Shere Khan
Jungle Book Jungle Book

Shere Khan

Comparision of the voice over actors who have been the voice of Shere Khan with sound clips and images.
Franchise: Jungle Book

Shere Khan is a Bengal tiger and a primary antagonist of Rudyard Kipling's 1894 anthology The Jungle Book. Shere Khan's arrogance and claim to be the rightful lord of the jungle are compensation for the fact that he was born with a crippled leg and was derided as "lame" by his own mother. Shere Khan aims to kill Mowgli, whom he attempted to hunt down as an infant.
Created by CatsTuxedo on Jul 24 2010
The Jungle Book (1967) (1967)
Shere KhanThurl Ravenscroft
Thurl Ravenscroft
The Jungle Book (1967) (1967)
Shere KhanGeorge Sanders
George Sanders
Mowgli's Brothers (1976)
Shere KhanRoddy McDowall
Roddy McDowall
Jungle Book Shonen Mowgli (1989)
Shere KhanDavid Hemblen
David Hemblen
Jungle Cubs (1996)
Shere KhanJason Marsden
Jason Marsden
Adventures of Mowgli (1996)
Shere KhanScott McNeil
Scott McNeil
The Jungle Book 2 (2003)
Shere KhanTony Jay
Tony Jay
The Jungle Book (2012)
Shere KhanDavid Holt
David Holt
The Jungle Book (2016) (2016)
Shere KhanIdris Elba
Idris Elba

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VoicerofVoices
said at 6:04 AM on Tue Jul 26 2016
 1 Shout Out!
So many good ones...but I think I'll give the number one spot to Sanders. He has a very smooth, intimidating voice and I really like his delivery. It truly is a shame he didn't go on to do anything else...

Saying that, though, Tony's also pretty good (and I do love Tony). His voice, too, is quite intimidating and he delivers his lines quite well. I'd be willing to say his performance is some of the best to come from a Disney sequel in general.

Idris' depiction is a bit different from Sanders and Tony's, but it's *also* pretty good in its own right. Very commanding, boisterous when he needs to be, and fairly intimidating, but not quite on the level of the other two in my opinion.

Hemblem's performance is a bit of a mixed bag for me. Some takes in the clip I liked while others came off a bit flat. Overall, though, he's alright to be honest and maybe with some better direction, he could've been even better.

Scott's is a lot hammier than the rest of them. A *lot* hammier...but it still works for Khan alright I guess (sometimes his performance is a bit much though, namely when he momentarily turns into Dr. Claw).

Roddy's voice is alright, but his performance is all over the place. Like Hemblem, some of his takes feel a bit flat but in a different way. He also seems to suffer from talking in run-on sentences every other take. Even still, I see potential, but these takes aren't too great.

Holt is probably the weakest (adult) actor in my opinion. While the delivery itself is alright, he just kind of sounds like an old man more than anything, where as everyone else either had a cool or ominous sounding voice.

A lot of people don't seem to like Thurl's singing, but I think it's decent. Granted, it appears Sanders could sing just fine for what little he sang and the the song Thurl sang was cut anyway, so it's a bit of a confusing situation really. I do agree that his voice was a *bit* too bassy though.

Jason pretty much uses his normal kid voice albeit very slightly "darker", but it works for what he's doing.
Metabad
said at 1:50 PM on Sat Jul 30 2016
@VoicerofVoices Actually, that was Bill Lee who sang Shere Kahn's brief line.
VoicerofVoices
said at 3:48 PM on Thu Aug 4 2016
@Metabad Oh. Well then props to him.
PurpleWarrior13
said at 8:41 PM on Wed May 11 2016
Elba is really amazing as this character. He's charming, menacing, memorable, and I love his accent. He might be the best part of the new film.

Sanders is still the best though IMO. That man is simply one of the greatest actors to ever live, and it's a shame he didn't do more voiceoever. He had the perfect balance of menace, wit, darkness, pompousness, and charm all rolled up in one. He's also really calculating, like you don't really know how bad he really is. Tony Jay does a great impression of that too, and Thurl's singing is legendary as always.
Bookman230
said at 10:58 PM on Thu Apr 28 2016
 1 Shout Out!
Tony Jay used to be my fav. Sanders is undeniaby great; the poshness made him really entertaining, but while he borders on it in scenes like the one with Kaa, in the end he never reaches that high point of tension. Some of it is the movie itself, I'm sure; for example, the climatic battle with Mowgli is awfully... well, anticlimactic. I never really get that apex predator feeling that shows me why the entire jungle fears him.

