wogma rating: Add to that never-watched 'To Watch' list (?)
Arjun: The Warrior Prince has decent animation by Indian standards which equate to very average ones by international ones, notwithstanding the differences in budgets. Also, the great epic has been tinkered around with to no advantage.Read more
The quality of animation in the Walt Disney logo video (producer), despite repeated views, gets your hopes up for the animation film coming up. And of course, you are disappointed with the first scene. But, it won't be surprising if the money spent on that logo video is close to that spent on the whole Arjun: The Warrior Prince. Given that, I understand it's an unfair expectation and comparison. Even so, the faces and expressions in our animation is far behind.
The backdrops on the other hand are much detailed. Even the patterns on clothes and jewelry is pretty intricate. Even the long shots, are conceptualized really well, the colors, the formations in the war sequences are aesthetic. Then, why the lack of imagination in the facial expression department. 2-3 variations each of how eyebrows, eyes and lips move are the only things you see. Same goes for body language and any movement - be it trees, water or animals. All these movements do come across as a few frames are missing between two gross movements.
These things take away a lot from the experience of an animated film. Sure, some of these must be a function of money available but a lot of it also comes across as lack of talent. Another department our animated films lack in is the voice animation. That too doesn't have as much variation and thus distracts from the story being told.
Mahabharat, the war itself - the events it encompasses, the many characters and their complex relationships - is humungous enough for a movie to cover in entirety. We know, the events leading up to the war are far beyond a single session of story-telling. So, it is indeed unfair to expect a 100-minute to cover it all. And thankfully, Arjun: The Warrior Prince doesn't attempt to do it all either. It clearly conveys that it intends to tell only so much and the rest is either to be looked up outside the film or it indicates that there is a part 2 coming up. However, seeing the war of Kurukshetra as epilogue text was hilarious.
Like one would expect, it is assumed that we know of the central characters from earlier on. While I'm glad only few characters are explicitly introduced, the abrupt way in which characters are brought into the picture is rather disconcerting. As if no time was spent in thinking about how and when the character should blend in with the story, case in example, Bhishma Pitamah.
Then come some liberties taken with the great epic. While some are acceptable as input by the maker like a tall Gandhari accompanying a short, blind Dhrithrashtra or the short and stout Shakuni (who is the tall Gandhari's brother). But there are others that are a no-no. For example, the way in which the chakravyuha formation of soldiers is shown - it didn't look like a maze at all! Not to mention its use in the Virat war with Arjun and Abhimanyu together is questionable. And a few other such changes in story, while wanting to narrate the story as we know.
For a film titled Arjun: The Warrior Prince, I'd expect a lot more of Arjun's point of view. They do try, but it still feels like episodes one might have heard from a grandparent as a bedtime story. There isn't much more insight than that.
Arjun: The Warrior Prince works as much as a comic strip book about him would. Except for much more intricate backdrops sans the speech/thought bubbles.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...ARJUN THE WARRIOR PRINCE needs to be watched for its animation, for its storytelling and most importantly, it makes an earnest effort to relive the mythology. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham Editorial, Glamsham.com : ...brilliance in narration by Arnab is simply fascinating. Kudos to his vision for minutely detailing all aspects of the film; be it the sets, the characters, their expressions, their voices, their individual walk, their outfits, the camera angles or even the music.... full review
Thumbs up, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...The heroic exploits and inner struggles of Arjun are woven into the film's narrative so convincingly that you tend to forget this is animation.... full review
Thumbs up, by Priyanka Ketkar, koimoi : ...For the sake of quality animation, for the sake of an hour well-spent and for the sake of a true Indian hero, Arjun: The Warrior Prince is truly a must-watch.... full review
Thumbs up, by Mansha Rastogi, Now Running.com : ...The animation work has been laboriously done and can easily be claimed to be one of the best works in the recent times. The detailing in the backdrop and the grandeur successfully accentuates the movie viewing experience.... full review
Thumbs up, by Preeti Arora, Rediff : ...It would've been easy to let this plot go stale, for the simple reason that it has been explored so much, but hats off to the director for bringing something new to the platter.... full review
Thumbs up, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...The film is ideal for slightly older children who will revel in the beautiful visuals, and won’t be affected by the few moments of gory violence.... full review
Thumbs up, by Swati Rohatgi, STARDUST : ...Arjun: The Warrior Prince, though maybe yet another mythological animation film but it deserves a watch for the narrative and the animation work.... full review
Thumbs up, by Ananya Bhattacharya, Zee News : ...The film has a few brilliantly shot songs, a couple of which linger in your mind even after you are out of the theatre and into your mundane realities.... full review
So-So, Daily Bhaskar : ...Direction, dialogues, performances, cinematography and VFX are the strong points. Music, editing and screenplay, especially thre pre-interval moments are the drawbacks.... full review
So-So, by Udita Jhunjhunwala, Live Mint : ...Bloody and violent, although animated, Arjun is aimed more at adults than at children, and as much as it traces the warrior prince’s coming of age, it also marks the coming of age of Indian animation features.... full review
wabbster: 'Arjun' is an awesome movie. Meant for kids older than ten.
shantanub: Watched 'Arjun' y'day with kid. Liberties with story, but brilliant animation. And by an Indian company! Congrats Tata Elxsi! @TataCompanies
sandeepthinks: Arjun.. good animation. i loved the sound editing..story is abrupt.. approach is different.. #Vtalkies
DrManita: Watched Arjun, the warrior. Cute movie
crazyandhow: walt disney Arjun is a good movie. fab animation, nice story telling. go watch.
arnabmajumdar: Arjun, The Warrior Prince... #wokeupindia.... Indian Folklore, Disney Animation, heady concoction!!
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.