The Animals Cannot Speak (Pre-Jungle Book Era)
270 B.C.: Hercules (no talking animals)
500s: Mulan (no talking animals)
700s: Sword In The Stone (only a magician's talking owl -- which is probably enchanted)
900s: Aladdin (no talking animals except Iago -- but he may be enchanted by Jafar. He even pretends to be a real parrot around the Sultan at first)
1500: Sleeping Beauty (no talking animals)
1550s: Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (no talking animals)
1750-1795: Beauty And The Beast (no talking animals)
1607: Pocahontas (no talking animals)
1840s: Tangled (no talking animals)
1840s: Frozen (no talking animals)
1880s: Little Mermaid (animals don't communicate with humans, just mermaids, who are half-fish)
1880s: Jungle Book (only Mowgli can talk to the animals)
Why Is Mowgli So Important?
Remember King Louie singing an entire song about wanting to walk and talk like humans? This should seem weird to anyone, because he's dancing and singing like a human, so why on Earth would he need fire? Well, his and every other animals' speech is strictly for the viewers' benefit. It's basically there so that no one would have to painstakingly subtitle the roars and growls. In actuality, only Mowgli can understand any of these creatures. That's what makes Mowgli so special. King Louie knows that Mowgli is all Beastmastered up and wants to take advantage of this gift and finally bridge the gap between man and beast. The only way he can do this is if Mowgli shows him how to make fire.
I wanna be a man, man-cub
And stroll right into town
And be just like the other men
I'm tired of monkeyin' around!
What I desire is man's red fire
To make my dream come true!