crosby, er, Baloo and Louie, than say, Katie Dodd.



Special Mention

Plane Jane (Waiders of the Wost Tweasure)
Jane is a feminine version of Baloo.  She is a loud, competent pilot who likes fame and proving that she is the best.  They hunt for the royal ‘Wuby Wings’, bickering and insulting each other throughout, until they come to the realization that they have to work together.  Dressed as a harem girl at a costume ball, Baloo observes that she looks a lot better with a veil. At the end of the adventure, she bails him out of a messy fine ($10,000 for destroying the royal paperweights) by generously sacrificing her own reward money.  There’s just a hint that Baloo is starting to get interested.
”You know, Baloo… for a pushy, loudmouthed slob, you’re a pretty nice guy.”
”Aw… did anyone ever tell you your eyes sparkle when you’re bein’ insulting?”
Just as they’re leaning toward each other (presumably to kiss), Kit finally escapes his suit of armor and interrupts.
  As a 'girl-crazy buffalo' (Katie Dodd's words), Baloo seems to enjoy the chase, but hates being pursued himself.  Also, although he's overweight himself, he seems repulsed by fat female hippos in particular (Broadcast Sally and Plane Jane).

Gidget:
(as Baloo) Hey-hey, noooo fat chicks!
Cody: (as Baloo) It’d be like pitchin’ woo to a beach ball!  Not that I’ve ever tried that of course. (pushes a deflated beach ball under his bed)
 
Coolhands Luke (Feminine Air)
Creep who hates women, but for some strange reason finds ‘Tan Margaret’ captivating. 
He seems to really like a strong, masculine woman who will keep him in line.  He likes being hit—it really gets his motor running.

Rebecca Cunningham

 

Cross-dressing
One might wonder exactly why this he-bear likes to dress in women’s clothes (except for the shoes).  He has an eye for a pretty woman, but he avoids most of them like the plague.  Could it be that he’s so afraid of them that the only way to deal with it is to make fun of them? I don’t think he does it in order to ‘think’ like a woman, like Dustin Hoffman did in the 1988 movie Tootsie.   Except for Feminine Air, Baloo never learns a thing about women by dressing like one.   I think he wears more dresses than Rebecca ever did.  Although it comes in handy when a clever disguise is needed, there’s a drawback to his penchant for dressing in drag.  Like Coolhands Luke above, porcine Thembrians seem to find him very attractive --- I suppose they like their women with a little meat on them (See A Spy in the Ointment and Flying Dupes).  In Spy, Jack Case has to switch these two packages under the Grand High Marshall’s very nose (as well as his wife, Spigot and Dunder), so Baloo and Rebecca dress up as gypsy dancers as a diversion.  Rebecca was never lovelier, but guess who the gruff Thembrian falls for?  ‘Baloorella’ works the flirtation thing all the way --- from fluttering his eyelashes, shaking his derriere, and even rubbing the Grand High Marshall’s face into ‘her’ very ample bosom (complete with squeaky balloon noises)!  What a slut.  J


Work Ethic
Lazy and unenthusiastic about certain aspects of it (being on time and careless with money), but he does take pride in his talents in aviation.  "Late yeah, but always with my cargo!"  If he screws up a delivery, Baloo will go to the ends of the earth to make things right (especially if it's a big boo-boo, like losing $10,000 (Time Waits for No Bear).


Comments
Gidget:  In real life, I can’t stand people like Baloo --- thoughtless and unreliable are not endearing traits.  Baloo has many faults, and makes huge --- no --- colossal mistakes, mostly out of idiotic carelessness.  It’s frankly a miracle that Higher for Hire is still standing.  Anyone else would fire him (and frequently do, in On a Wing and a Bear).   But somehow he’s so aw-shucks lovable that Rebecca can’t quite bring herself to kill him.   Although he wreaks havoc on her life, she always forgives him.  He’s not vicious or out to get her, really --- he’s a catalyst for disaster in nearly every episode.  But come quittin’ time, they enjoy each other’s company immensely.  Whether enjoying a nice meal together or taking in a horror movie with the kiddies, Baloo and Rebecca are drawn to each other, and seek each other outside their working relationship.


Bearcat: What about Baloo’s family outside of Higher for Hire ? His mother must still be alive, because he’s mentioned her in present tense in “A Wing and a Bear” and several aunts in Idol Rich. Baloo doesn’t have any siblings, which is confirmed by Austin Featheridge, Esq. in The Balooest of the Bluebloods.  This must mean his father was the twelfth Baron von Bruinwald. Perhaps Baloo’s mother had a liaison with the Baron, or the Baron started a new life to escape the curse of the other eleven barons?

Gidget: Maybe he couldn’t take the nagging at home.  ;)  Despite his flaws, Baloo remains one of the most lovable classic Disney characters, despite the fact that he is really author Rudyard Kipling's creation.  But to me, this bear lives in Cape Suzette, not the jungle.  His buddy is a daring young navigator, not some whiny kid in orange underoos.  Instead of some pathetic king of the monkeys in a broken down temple, Louie is a bartender and his best friend. And while he may still think women are nothing but trouble, he'll compete with said best friend for the latest pretty face.  And unlike his 1967 counterpart, this pilot has the potential to find romance and explore the world outside the confines of the jungle borders.  There are possiblities.  


August 2003
   

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