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Delhi Safari Now On Netflix

Human encroachment is about to send the denizens of a wildlife reserve packing, until an anger-management-guru bear suggests diplomacy. But only one of the animals can break the language barrier: a human-loving, animal-hating parrot named Alex.


Delhi Safari Now Available On iTunes

Delhi Safari Now Available On iTunes


Delhi Safari is the story of a journey undertaken by a cub leopard, his mother, a monkey, a bear and a parrot when the forest they live in is on the verge of destruction. A man is on the run to destroy the forest in order to erect a balcony. These five animals plan to go to Delhi and ask the parliament some very simple yet pertinent questions–why has man become the most dangerous animal? Doesn’t man understand that if the forests and the animals don’t exist, man will cease to exist?


The New York Times Reviews Delhi Safari

Wisecracking Jungle Animals on an Ecological Crusade

The worst thing about the animated film “Delhi Safari” isn’t that it’s awful. It’s that it shamelessly rips off much better animated movies. What kind of lesson is that for our young people?

The film, made in India but overdubbed in English for the American release, follows a group of animals whose forest home is being threatened by callous developers. The beasts decide to hike to New Delhi to try to get their grievances heard.

That they spend most of this journey engaging in dreary infighting and occasionally singing equally dreary songs would make the film unappetizing even if it didn’t so brazenly borrow from “The Lion King,” “The Jungle Book” and others.

An adorable lion cub — oh, sorry; it’s a leopard — who communes with his dead father (who lost his life saving the cub) is at the center of the story. Sound familiar? So will the laid-back, wisdom-spouting bear, the malicious hyenas and the humans-are-evil plot. This film is supposed to represent a step forward for Indian animation. The trouble is, there’s not an original idea in it.

“Delhi Safari” is rated PG (Parental guidance suggested). It has menacing moments.


Variety Reviews Delhi Safari

Very small children may be amused, or at least distracted, by the English-language version of “Delhi Safari,” India’s first locally produced, stereo 3D-animated feature. But it’s unlikely many parents will feel compelled to pay firstrun admission prices for such a blandly unremarkable product during this retrofitted import’s theatrical run. The pic appears destined to fast-forward to homescreen platforms in English-speaking territories

The derivative plot pivots on efforts by a band of plucky animals — including a cute leopard cub (voiced by Tara Strong), his protective mother (Vanessa Williams), a belligerent monkey (Carlos Alazraqui), a forgetful pigeon (Christopher Lloyd) and a gentle-natured bear (Brad Garrett) — to save their Sanjay Gandhi National Park home from the ravages of supposedly eco-friendly developers. There’s an abundance of Bollywood-style production numbers — most notably, a flamingo extravaganza with a touch of Busby Berkeley — and a few odd (in this context) wisecracks that suggest awkward interpretations of the original Hindi dialogue (“They’re playing him like a cheap sitar”). For the most part, however, the pic all too obviously recycles bits and pieces from “Madagascar,” “The Lion King” and other made-in-America toons. Unfortunately, much gets lost in the translation.


The Daily News Reviews Delhi Safari

Indian’s first “locally made” 3-D animated film is the story of a peppy leopard cub, his loving mother (wonderfully voiced by Vanessa Williams) and a ragtag crew of other jungle animals. They kidnap a talking parrot in order to plea their anti-deforestation case to Parliament in Delhi.

While nodding to its Western animation influences, with shots stolen from “The Jungle Book” and even some jokes about “Madagascar,” “Delhi Safari” brings something fresh to these familiar stories, thanks to its Bollywood-style musical numbers. Yet except for a few scenes with some flamboyant vaudeville pink flamingos (giddily voiced by Jane Lynch and Jason Alexander), the film is without wit and, sadly, entirely forgettable.

On the home screen, though, its benign charm (and PETA-approved messages) may amuse kids. Parents will forget everything even while watching.

