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Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by sheer honesty, or you think me having my own opinions is "being negative", then this is not the place for you, and I suggest you leave and head elsewhere. I call a spade a spade, and I don't sugarcoat anything.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rikki Tikki Tavi

This is the story of a mongoose. One of few (if not the only) cartoons about mongooses. I used to love mongooses when I was a teenager, they ranked right up there among my most favorite animals. I still like mongooses. Just not as much as lemurs now. LOL! Anyway, I recently saw this movie again, and it brought back a lot of memories. Mostly of a time when I collaborated with a friend (now deceased) to help create a story that she originally wrote. It was called "The Mischievous Mongoose". It was also about a mongoose, doing what mongooses do, which is kill snakes. Well, I remember when the story was completed, I took it to school with me and showed it off to the other kids. One of the most common remarks I got about the story was "It's too much like Rikki Tikki Tavi". Boy!! Was that frustrating. Rikki Tikki seemed to set the ground for mongoose stories! No one else could build on top of it or around it. So, what did I do? Well, with the permission from Katie's family, I rewrote the story in 1994. Instead of having a small, weasel-like mongoose, as Rikki Tikki is, I made the main character a mongoose from my Metazoic checklist. I used Tarboailurus smilus. It's a very large mongoose, and if it were around today, could very easily kill a full-grown anaconda! It's kindof a sabre-toothed mongoose with a long, stiff tail and reaches a full adult size of about 18-20 feet long. That's something Rikki Tikki could never top! So if you were to check out this story on our UMG Productions site, you would be getting the updated version. I'm sure Katie would have been proud! Of course she is still doing what mongooses do best. But she does it on a greater scale, and I took out all the overtones that would make it sound too much like Rikki Tikki Tavi. Just the fact I have the story made about a 20-foot long mongoose should be enough to drown out any similarities! LOL!

Well, Rikki Tikki Tavi is not perfect it's self. At least not the version Chuck Jones made in the 70s. There are numerous errors made in the movie. Check out this picture of a cell from the original movie:


One of the things I don't like about this picture is that Jones gave Rikki Tikki rodent-like teeth. It's misleading! No mongoose ever has had, or ever will have, rat-like teeth. Mongooses are NOT rodents! In fact, mongooses are feliformes, which means they are related to cats. So Rikki Tikki should be displaying cat-like teeth. It is because of this picture that Katie and I made this mistake too. In fact, it seems Jones made Rikki Tikki look rat-like in almost every way! Except the tail. It's really misleading.

Another thing I don't like is here Rikki Tikki is battling what appears to be a small sand viper. Mongooses usually only attack cobras. In fact when I found out that mongooses only attack the slower-striking snakes, like cobras, I was unimpressed. They almost never attack faster moving snakes, like vipers. I still like mongooses, even though I am not really impressed with their snake-killing abilities anymore. I like them because they are just so darn CUTE!!!!! And so much potential for the Metazoic! Perhaps in the Metazoic, mongooses will become fast enough to take care of snakes like the vipers, which are deadlier than cobras. Now, none of this means I don't like snakes! Don't even think it! But I understand the importance of an ecosystem with balance. If there were no mongooses, or other snake killers, the world would be overrun with venomous snakes, and it wouldn't be safe to walk outside anymore. But I am more impressed with this guy than with a mongoose as snake-killers go:


And anyway, at least mongooses always eat what they kill. Not like on Rikki Tikki Tavi, where the snake is killed, but never eaten. It is shown being thrown away. Or like lions who kill hyenas and never eat them. They just kill them for the fun of it. That's why I don't like lions at all. Well, that's one reason. Another is they're so fricken ugly I can't stand looking at them.

Anyway, it was fun seeing Rikki Tikki Tavi again. I'm trying again to rekindle my childhood. Though here I don't much feel like it. When I still lived in Ocean Shores, it was fun to do that. Here, it's not as much fun. Well anyway, the story brought back some good memories!
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