Jay got closer to that while staying close to Sanders. He imitated him quite well while adding his own darker, vengeful feel. He elevates his material to something intimidating.

But Elba... damn, seeing the movie in theaters, he was definitely a highlight. Every scene he was in brought this tension because we knew in every line beneath the suaveness and charm was a savagery ready to burst at any moment. I won't spoil it, but one scene early on took me by great surprise by how sudden and brutal it was, and established Shere Khan as something to fear better than any other adaption. It set the tone from every scene on, like the cuckoo bird scene. That one kept me on edge and engrossed, Elba delivering it with subtle but frightening menace, with a sense of detached pleasure as he knows he holds all these lives in his hand. Every moment shows why he's the most feared thing in the jungle, and he has a perfect blend of faux affability and cold blooded ruthlessness, and you can never guess which he'll spring on you first. He blew me away and definitely has my vote.
Ezmanify
said at 3:41 PM on Thu Apr 28 2016
My choices:

1. George Sanders
2. Tony Jay
3. Idris Elba
4. Roddy McDowall
5. David Hemblen
6. Scott McNeil
7. Jason Marsden
8. David Holt
9. Thurl Ravenscroft
HyperVoiceActing
said at 11:21 PM on Fri Apr 15 2016
 2 Shout Outs!
Sanders, Jay, and Elba are the only versions I find legitimately intimidating.
Lion's Edge
said at 12:35 PM on Fri Apr 15 2016
 3 Shout Outs!
In all honesty? After seeing the 2016 movie today, Idris Elba is now my favourite iteration of Shere Khan. Before I go into why, however, I'd likely to briefly address the two other voices for Khan I am most familiar with.

George Sanders was the originator of the Disney iteration of Shere Khan. His baritone, suave accent gave Shere Khan a class and confidence to him that made him a truly memorable villain. However, for me, while a magnificent performance, I do feel that there was no real tiger-like elements to it. It lacks a certain ferocity to it that could have added to the intimidation, and a large factor in that - in all honesty - is how different Disney's Khan is compared to the original book's. Still, Sanders was a fantastic Shere Khan and a great Disney villain voice. Tied as my third favourite.

My second favourite?

Tony Jay.

Yes, the late, great Tony Jay truly was the best successor for George Sanders' Shere Khan. Many of the same qualities return, despite the "eh at best" writing of "The Jungle Book 2" and the more grey and neutral portrayal of Khan in "Talespin", but he also has a little more savagery in his performance. This is largely down to the writing of the sequel, but I feel that Jay's more vengeful characterization gave room to present more of the "apex predator/wild animal" that Shere Khan is.

Now, why do I rank Elba above them as my preference?

Elba's Shere Khan is a very different animal altogether from previous Disney Shere Khans. He is a lot more savage and Elba's darker, more aggressive delivery (in the clip and in the movie) capture Khan's nature as a wild animal incredibly; furthermore, he still manages to present the suave, authoritative and charismatic delivery that makes it believable as to why Shere Khan is considered a ruler of the jungle. It is the balance between savagery and suaveness that really makes me lean towards Idris as my favourite voice; he captured every element I liked about Sanders and Jay, and added a new dimension of his own to it. Thrilled to see him getting more and more into voice acting, and hope to see more of him.

I will comment on the other voices in further depth sometime, but just briefly on the other two Disney-affiliated VAs--Jason Marsden I will not rank due to him playing a younger version of Shere Khan than the others, but it is serviceable as Cub Khan (albeit, I wish they had given Khan a British accent and a few more afflictions of his adult self's delivery), and Thurl Ravenscroft is a good singing voice but perhaps a bit too bass for Shere Khan as Sanders had played him.

