Voices: Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta, Gulshan Grover, Dimple Kapadia, Rajpal Yadav, Asrani
Banner: Percept Picture Company
Animation in India is exploring new grounds each passing day. While a Roadside Romeo displayed quality work from Indian animators, Jumbo explores the weaving of emotions into such films. The film undoubtedly strikes the right emotional chords and discovers emotions. It’s cute, kiddy and packed with sentiments. The problem with this film is that it defies everything that you are used to seeing and at times is a bit hard to digest.
Jumbo is the tale of elephants and particularly one elephant and his strife to find his father. A jovial baby jumbo is shown growing up sans his captured father. Stories about his warrior elephant father are all he has to remember him by. But out to set that straight and find his father, Jumbo (Akshay Kumar) enters human territory. Interacting with all kinds of humans, Jumbo learns to distinguish between good and evil. Through the years, the kid grows up to be a strong and mighty elephant. With two kingdoms warring, Jumbo sets out to be the king’s personal elephant. In the process of learning that his father was killed by Bhaktavar (Gulshan Grover), the rival kingdoms war elephant, Jumbo now wants to seek revenge to avenge his father’s death. What ensues is the reclamation of revenge, a lady love, a kingdom and the understanding of good and evil.
In all fairness Jumbo is a film that you should take your kids to. Simply because it is backed by a great moral and has sentiments that children will understand. For everyone else this is a tad bit a bland fare. It’s predictable and that is one aspect that hampers the film throughout. With a song like everything is gonna be alright, you pretty much know they aren’t lying. So then where is the reason to watch a film that is unbelievably predictable? Additionally the film is Indianised but the moment you have seen it you know it’s hard to digest. Practically everything is like Khan Kulay, a song here and there and a few edits is all the film offers in terms of novelty.
The dialogues that you get to hear at times get too preachy, while it’s great for your kid to sit through it’s a different story when it comes to you. The film is filled with characters that it hampers the end product. A character like Dildar, which is essentially supposed to be a messenger bird, is hard to comprehend at times. Thus the notion that this film is intended at children confuses, especially when a character is hard to comprehend.
Technically there is nothing to the film that is done new. The film at parts has be reworked and honestly isn’t that great. The use of music is certainly worthy a mention, it does amplify the setting and the emotions. Having been used to seeing animated characters with perfectly synchronized movements, Jumbo doesn’t quite fit that bill. The settings and environment created for the characters are great, but then the textures that actually amplify that seem rather raw and crude.
When it comes to the voices of the characters, there is not one that impresses. Dutta and Kapadia do their job without any excitement in their voice. Even Kumar, because you are so used to hearing him, he fails to sound any different. Moments where the characters need that aggression, the aactors fail to deliver the needed tone of voice. Asrani and Yadav do nothing for the character or the film.
As said earlier, it’s great for your kids to sit through Jumbo. Perhaps you could take them till the screen and pick them up once the movie is done. But to sit through it yourself being an adult will be a tad too much.