Monday, January 16, 2012

Once Upon A Time Machine -- Part 1

So one of the scripts I've done that I'm most proud of to date is my contribution to a collection of stories based on fables, fairy tales, myths and legends that was at first tentatively called "Future Fairy Tales" and was finally titled "Once Upon A Time Machine". The premise of the collection was to take a favorite fable, fairy tale or story of that type and give it a futuristic spin. The idea was to keep the fairy tales recognizable, but interpret them in a fresh, unique way. The story I chose to go with was one of my favorite yarns of all time -- "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" by Rudyard Kipling.

For those that aren't familiar with the story, it takes place in India. An English couple and their young son move into a bungalow with a beautiful garden. A storm hits that night, and a young mongoose is nearly drowned. The boy finds the mongoose near-death the next morning, and the boy and his parents nurse the animal back to health. They feed it, and the mongoose decides to hang out for a while. Unbeknownst to the humans, a duo of deadly cobras inhabit the garden and spend their time terrorizing the local wildlife. The two cobras are trying to raise a nest of eggs, and they don't want anyone or anything getting in the way. They decide to do away with the family, and it's up to the mongoose, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, to stop them.

Despite the fact that the story was a bit dark and serious, it really appealed to me, even as a young child. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi always struck me as a very heroic character, and the odds he was up against as a relatively young mongoose facing off with two fully grown and deadly cobras was right up my alley. It took me a while to craft a script that I felt did any justice to the original story. I'm still not entirely sure that I managed to pull it off, to be honest, but hopefully I won't be judged too harshly when the story eventually goes to print.

I'll talk more about exactly how I decided to interpret the story in future posts on the blog, but for now I thought I'd show off some of the art done by Ricardo Farrula, the artist that came on board and literally saved the story after the artist I had initially chosen was forced to pull out. If you click on his name you can see even more of his work, but these below are the character designs he did concerning the main characters of the story.

Here we have George (the father), Meredith (the mother), Thomas (the boy) and the "mongoose". I feel certain people will notice that the mongoose doesn't look much like an actual mongoose, and they'd be right, but there is a reason for that (I swear!), and I'll reveal more about that as we move along. Ricardo did a wonderful job capturing each of the characters. I tried to craft more of an idyllic family of the future when I was writing the script, and Ricardo keyed in on that magnificently. More to come!


  1. After picking your brain on facebook, I love this :)