1. Idris Elba
2. Tony Jay
3. George Sanders
4. Thurl Ravenscroft
The Doctor
said at 9:46 AM on Fri Apr 15 2016
 2 Shout Outs!
1. George Sanders
Easily the definite Shere Khan. Sanders has both the voice and delivery down, and he makes Shere Khan feel both classy and confident of his power. Jungle Book might not be one of the stand-out Disney movies (is not bad, just nothing special), but thanks to Sanders, Shere Khan is one of the stand-out Disney villains.

2. Tony Jay
Perfect successor for Sanders. He has all the same qualities that made Sanders great and he is extremely close second.

3. Idris Elba
Idris Elba is one of my personal all-time favorite actors and (based on the clip) he did not disappoint. His Shere Khan is little bit more savage than Sanders' and Jay's, but it works great and he still feels suitably authoritative.

4. Roddy McDowall
His voice is maybe little bit too raspy (it fits a tiger, but I personally would like something little bit more subtle for Shere Khan), but his performance is pretty darn good. He makes Shere Khan feel like physical threat to be reckoned with.

5. Scott McNeil
I have kinda the opposite problem with McNeil than I had with McDowall. He isn't going full-on savage with his performance, but in return he is missing certain menace-factor. It is still enjoyably hammy performance, but I know that Scott can do better.

6. David Hemblen
This was easily the most disappointing performance out of the bunch, since I was sure that he would knock this role out of the park. His voice is fine, but the performance was really motone and unremarkable. I'm sure that he would have been great, if he had done something more like his Magneto.

7. David Holt
David just isn't clicking with me. He feels more like someone who is trying really hard to be scary and imposing, rather than actually being scary and imposing.

8. Jason Marsden
Gets the job done as a kid version.

9. Thurl Ravenscroft
He does adequate Sanders impersonation, but his singing is pretty bad.
HienFan
said at 5:07 AM on Wed Apr 13 2016
 1 Shout Out!
Look a lot of choices

1 Tony Jay
2 George Sanders
3 Idris Elba
4 Scott McNeil
5 David Holt
6 David Hemblem
7 Roddy McDowell
8 Jason Marsden
9 Thurl Ravenscroft- That singing is too bass for my liking
GreenGoblin75
said at 7:00 PM on Tue Apr 12 2016
1. Tony Jay
2. George Sanders
3. Idris Elba
4. Scott McNeil
5. Thurl Ravenscroft
6. Roddy McDowell
7. David Hemblen
8. David Holt
9. Jason Marsden
GreenGoblin75
said at 5:46 PM on Sun Apr 24 2016
@GreenGoblin75
I think I'll change my vote to George. Tony is still awesome as well though.
Kioea
said at 3:33 PM on Tue Apr 12 2016
 2 Shout Outs!
1. Tony Jay
2. George Sanders
3. Idris Elba
4. Thurl Ravenscroft
5. Scott McNeil
6. Roddy McDowell
7. David Holt
8. Jason Marsden
9. David Hemblen
Kioea
said at 4:21 PM on Tue Apr 12 2016
@Kioea Actually, I have to add that Roddy McDowell's version reminds me of Ed Marcus. "I have come for the man cub you have in your den! Youwillgivehimtomeeee!"
Nightmare Crusher
said at 4:24 PM on Tue Apr 12 2016
@Kioea You choose and you do not choose! Now make your wish, but think carefully because whatever it Icangrantonlyonewish!
CatsTuxedo (Moderator)
said at 4:50 PM on Tue Apr 12 2016
@Kioea I get more of a "Mako Iwamatsu as Aku" vibe.
Kioea
said at 11:36 PM on Tue Apr 12 2016
@Nightmare Crusher Seriously, though, Ed would make a great Shere Khan. As, indeed, would Paul Bandey.
Nightmare Crusher
said at 5:34 AM on Wed Apr 13 2016
@Kioea Ed does have experience playing large cats.
Torak
said at 3:26 PM on Tue Apr 12 2016
 1 Shout Out!
In hype of seeing the film soon, and this VC update, I figures this would be a good time to update my thoughts on the voice actors of cold, calculated cub hunter, Shere Khan :) -

Thurl Ravenscroft (nice name) has a great singing voice. Thats all I have to say really.

As said before I LOVE George and Tony in this role! So much that I can't decide between them! They both nail Khan's reserved, arrogant and menacing traits. They both have deep rumbly voices that makes them sound like a tiger. So I'll give them both a 1st.

