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John Ricketts is the main antagonist of Disney's 1993 live-action film A Far Off Place. He is a cruel poacher who murdered Nonnie Parker and Harry Winslow's parents and wants to sell all the elephant tusks to everyone.

He was portrayed by Jack Thompson.

Role

At dawn, Nonnie hears gunshots and runs back to the house to discover that her parents and Henry’s father have been murdered for investigating ivory exporting secretly run by Paul Parker’s associate, John Ricketts. As poachers plunder the house, Ricketts realizes Nonnie and Henry are missing. Remaining out of sight, the girl grabs explosives from the garage and attaches them to the bottom of their truck, killing several of Ricketts’ men.

Meanwhile, the Parkers’ close friend, Colonel Mopani Theron, learns of the attack and, unaware of his involvement, orders Ricketts to lead an aerial search party to find the missing children. Although Henry attempts to flag down the helicopter as it soars overhead, Nonnie worries they could be poachers and instructs her companions to hide. As a trick, the children remove their clothes, stuff them with straw, and lay them in the sand. Nonnie watches in horror as Ricketts pulls out his gun and shoots the fake bodies until he believes they are dead.

Two months later, Ricketts meets a buyer at the same shop and notices that the owner is in possession of Nonnie’s necklace, which she lost in the scuffle. Suspecting the children are still alive, Ricketts kills his right-hand man for failing to ensure the bodies were buried.

Hearing the hum of Ricketts’ approaching helicopter, Nonnie and Xhabbo weakly thump their chests in the spiritual Bushman practice of “tapping,” which summons a sandstorm that forces Ricketts to flee. Unaware they are only a few yards away from the Atlantic coast, the three travelers fall unconscious and awaken in a Karlstown hospital. There, Nonnie is reunited with Col. Theron and informs him that Ricketts was responsible for her parents’ deaths. Once they are recovered, Nonnie and Henry accompany Col. Theron to Ricketts’ mining facility, where they find his hoard of elephant tusks. Nonnie insists the remains must be buried, and they begin to rig the facility with dynamite when Ricketts arrives to stop them. Henry traps Ricketts under a pile of tusks, and Nonnie holds him at gunpoint, but cannot shoot. Together, they lead the perpetrator outside and light the fuse. Unable to see his fortune destroyed, Ricketts runs back into the mine in an attempt to extinguish the flame, but the dynamite explodes and buries him beneath the rock.

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