Baloo von Bruinwald XIII is the hotshot pilot of the Sea Duck. He is the lead character of the show.
Although lazy, slobbish, unreliable and always broke (as bears often are), Baloo 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 becomes Rebecca's "female" co-pilot Tan-Margaret.
Baloo is based on his character from The Jungle Book. In the series, he wears a yellow pilot shirt and red pilot cap.
It was 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. 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.
It is also revealed in the episode "Vowel Play" that his poor spelling has been since third grade, and his teacher said he'd be sorry for it.
The two are a father-son team: Kit helps navigate while Baloo pilots and, when in a life-and-death situation, they'll work together to overcome the odds. Like a real father, Baloo does care about Kit's safety, but there are times when they display negativity toward each other. This usually occurs from their job—Baloo slacks off from work, whereas Kit is more devoted—and at least once did the two have a fight: for example, in "Stormy Weather" when Kit's cloud-surfing attracted the attention of Daring Dan Dawson, whom Kit began idolizing which made Baloo jealous. This got worse when the two began arguing over Dan, which resulted in Baloo ordered Kit to stay away from him. Kit didn't take the command well: he snapped at Baloo, threw his hat into Baloo's face and pointed out that, since Baloo wasn't really his dad, he didn't have to listen to him. It isn't fully known how affected Baloo was from this, but Kit himself was devastated after doing it. Ironically Baloo was right to be wary of Dan when he discovered he was criminal, and, similarly, Kit's idolization of Dan began to diminish when Dan started becoming reckless with his intentions. Fortunately after they brought Dan's suicidal-performances to an end the two bears were back together.
While the two are polar opposites in more ways than one, they are close friends, and sometimes can be seen as a couple. In "It Came from Beneath the Sea Duck", Baloo reluctantly accompanies Rebecca on a shopping spree. In "Stormy Weather" Rebecca expresses horror at the idea of her and Baloo as a married couple. In "Her Chance to Dream", Baloo becomes slightly jealous when Rebecca is courted by the ghost of a Victorian era sea captain. In the beginning of "A Star Is Torn", the two have a dinner date as "friends". Baloo's statement to Rebecca of "Remember the last time we went out?" suggests that this is not their first date. In "Feminine Air", when Rebecca reveals that she could tell her co-pilot "Tan Margret" was really Baloo in drag, she calls Baloo her "best friend". In "Gruel and Unusual Punishment" both Baloo and Rebecca ready themselves to go the annual Pilot's Ball with her getting a new dress (which is a leftover from "Her Chance to Dream") and him losing weight when she threatens to take someone else. They get just a little bit closer (but not a lot) in the closing moments of "My Fair Baloo". In addition, at the end of "Last Horizons", Rebecca clearly shouts with joy at Baloo's escape from certain death, "I love you, Baloo!". Most of the time though they tend to treat each other like enemies.
They seem to have a father-daughter relationship, given that Molly's real father is gone. Whenever she tags along on his runs, Baloo tends to freak out for her safety, but she proves her worth to him in the end. At least once did Baloo get angry at Molly: for example, in "Flight of the Snow Duck" when Baloo was so fed up with Molly believing a fictional-character would come to their rescue in a Thembrian-jail he yelled at her to let it go, only to regret it when she was upset (and even Wildcat was disgusted at Baloo), but they reconciled in the end.
Baloo and Wildcat are good friends, though Wildcat's density often irritates Baloo. Wildcat also acts as a substitute navigator when Kit isn't available (like during school hours), as seen in "In Search of Ancient Blunders", "Mach One for the Gipper", "The Sound and the Furry" and "Paradise Lost", though Wildcat's navigating doesn't seem to be as competent as Kit's.
Probably Baloo's oldest friend in chronological standards, the two make a great team as they have come to the aid of damsels in distress like Katie Dodd and Lotta Lamour, though they also became infatuated with both females and constantly competed for their attention, only to be rejected both times. Even after Baloo's business became Higher for Hire the two would have adventures once in a while, though usually with another main character accompanying them (except in "Jumping the Guns" and "The Ransom of Red Chimp" where, like in the chronologically earlier episodes, only Baloo and Louie went on an adventure). Despite their friendship, there are times when they don't get along: aside from when they had a crush on Katie and Lotta, the only time they truly treated each other as enemies was in "For a Fuel Dollars More" when Rebecca's flying gas-station drove Louie's Island temporary out of business, and in "A Touch of Glass" when Buffy and Muffy Vanderschmere began turning them and Rebecca against each other in a web of lies (though in both cases, it was largely Rebecca's fault). Fortunately, at the end of both episodes, they remain friends.
The two are largely enemies, but in "Stuck on You" they compromised when they became literally glued to each other: not wanting either of their allies to know their predicament, though Karnage did reveal it to his pirates when they threatened to treason, but after getting the glue off Karnage made up for it by hiding Baloo and lying to the pirates that Baloo was long gone. They parted ways on good terms, though Baloo wouldn't let Karnage getaway with the backstab that easily as he secretly painted more glue on Karnage's butt. In "The Ransom of Red Chimp" Karnage practically begged Baloo and Louie to take Louise L'Amour away from him, even going as far as to reduce the ransom to as low as possible. Though Baloo and Louie initially decided to let Louise harass Karnage for their amusement, they nevertheless complied.
Baloo and Buzz go back to childhood, though no details of this have been given. Baloo's relationship with Buzz seems to be akin to his relationship with Wildcat, given that both Buzz and Wildcat are similar in terms of personality: Baloo does get annoyed by Buzz's ignorance from time-to-time, but he nevertheless considers Buzz a genius, just like Wildcat.
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- He also calls his young navigator, Kit Cloudkicker, "Li'l Britches", just like his original incarnation did to Mowgli in the 1967 film The Jungle Book.
- He has a habit of treating the Sea Duck like a living-thing, sometimes he even kisses it.
- Baloo is seen completely naked in the episode "Vowel Play" except for his hat.
- Disney originally tried to get Phil Harris to portray Baloo's voice again for the TV series, but by then Harris's voice had changed too much with age, making him unsuitable for the part.
- Baloo is the only character who was never absent from an episode. After all, he is the main character.
- Baloo is one of the three characters from The Jungle Book. The others being Louie, who has employees who look like the Bander-logs, and Shere Khan, who has pilots that look like Bagheera.
- Baloo appears as part of a Higher for Hire advertisement in the 2017 DuckTales episode "The Lost Cargo of Kit Cloudkicker!".
- An alternate version of this Baloo was introduced as a playable character in Disney Mirrorverse.