Hippos are practically the very definition of Disney-cute. What sort of person could look at this big ol' rascal, playing away in her favorite swimming hole, and not think of stuffing her in a tutu and making her dance to classical music?
For chrissake look at them. There is no way you could look at a big, fat, happy, squishy, huggable hippo and not think, "If she could talk like a human, she would sound just like Jada Pinkett Smith and be oh so sassy." You would totally name her Sassybaskets and she would be your tutu-wearing, ballet-dancing, strut-walking pal for life. Just you and Sassybaskets against the world! Look out, New York, here comes Sassybaskets!
OH SHIT! RUN!
It turns out in the real world, hippos fucking kill people.
There's this word, "territorial," that nature takes pretty seriously. When it's applied to a two-ton animal with teeth the size of bowling pins, that is one hell of a word. The sort of word you either pay very close attention to, or ignore and end up with a complimentary "Killed to death by a fucking hippo" tombstone. That sort of thing is really embarrassing for the family, you know?
The next time you settle in for a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos, take a moment to to reflect on the small fact that hippopotamuses kill more humans per year than any other animal in the entire continent of Africa. Only elephants are consistently larger than hippos, and only the Warner Brothers' Tasmanian Devil is more consistently aggressive.
Perhaps you've seen this pic:
That is not in fact a man and a hippo doing a live reenactment of a cartoon they saw. That's an experienced park ranger, who narrowly avoided getting killed by a hippo by sprinting over a hundred yards.
The late Steve Irwin, a man who used to tackle 12-foot crocodiles for fun and wave angry snakes filled with kill-you-before-your-next-heartbeat poison at a camera, considered a five-minute sequence where his camera team had to cross a river filled with hippos to be the single most dangerous moment ever filmed on his show.
The man who toyed with crocodiles, was scared shitless of hippos.