Posted on: December 10, 2006
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Narrated by Orson Wells, this animated cartoon is an adaptation of a short story titled "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" from The Jungle Book (1894) by Rudyard Kipling. The story focuses on an English family in India who discover a mongoose half drowned from a storm and decide to keep it. Rikki-Tikki soon finds himself confronted by two murderous cobras, Nag and Nagaina. When Nag is killed by Rikki after waiting to ambush the patriarch, Nagaina vows revenge for the death of her mate. Rikki must then come to the family's rescue again and rid Nagaina from the garden once and for all.
The story is a favorite of Kipling fans and is notable for its frightening and serious tone. Some epic features (heightened prosaic style; songs to the hero) add to the standard typology of hero defeating villain. It has often been anthologised and has also been published more than once as a short book in its own right.
The animated version first aired on CBS January 9, 1975 was directed by Chuck Jones and was released by Family Home Entertainment on both VHS and DVD. The DVD is also paired with another of Jones' cartoons, "Yankee Doodle Cricket"