Khumba is a young zebra who was born missing half of his stripes. Following his birth, there came a deadly drought threatening the survival of the herd and killing his mother. To his superstitious peers and his father, Khumba's unusual appearance is an extremely bad omen and he is eventually driven to run away from the herd to find water and acceptance elsewhere, leaving his only friend in Great Karoo, Tombi. On his travels, he meets a motherly wildebeest named Mama V and her wacky friend Bradley the Ostrich who are willing to travel with him and protect him from the ills of the wild, namely Phango the Leopard whose presence is a threat to every other creature in Great Karoo. He also meets Mantis, who reveals a map that could lead them to a waterhole - or will it instead lead Khumba to find his stripes?
'Khumba' is a heart-warming animated flick about that timeless message of accepting people's differences. It has been directed by Anthony Silverston in first direction, who co-wrote the screenplay alongside previous writing partner Raffaella Delle Donne ('Zambezia'). It was nominated for a Cristal award for best feature at the 2013 Annecy International Animated Film Festival and has already been released in the US.
Saints and Soldiers is lovingly produced on a small budget by Ryan Little, a young director who seems obsessed with WWII. The story is based on actual events in mid-December, 1944 in Belgium (at least as they are understood today) at the Battle of the Bulge. Americans are captured by the Germans, and when they try to escape, a number are gunned down. The handful of survivors escape into the woods and try to figure out how to get back to the Allies, made all the more important due to critical information held by a British officer they encounter along the way.
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