The Donkey King Review: This Animated Movie Is Not To Be Missed

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How many times have you seen young and old excited about a Pakistani film, with both claiming it to be made for them! Donkey King is one such film as it entertains the young with interesting characters and plot while makes fun of the political satire to appease the old.

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And then there is our all-time favorite Mangu Mangu Jan Mangu and you get a film that is not to be missed but to be watched repeatedly.

Synopsis

In Azad Nagar, a land where animals are in power, the King Badshah Khan (Ghulam Mohiuddin) decides to take a break, leaving his son Shehzada (Adeel Hashmi) in charge. Seeing that other animals didn’t like the idea, he accepts a proposition put forward by Miss Fitna (Hina Dilpazir), giving the population a chance to elect their leader.

A useless, day-dreaming donkey Mangu (Jan Rambo) gets to contest the election against the Prince despite opposition from his Pehelwan Chacha (Ismail Tara), and wins the election by a huge margin, not because of his popularity but because everyone hates the Shehzada.

It is only after being crowned the King that Mangu realizes that there is more to the designation than meets the eye; not everything is as ideal as it seems from the outside.

The same animals who promoted him to win the elections want him to be their puppet so that they can continue their agenda without any suspicion. Will Mangu be able to save his fellow animals from disaster or will he fall to the treacherous game of which he is just a pawn, watch Donkey King to know who shows the door and who is shown the door.

Analysis

For an animated film, two things are most important – voiceovers and animation. In Donkey King, they have used the best actors in the country that have a distinct voice such as Jawed Sheikh, Ghulam Mohiuddin, Shabbir Jan, Jan Rambo, Hina Dilpazir to name a few.

Each actor fits the character and couldn’t have given VO for someone else such as Adeel Hashmi as Shehzada Khan, Hina Dilapzir as the Fox, Jawed Sheikh as Mangu’s father and so on. Jan Rambo was the highlight of the film as he breathed a new life into Mangu’s character and made it fun loving and also proved to the world that talent never fades away.

As for the animation, it is by far the best animation seen in a film produced entirely in the country; director Aziz Jindani must be commended for combining it all perfectly – the Voiceovers, the animation, and a script to die for. With Kamran Khimani, he has come up with a screenplay that has everything for everyone and while many elderlies will rate the script as more suited to the old than the young, it is fit for all.

The youngsters might not get the pun in the songs, the dialogues or even the plot but they will realize that once they become old and laugh about it.

Verdict

Out of all the animated films to come out of Pakistan, Donkey King is the best considering it caters to all, doesn’t follow the superhero formula, takes help of the time machine and has a narrative that never slows down.

Unlike Allahyar and The Legend of Markhor, it revolves around animals completely, only making it the desi version of George Orwell’s classic novella Animal Farm. Its animation is at par with Disney’s classics and although some of the characters might seem familiar, Zeeshan Karimi and his team of animators have delivered an ace, so many years after Commander Safeguard.

They have modulated the voiceovers so that you hear animals and not the superstars lending their voices; every character has some traits which resonates with their name and best of all, Mangu Mangu Jan Mangu pays tribute to the one and only Jan Rambo who makes a comeback to films and proves his worth. For some, the plot might seem too mature but wasn’t that the case with The Great Mouse Detective, Lion King and other Disney animations that revolved around animals. It was and we must appreciate good work so that in the future we can come up with better projects.

Ratings: 4/5

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