David Holt's delivery is pretty good, and he does brings a quiet menace in his voice for Shere Khan. My only real issue is that his voice is a little high, and doesn't carry that rumble quite as well as George and Tony do.

Hemblen also has good delivery, and a passable voice. But he lacks that threatening bite in his voice for me. But still good.

Now McDowall has that threatening bite in his voice for sure, but his delivery is... strange. Especially at the end. He also sounds a bit too high for the role, in my opinion. In all he's ok.

Man, Jason Marsden is a good actor, but he feels really miscast in this role. Not only he doesn't carry that intelligence Khan is meant to have, but without the British accent he feels a bit out of place compared to all Share Khan's other actors. He just comes off as creepy in my opinion.

Again, love Scott McNeil as an actor, but he sounds really off here. It just sounds like his Dinobot voice rather than a rumbly, deep tiger voice. His performance is just too over the top for my liking. Though Scott would make a good Smaug, thats for sure. :)

I'll wait for the film to properly analyse Idris' performance, but for now he sounds good. I can't wait! ^^

Tied 1st. Sanders and Jay
3. Holt
4. Hemblen
5. McDowall
6. McNeil
7. Marsden
Michaelsar
said at 4:05 PM on Fri Feb 26 2016
Tony was good, and from what little I've heard of Idris Elba so far he sounds promising, but I'm giving my vote to George Sanders. He pretty much MADE Shere Khan.

Does Thurl even count? He only did Shere Khan's voice as a demo for a song that they didn't even use in the movie. Maybe they planned on having him voice Shere Khan at some point. That would've been pretty cool (he's no stranger to voicing tigers, after all).

BONUS OPTION: While I'm guessing Disney will probably make Corey Burton the official voice of Shere Khan since he's already provided the voice of Frollo, if not him I've heard Tom Hiddleston do a pretty good impression of George Sanders' Shere Khan.
Francesco92e
said at 4:54 AM on Sat Jan 30 2016
Tony Jay is the best for me: not only he mimic George Sanders at PERFECTION (they literaly sounds the same) but he also made him more powerful, vicious and elegant..
esmeraldakitty
said at 4:46 PM on Fri Jan 8 2016
1. Jason Marsden
2. George Sanders
3. Tony Jay
4. Thurl Ravenscroft
Kioea
said at 8:59 AM on Sat Jul 11 2015
 1 Shout Out!
George or Tony, George or Tony... Man, this isn't fair at all!
Francesco92e
said at 4:55 AM on Sat Jan 30 2016
@Kioea I know xd they also sound pratically identical.. like Jim Cummings and Sterling Holloway
d123
said at 12:14 AM on Mon Mar 2 2015
I quite like George Sanders' portrayal of Shere Khan. Of course, he's the original performer, but I think Tony Jay is a good successor and I like how he sounds calm yet sinister and slightly impatient. Jason Marsden seems to take a different approach to portraying the younger version of the character, but I think his performance as a young Shere Khan is decent enough.
HienFan
said at 7:31 AM on Thu Jan 15 2015
 1 Shout Out!
1 Tony Jay
2 George Sanders
3 Jason Marsden(hey whadaya know there's a kid version I prefer over an adult version!)
4 Thurl Ravenscroft- and the rare time I feel like the singer is terrible
Jacob M. Keene
said at 4:45 PM on Wed Oct 22 2014
 1 Shout Out!
My favorite is Tony Jay!
TheVengeanceKnight
said at 1:04 AM on Thu Aug 21 2014
 2 Shout Outs!
Can't go wrong with the classics, so George Sanders.