Slant Magazine Review Delhi Safari


Delhi Safari, “India’s first locally made stereoscopic 3D animation film,” not only aspires to be like the Madagascar films and the second-rate output of DreamWorks Animation in general, it makes them look like dazzling achievements by comparison. While it thankfully isn’t overloaded with the pop-culture references typical of the Shrek franchise, it does have its fair share: to Clint Eastwood, Freud, Klingon, PETA, Matrix-style slow-mo action sequences, and even Madagascar itself. At least in this film these nods make some sense given that they’re mostly spewed by the media-savvy Alex (Tom Kenny), a film director’s smart-aleck pet parrot who gets recruited by a gang of jungle animals for his ability to talk to humans so that he can help them save their home from deforestation.The film, directed by Nikhil Advani, begins with the animals of Sanjay Gandhi National Park begrudgingly planning to evacuate their land, which is going to be replaced by an eco-friendly apartment complex, and in a plot detail reminiscent of The Lion King, Yuvi (Tara Strong), a leopard cub, is stirred to fight back the greedy redevelopers after they murder his father, Sultan (Cary Elwes). A whole spectrum of dated-looking, clunkily animated characters—Yuvi’s mother, Begum (Vanessa Williams), Bagga (Brad Garrett) the bear, Bajrangi (Carlos Alazraqui) the monkey, a pigeon (Christopher Loyd), and Alex the parrot—subsequently band together to trek to Delhi where they hope to have their story heard.

Their journey’s momentum is bogged down in too many song-and-dance numbers that feel like pointless distractions. And even though the film begins by emphasizing Yuvi’s purpose in the group’s mission, the character ends up a cipher. Yuvi receives encouragement from his father’s ghostly spirit, but he doesn’t seem to grow from the challenge that’s defined his young life; instead, he often takes a backseat to the older characters, who prove more useful in advancing the group to Delhi. Despite how much this Bollywood children’s film feels like a cheap imitation of not even Hollywood’s best animated products, its green message—that humans aren’t the only ones living on this planet and that nature should be protected, so animals may also have a home in it—feels substantial and wholehearted. But a much better way to strike home the same message, while also having more fun, would be to just skip this movie and take your kids to a national park.


Film Journal International Reviews Delhi Safari with Jane Lynch


For movie details, please click here.

You can’t say that the makers behind the new computer-animated romp Delhi Safari, which was made in India but clearly has its eyes on the global marketplace, haven’t done their homework in regards to the kinds of cartoons that travel well overseas. The plot of this eco-friendly road comedy is stitched together out of elements from such international hits as The Lion King, Madagascar, Rio and even FernGully: The Last Rainforest (well…okay, three out of four count as international hits), although the filmmakers do at least set it to a Bollywood beat—and retain the Indian names for the characters (all of whom are voiced by recognizable Hollywood talent for the U.S. release) and locations—to give the picture some local flavor. But don’t worry about there being any cultural barriers that might hinder your child’s enjoyment (or, at the very least, mild tolerance) of the film; both the best and worst thing that can be said about Delhi Safari is that it’s on par with any average American-made kiddie cartoon that does the bulk of its business on DVD and cable.

The film starts in Lion King territory with our hero—a leopard cub named Yuvi (Tara Strong)—witnessing the death of his father Sultan (Cary Elwes) at the hands of a demolition crew tasked with clearing out a swath of jungle to make room for a new high-rise. Furious at the destruction of their home, Yuvi hits the road Madagascar-style with a crew of critters, including his protective mother Beggum (Vanessa Williams), slow-witted but loyal bear Bagga (Brad Garrett), and revolution-minded monkey Bajrangi (Carlos Alazraqui), bound for India’s capital city, Delhi, where they intend to argue their case in front of Parliament. How do they plan to communicate their FernGully-esque environmental message to mankind? Simple—they’ll kidnap a chatty parrot named Alex (Tom Kenny, known to gazillions of children as the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants) and make him their spokesperson…um, make that, spokesbird.

Of course, as the pet of a high-rolling player in the local film industry, Alex has never set foot outside his comfortable cage (shades of Rio‘s Blu) and doesn’t exactly take to life in the wild. He’s especially perturbed about having to spend more time with the violence-prone Bajrangi, who is secretly planning to make a more forceful argument (i.e., one that involves his trusty gun) in favor of protecting wildlife when the group arrives in Delhi. It goes without saying that Alex, Bajrangi and the rest of the group experience a change of heart—and learn a few life lessons—on their way to the big city. For example, Alex realizes that being a free bird isn’t such a bad thing; Bajrangi discovers that talking, not punching, is the best way to solve problems; both Yuvi and Beggum come to terms with Sultan’s death; and Bagga…well, he doesn’t learn much of anything. Then again, he’s already the most sensible animal in this particular menagerie, so maybe that’s for the best.

Entirely cheerful in its mediocrity, Delhi Safari ambles amiably along from scene to scene on the way to its heavy-handed, lessons-learned finale, enlivened occasionally by a few amusing bits of broadly comic business (most of which involve Bajrangi, whose hotheaded ways make him a natural favorite with young viewers) and the spirited work of select members of its vocal cast, most notably Kenny and Alazraqui. Those curious about what an animated Bollywood musical might look like will be disappointed to hear that the song-and-dance numbers in your average live-action production are more colorful and enjoyably cartoonish than the rather wan sequences included here. (There’s only one number, involving a cast of dancing flamingos, that’s up to the usual Bollywood standards.) In fact, the animation style itself is fairly stiff and generic, offering character designs and landscapes that lack personality or detail. While the point of Delhi Safari may have been to show the world that an Indian animation house is capable of producing a polished feature-length CGI cartoon, here’s hoping that the filmmakers’ next effort aspires to be more distinctive that this forgettable trifle.


