Friday, 9 October 2015

"Zarafa" (Guardian 09/10/15)

Zarafa **
Dirs: Remi Bezançon, Jean-Christophe Lie. Animation with the voices of: Raeusi Uraeus, Sjaak Caderyn, Nya-Jolie Walters, Scottie Ray. 78 mins. Cert: PG

This dubbed French animation has some of the livestock and poop gags common to multiplex fare, but – parents be warned – inserts them into a narrative that flirts with slavery and other abuses. Our young Sudanese hero helps transport the first giraffe to 19th century France only after another animal has been killed by hunters – and a tricky pocket of racism awaits at court. Directors Remi Bezançon and Jean-Christophe Lie pay close attention to Africa’s landscape and storytelling traditions, but their scholarship manifests in a stiffly self-conscious style, leaving Laurent Perez’s thunderous orchestral score struggling to confer epic status on an otherwise slight diversion. The Kirikou movies were livelier.

Zarafa opens in selected cinemas from today. 

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