That being said, I'm fully prepared to change to Benedict Cumberbatch or Idris Elba, should they turn out to be better.
Torak
said at 8:08 AM on Tue Oct 14 2014
@TheVengeanceKnight The comparison between them should certainly be interesting :-)
frozenmarina
said at 12:04 PM on Tue Jul 22 2014
 2 Shout Outs!
Tony is probably the best of them all. George was awesome too, but I somehow love Tony.
Kiryu2012
said at 8:43 PM on Sun Jun 1 2014
George and Tony are my favorites. I can't pick between them as they're both epic as Shere Khan. Thurl provided an epic singing voice for Shere Khan, and Jason just sounds weird. I think Corey Burton or Benedict Cumberbatch should voice Shere Khan if he ever returns.
TheVengeanceKnight
said at 9:10 AM on Tue Aug 19 2014
@Kiryu2012

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/benedict-cumberbatch-joins-jungle-book-726146
Kiryu2012
said at 6:27 PM on Wed Aug 20 2014
@TheVengeanceKnight
That oughta be cool.
Jacob M. Keene
said at 5:02 PM on Wed Apr 22 2015
@Kiryu2012 Should they bring The Jungle Book into the Kingdom Hearts games, I'd certainly like to audition as the voice of Shere Khan. The only thing is I don't know whether to use my George Sanders impression or my Tony Jay impression.
Kiryu2012
said at 6:07 PM on Wed Apr 22 2015
@Jacob M. Keene
Well, I'm sure either one could work quite well. Either way, I'm sure you'd do a great job as Shere Khan. :)
Jacob M. Keene
said at 8:12 PM on Wed Apr 22 2015
@Kiryu2012 Thanks!
Michaelsar
said at 1:40 PM on Wed Sep 16 2015
@Kiryu2012 Considering Corey Burton is the new voice of Frollo, I'm guessing he'd voice Shere Khan if he appeared in Kingdom Hearts III or something.
Polyester Funk
said at 11:44 PM on Sun May 25 2014
 3 Shout Outs!
My vote goes to Tony Jay. Mostly from watching TailSpin as a kid. Tony had such a marvelously wicked voice. No disrespect to George Sanders who originated the role, but I always think of Tony.

I'd like to hear Clancy Brown voice Khan at some point. Any others would be David Kaye, Jamieson Price and Paul Dobson. Clancy is my top pick, though.
DaveS (Training Moderator)
said at 10:05 AM on Sun May 4 2014
George Sanders! But Tony Jay does a great impersonation, more sinister and less smooth though.
Jacob M. Keene
said at 8:29 PM on Tue May 20 2014
@DaveS Tony Jay was using his natural voice the whole time.
facundo guerra 4
said at 11:42 AM on Sun Apr 20 2014
1-Tony Jay
2-George Sanders
They were perfect as Shere Khan R.I.P
Thurl Ravenscroft was good as the singing voice R.I.P
Jason was Terrible,almost sounding like Wolverine on helium
DVJ
said at 3:28 AM on Wed Apr 16 2014
Walt Disney said that he saw George Sanders when he was shown the first story board drawings of Shere Kahn,and i can see way,this was nothing short of perfect casting.

Having said that i have to give my vote to Tony Jay,hes traidmark sinister,suave bariton matched Shere Kahn perfectly and he never felt to as just a replacemeant,but made the character hes own

Thurl Ravenscroft is not that bad,i could hear his voice coming from a more faithfull to the book version of shere kahn,but Sanders was much better for the gentelman villain version they went with.

Jason Marsden,oh boy,even when i was a todler Jasons voice for yound Shere Kahn bothered me.Theres just something creepy about his voice that doesnt sit well.
JTurner
said at 1:10 PM on Mon Mar 10 2014
Of course Sanders was the original, and he did the job well. Having said that, though, I thought Jay was an impeccable replacement. He can also be heard as Shere Khan in the Disney series TAIL SPIN. Both are iconic, but I'm going with Jay. No opinion on the others.
Ross123
said at 8:22 AM on Mon Sep 30 2013
Jason is the young version & Thurl is his singing voice (which sounded awful) so they don't count for me.

I have 2 go with George as he sounds more menacing than Tony.
HienFan
said at 2:49 AM on Tue Feb 17 2015
@Ross123 I guess that's why Thurl wasn't in the actual film, it's one of the worst stunt singing I ever heard it sounds almost fan dub level

Tony does sound menacing mostly for the fact Shere Khan is almost completely cold with very little hamminess in the sequel
Ross123
said at 1:50 PM on Tue Feb 17 2015
@HienFan Allow me to elaborate on my original comment:

Tony is indeed menacing as Shere Khan and gives off a great sinister and evil performance. But I do feel that all he did was build upon what George layed out

