The Donkey King – A FUCHSIA Review
If you have been remotely within earshot of a TV set in Pakistan, you will be very familiar with the song ‘Donkey Raja’ playing almost every half hour on Geo News. The song is part of the newly-released Pakistani Animated movie ‘The Donkey King’. The film is a joint production of Talisman Studios and Geo News. Donkey King is directed by Aziz Jindani – a familiar name if you happen to have witnessed the Commander Safeguard series.
A word of caution: the trailer might give you serious ‘Zootopia’ vibes, but the movie is no way near that. Donkey King boasts a star-studded cast from industry legends such as Javed Sheikh, Irfan Khoosat and Ismail Tara. The film also hosts new-comers like Shafaat Ali. In fact, you will find almost every star of our industry disguised as one or another character in the movie.
‘The Donkey King’ is a story about the Kingdom of Azadnagar. Typical of any jungle story, the Lions rule the town and a strict hierarchy is adhered to. Amidst the ordinary town life of these animals, lives a donkey, Mangu (with a voice over by Jan Rambo). He is a launderer (Dhobi) by profession. Mangu aims to achieve big. With the help of his deceased father Changu’s (Javed Sheikh) guidance, he daydreams of a life filled with love and riches. With the help of some devious planning by Miss Fitna (Hina Dilpazeer), Mangu ends up being an election candidate for the much desired post of King of Azadnagar. And then onwards, his journey unfolds over a 2 hour duration that is littered with both comedy and metaphors.
Fun For All Ages?
‘Fun for all ages’, is the tagline adopted by Donkey King’s promoters – a tad deceitful, if we may say so. The film explores underlying problems with the country’s democracy. This makes for a complex narrative that is too political and metaphorical for young minds to comprehend. Although the overall pace of the film is quite slow, the background score doesn’t let you get bored easily. If you are the kind of viewer whose attention to detail is sharp, you will catch the mismatched lip syncing at some points.
On the other hand, the film adds to the very limited list of animated movies produced in Pakistan, and that’s definitely a big step for our film industry. Despite the fact that the film lacks at some major points, Donkey King will offer you a different kind of entertainment. You get to listen to some of your favourite actors voicing over the characters, especially Hina Dilpazeer, be it just her voice, is always a delight on-screen.
Although, the general audience reviews on popular news channel show that the film has surpassed expectations, we’d advise caution. The movie content is meant more for mature audiences and definitely not for young viewers who aren’t aware of the political dramas of the country.
We give Donkey King a 3 out of 5 stars.
‘The Donkey King’ is one of many firsts in Pakistan’s line of animated movies, (there is not too much activity on the animated front), sadly however, we are still in dire need of quality content, especially for the younger generation.
If you are planning on watching Donkey King because your children want to watch an animated thriller, do go and support the Pakistani Film Industry, but be prepared for some word-play and innuendos – just a heads up there. Enjoy!
Anum holds a Bachelors Degree in Media Arts from the University of Karachi, Pakistan. She passionately pursues a career in freelance film-making and content writing. Anum has worked with Ideas by Gul Ahmed, SIUT and Sukoon. She plans to launch her own web channel one day. Her Motto in life, in her own words: "Live in the moment, as it will pass, like everything else in life!"