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Inki hunting in Caveman Inki
|First appearance||The Little Lion Hunter (1939)|
|Created by||Chuck Jones|
Inki is a little African boy who usually dresses in a simple loincloth, armband, legband, earrings, and a bone through his hair. He never speaks, and his usual pastime seems to be hunting jungle creatures.
The character's look was designed by Disney veteran Charlie Thorson. The plot of the cartoon focuses on little Inki out hunting, oblivious to the fact that he himself is being hunted by a hungry lion. As such, it is very similar to "Little Hiawatha", a Silly Symphonies cartoon Thorson had worked on in 1937. Technically, he was originally created for the Merrie Melodies series, as all his cartoons until Caveman Inki were issued as part of that series (thus he is one of the few characters to initially be exclusive to the Merrie Melodies series in the Leon Schlesinger era before the full conversion to color, alongside Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd and his prototype Egghead, and Sniffles).
Also central to the series is a minimalist and expressionless mynah bird. The bird hops in time to Felix Mendelssohn's Fingal's Cave Overture, utterly disregarding any obstacles or dangers. The minah bird, shown as nearly almighty, appears randomly in the films, always intervening against the other characters. Occasionally, the bird's intervention benefits Inki by stopping Inki's pursuers. Inki then tries to thank the bird, but the latter ends up being disrespectful to Inki, too.
- The Little Lion Hunter (1939)
- Inki and the Lion (1941)
- Inki and the Minah Bird (1943)
- Inki at the Circus (1947)
- Caveman Inki (1950)
The mynah bird has had various cameos in later Warner Brothers works.
In 1990, the Tiny Toon Adventures episode titled Buster and the Wolverine featured a passing cameo by the mynah bird, who interrupts the wolverine as it had cornered Buster and friends.
Then, in 1994, episode titled Bad Mood Bobby from the Animaniacs segment Goodfeathers, features a cameo by the mynah bird. Bobby is having a bad day and sees the mynah bird caged in a pet shop. Squit and Pesto think they can cheer Bobby up by laughing at the mynah bird's ugliness. The Fingal's Cave Overture begins playing, the mynah bird lets himself out of his cage, kicks Bobby into a streetlight, then returns to his cage.
Also, in 1999, the The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries titled A Mynah Problem, Sylvester is seen trying to catch the mynah bird.
The 1986 videotape "I Taw a Putty Tat" included The Little Lion Hunter, Inki and the Lion, and Inki at the Circus. Also, in 2004, the "Cartoon Craze" DVD included Inki and the Minah Bird.