George is the original and while he sounds rather posh, I feel that his voice is slightly more menacing because of the way he presented himself.
HienFan
said at 9:40 PM on Wed Feb 18 2015
@Ross123 Though I think that's how Tony Jay's voice is like period if his other work is any indication
Ross123
said at 10:46 AM on Mon Feb 23 2015
@HienFan I know that's how Tony Jay's voice is but I'm still allowed to prefer George over him as Shere Khan as I just prefer his voice more in the role.
HienFan
said at 8:27 PM on Mon Feb 23 2015
@Ross123 Yes I know just trying to defend Tony a little
Ross123
said at 11:40 AM on Fri Feb 27 2015
@HienFan I understand that and I don't blame you for it cause Tony Jay was a wonderful VA with an amazing range.

But I just prefer George as Shere Khan at the end of rhe day. But Tony was still amazing as him in his own right.
HienFan
said at 10:59 PM on Sun Mar 1 2015
@Ross123 I like George as well, behind the outdated audio is a very good voice, can't say the same for the Thurls or Jason(Well Jason is voicing a child Shere Khan but it sounded rather out of character)
Ross123
said at 1:11 PM on Mon Mar 2 2015
@HienFan Well Shere Khan was a lot nicer when he was younger.

But yeah, it doesn't really sound right considering he's supposed to be the main villain.
SupremeTarantulas
said at 5:54 PM on Wed Apr 22 2015
@HienFan Frollo, Megabite, and the asylum doctor in Beauty & The Beast weren't.
Axx
said at 3:15 PM on Sat May 11 2013
Wow, Kaa and Khaan sound nearly exactly the same! :)

I like.
Torak
said at 6:50 AM on Sun Sep 9 2012
 2 Shout Outs!
This is tough, Jay and Sanders both nail Shere Kahn's personality, I really their deep, British and villainous voices... but alas I vote for Tony on this one because George sounds a little too deep and gruff.

Thurl makes a good singing voice. But Jason was HORRIBLE: no British accent and just plain creepy as Shere Kahn!
MatthewC17
said at 6:37 PM on Sun Apr 29 2012
I prefer Jay Sanders sounds too Russian than British
PurpleWarrior13
said at 6:34 PM on Sun Apr 22 2012
 4 Shout Outs!
George Saders is the best, but Tony Jay was PERFECT as his replacement. Thurl has an amazing singing voice, and Jason was great as his younger self.
MatthewC17
said at 4:53 PM on Tue Jun 19 2012
@PurpleWarrior13 It's scary how similar they sound
I hope Corey Burton does a good job
thomwim
said at 10:48 AM on Sat Mar 24 2012
Cade Mc... No, I vote for Jason Marsd... Ah, I'm more used to Tony Jay!
BlankSlate
said at 7:28 AM on Sun Mar 11 2012
No contest; George, although Tony Jay did echo Sanders pretty well and Thurl is just plain awesome whatever he does.
Galactic_Cyrus
said at 4:59 PM on Wed Dec 14 2011
 3 Shout Outs!
Tony Jay's the only one who can compare to George Sanders. Thurl Ravenscroft is an evil Tony the Tiger and Jason Marsden just never sounded right, even for a cub version of Khan.
Aurora
said at 10:24 PM on Sat Oct 22 2011
i'd have to say, but thurl's voice for shere khan reminds me of the nintendo character, bowser.
MatthewC17
said at 6:07 PM on Tue May 31 2011
 2 Shout Outs!
George Sanders was good
Tony Jay was amazing at imitating Sanders
Thurl Ravenscroft was in the original film he provided Shere Khan's singing voice
Jason Marsden is the worst he sounds creepy and he has no British accent
Metabad
said at 9:08 PM on Wed Feb 9 2011
 2 Shout Outs!
I can't decide between George Sanders and Tony Jay, both sound similar, both are good.

Thurl Ravenscroft seems like a good singer, but I don't think he fits the character.

Jason Marsden I guess is decent for a child version of Shere Khan, but can't even compare to Tony Jay and George Sanders.
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Who do you think has been the best from these Shere Khan voice actors?
George Sanders
Thurl Ravenscroft
Jason Marsden
Tony Jay
Roddy McDowall
David Hemblen
Scott McNeil
David Holt
Idris Elba
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