Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Literary Toons: Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (1975)

After leaving MGM, legendary animator Chuck Jones formed his own production company and began producing animated specials for the networks, based on literary works, such as A Cricket in Times Square, and Rudyard Kipling's Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, which aired on CBS in January 1975.

Jones' last Saturday morning work had come some time earlier, in which he was a on-screen contributor to ABC's Curiosity Shop, and he'd sold his adaptation of Cricket to ABC around that time. For Rikki, Jones called upon no less than Orson Welles (!) to narrate, whilst the rest of the voice cast was populated with the likes of Les Tremayne (Shazam!), June Foray, & Len Weinrib, all of whom had worked with Jones in past productions. Welles, of course, was better known in those days for his Paul Masson wine commercials and frequent appearances on The Dean Marin Celebrity Roast, coming as it did near the end of his career.

Now, let's take a trip to India, home to Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, in this sample clip:

I seem to recall reading the story as a youth, and seeing this for the first time in nearly 40 years brought back some memories.

Rating: A.


magicdog said...

Lots of memories for me as well!

Chuck Jones' work was unmistakable! His animation style was never duplicated as far as I knew. This was also a great way to get me (and others) to read Kipling's works.

hobbyfan said...

Jones was putting everyone else to shame with such detailed work.

Not sure if WB or someone else owns the rights to this now. If it ain't WB, maybe the Hub can buy this one, or obtain the rights to do a remake....