The Hollywood Reporter Reviews Delhi Safari, Bollywood Version


Top Bollywood actors comprise the voice cast of India’s first locally made stereoscopic 3D animated film; an American version featuring Jane Lynch and Tom Kenny opens Dec. 7.

Top Bollywood actors comprise the voice cast of India’s first locally made stereoscopic 3D animated film; an American version featuring Jane Lynch and Tom Kenny opens Dec. 7.

EMERYVILLE, Calif.  — Animators from India are enjoying a golden age, with some of the leading animation houses with a presence in India, like Rhythm and Hues, nabbing high-profile projects such as Life of Pi and The Hunger Games.

Unfortunately, since the best animators are using their talents for Hollywood films, the resultant animation brain drain means that home-grown projects like Delhi Safari are left in the dust.

Thanks to globalization, audiences in India now have Hollywood animated films at their disposal on the same day as their American releases, making it imperative for a low-budget ($7 million), purely Indian animated film such as Delhi Safari to stand out from the crowd. Despite solid voice work by top Bollywood actors, the film — described as India’s first locally made stereoscopic 3D animation film — features mediocre animation that will cost it viewers both in India and abroad.

The premise of Delhi Safari is an admirable one: Faced with the destruction of their habitat so that humans could construct an “eco-friendly” luxury housing development outside Mumbai, a bunch of wisecracking jungle animals team up and take their case to the seat of government in Delhi.

A militant dancing monkey (energetically voiced by Govinda), an emotional talking parrot who speaks “human” (Akshaye Khanna), a protective mother leopard (Urmila Matondkar) and her brave cub (Swini Khara), and a bear called XXL Bagga (Boman Irani) survive a succession of scrapes to reach Delhi and make their grand environmental statement.

Released in 3D in some theaters (this review is based on the 2D version), the film marks the animation debut of writer-director Nikhil Advani, whose career started with a bang with Kal Ho Naa Ho in 2003 but hit a low with 2009’s big-budget martial arts flop Chandni Chowk to China and again with the Britain-set Patiala House (2011).

One of the reasons its animation (Krayon Pictures) looks old-fashioned is that the film was completed more than two years ago; it was shopped around at various film markets in 2010. Much has changed since then.

According to its producers, an English version of the film will be distributed by U.S.-based Applied Art Productions; the American version, featuring the voices of Jane Lynch, Tom Kenny, Christopher Lloyd and Jason Alexander, is due to open Dec. 7.

Opened: Oct. 19, 2012
Cast: Govinda, Suniel Shetty, Akshaye Khanna, Urmila Matondkar, Boman Irani, Prem Chopra, Swini Khara, Deepak Dobriyal, Sanjay Mishra, Saurabh Shukla
Director: Nikhil Advani
Screenwriters: Nikhil Advani, Girish Dhamija, Suresh Nair
Producers: Anupama Patil, Kishor Patil, Nitish Takia
Animation: Krayon Pictures
Editor: Aarif Sheikh
Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Not rated, 90 minutes.


The Village Voice, NY – Reviews Delhi Safari

There’s always something tricky about animated message films like India’s 3-D Delhi Safari, which tells the story of a group of animals trekking from Mumbai to Delhi in hopes of persuading humans to stop tearing down the jungle. Out of the mistaken belief that the cartoon sugarcoating means the moralizing should be amped up, filmmakers often forget the importance of telling an engaging story. See: The Mystical Laws. (Better yet, don’t see it, because The Mystical Laws is horrible.) Although its message is never subtle, Delhi Safari is fun enough to earn the right to preach. Originally in both Hindi and English, this domestic version features an all-English-language cast led by My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic‘s Tara Strong, and beyond the redubbing there are (thankfully) no real attempts to hide the movie’s origins. The Bollywood-style dance numbers are showstoppers, and though it would have been simple to change bits of the dialogue to things American children would be more likely to recognize—replacing “Parliament” with “Congress,” say—Delhi Safari remains faithful to its Indian setting. (Extra credit goes to director Nikhil Advani for giving himself a cameo wearing a FCUK T-shirt.) “Share the world,” indeed.


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