When Khumba – a zebra with a lack of markings – is born into a superstitious herd, his fellow species think it’s a bad sign. And, much to young Khumba’s detriment, a potentially deadly drought soon follows his birth. But instead of letting his fellow zebras vilify him, he attempts to find a watering hole.
In doing so, he meets a wide range of brilliantly funny, scary and loyal characters along way. There’s Phango, the dangerous leopard who controls the waterholes and terrorizes the animals in the Great Karoo, played by Liam Neeson.
And then there’s Skalk, played by Steve Buscemi, the hilarious wild dog that the quirky paring of a wildebeest and an ostrich save Khumba from.
In addition to Buscemi and Neeson, Khumba has a brilliant voice acting cast, including Jake T. Austin, Anna Sophia Robb, Laurence Fishburne, Richard E. Grant, Catherine Tate, Charles Adler and Dee Bradley Baker.
"It's a stronger story than Zambezia, which was not accepted into the Toronto festival, while Khumba was,” partner at Triggerfish Jean-Michel Koenig – the Capetown animation studio responsible for the film, said. Zambezia was their previous effort.
"People don't even realise there is a fully functioning animation studio in Bergvliet, Cape Town. We aim to be the best independent studio in the world." (Times Live)
The film is directed by first-timer Anthony Silverston "The film is about accepting one's individuality,” said the rookie. "We want kids to walk away with a message about feeling comfortable in their own skin."
Both Silverston and Triggerfish have reason to be confident in Khumba’s potential in both its native Africa and the western world.
It was the highest grossing South African film in 30 years, grossing over $28m at the box office worldwide. Khumba will have its first theatrical release on 25 October in South Africa before being rolled out to more than 40 territories thereafter.
Khumba has to make new friends on his journey
Rejected by his own herd...
The official poster for Khumba