Baloo is based primarily on the sloth bear from Disney's The Jungle Book, but with a flight cap and a yellow shirt (and four-fingered hands instead of his Jungle Book counterpart's claws). Quite a couple times in the episodes he will mention bear necessities. Although lazy, slobbish, unreliable and always broke, he is also an excellent pilot capable of the most daring maneuvers in the air (and the courage to do them) and can selflessly come to the aid of those in need of help. He also has a penchant for getting into schemes that require him to dress up in drag to suit the situation, such as when he became Rebecca's "female" co-pilot Tan-Margaret (a play on Ann-Margret) in "Feminine Air". Some of his mannerisms survive from The Jungle Book, including his nickname of "Papa Bear" by Kit, which Mowgli had given to him. In Tale Spin, it is revealed that Baloo comes from a prominent noble family, (being Baloo, Baron von Bruinwald XIII) though he himself had been initially unaware; raising the possibility that he was adopted in the episode The Balooest Of The Bluebloods he inherited 500 million dollars in the form of an extravagant estate, which was taken from him to settle the matter of his family's impressively long history of owing back taxes, thus restoring the status quo. Baloo only once mentioned any family, in reference to a gramophone record that had belonged to his father. He also calls Kit "Li'l Britches," as he did with Mowgli. His name comes from the Hindi word for bear: bh?l? (Hindi: ???? /b???lu?/).
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