The animation industry in Pakistan gets a huge boost with Gluco Allahyar and The Legend of Markhor that has been written and directed by Uzair Zaheer Khan who had formerly been associated with Burka Avenger. The film has been made possible with the help of English Biscuit Manufacturers and ARY who join hands to ensure that kids continue to imagine big so that they can achieve big. It stars Ali Noor, Natasha Humera Ejaz, Anum Zaidi, Azfar Jafri and Abdul Nabi Jamali as Voice Over artists . The biggest plus of the movie is the fact that it is completely in Urdu and that animals speak the same language as humans, reminding the audience of Hollywood classics like The Lion King!
Gluco Allahyar and The Legend of Markhor is the story of a young boy named Allahyar (Anum Zaidi) who plays savior to the national animal of Pakistan – Markhor – in the mountain region of Sia Koh. Since he plays the ‘protector’, he is granted the power to address animals and understand their language through a legend – the legend of Markhor. Allahyar then decides to take the Markhor (Natasha Humera Ejaz) to her home in the mountains and are helped in their quest by Hero The Chakor (Azfar Jafri) and Chakku The Snow Leopard (Abdul Nabi Jamali) besides other animals.
What makes Gluco Allahyar and The Legend of Markhor different from the previous animated films in Pakistan is the fact that it takes animation to a whole new level; where the characters appear real, be it animals or humans. For those who understand the game behind animations, it is very difficult and time-consuming to animate animals and director Uzair Zaheer Khan must be commended for taking the initiative and delivering it. He has gone for non-actors for Voice Overs which gives the film a fresh feeling as neither Ali Noor nor Natasha Humera Ejaz had acted much before this animated adventure.
The film is targeted at children but it will also appeal to their parents since it talks about standing against bullies, fighting evil in the society and above all, keeping the natural habitat, natural. The background score suits the theme of the film whereas the soundtrack does appeal to all since there are a few songs in the background and one that is filmed on the animals. Zoheb Hassan’s iconic number Muskuraye Ja will bring a smile on the face of the audience be it an 8-year-old or an 88-year-old as for the young it’s an unknown song and for the old, a super-hit classic. The dance moves are well-choreographed and quite apt considering it’s the animals who are performing for a human here.
The quality of animation will surely impress the audience here but with great animation comes great responsibility; had the Voice Over artists not been chosen on merit, it might have backfired. Anum Zaidi plays Allahyar to perfection; her mannerisms, her movements and her antics were all incorporated in the character which is not a small achievement by any means. Natasha Humera Ejaz’s voice resembles that of a Markhor because it is as sweet as the animal’s look. Abdul Nabi Jamali’s voice fits that of a Snow Leopard Cub while Ali Noor shrugs his good guy image to play the poacher who hates animals as well as humans. The star of the film, however, was Azfar Jafri who lends his voice to Hero The Parrot as well as Allahyar’s father. As Hero, he has the best lines that will appeal to the kids and they will love his ‘Being Romeo’ factor because whoever he sees, he falls in love with.
The opening sequence might seem a little difficult to understand for kids who grow up on simple Urdu and this is where the parents will be of help. Who knows some might even learn a new word or two when they exit the theatre. The audience must be thankful to Gluco for it believes in providing a chance to local culture and talent and associating itself with this film was a masterstroke. On the whole, Gluco Allahyar and The Legend of Markhor is a must-watch film for kids; take them to the theatre for the experience of a lifetime. They will cherish the experience of saving their motherland and its treasures, and might come out of the theatre as better humans and Pakistanis!