They claim to have learnt from Yash Raj Film's mistakes -
Despite the fact that Yash Raj Films hired the services of top stars like Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor for their expensive animation project, ROADSIDE ROMEO, they failed to get the fact across to the audience! None of the promos both print and broadcasted showed the top pair.
I hope this is not the only thing they have learnt. So, Percept has pulled the magic trick. Now we all know Akshay Kumar is the voice behind the cute-blue elephant and that he's been paid 9-crores to gain all that weight and color. Oh yeah, and the fee must also include the item number, 'Everything's gonna be alright', in his non-animated avatar.
While we are yet to come across an Indian animated movie that was worth watching after Hanuman, a Thai movie which has done well in Thailand might have been something that would have worked well for the health of the cash registers. Especially when pitted against Ghajini. But, looks like that is a very intentional move -
We have purposely pitched Jumbo against Ghajini because we feel that our film has the ability to stand against a big commercial film
What is also interesting is that Yuvraj Singh will replace Akshay Kumar in the Punjabi version. 9 crores for every language that Akshay can speak might not exactly define a wise commercial decision now, would it? But, it'd be fun to see Yuvraj in an alternate career because he seems really comfortable in commercials.
The commercials for the movie have teeny-weeny glimpses of the voiceovers done by Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta, Dimple Kapadia and Gulshan Kumar.
It actually looks like everything is indeed gonna be alright...
- meeta, a part of the audience
In absolute terms Jumbo, the baby elephant will keep kids good company. But relatively speaking it doesn’t have the zing of The Lion King or the wit and sensitivity of Finding Nemo, two movies the plot seems to have tried to combine.
On the look for his missing father, Jumbo loses his way and is torn apart from his mother too. What more can a child identify with? Separation from parents - the biggest fear and the most traumatic nightmare imaginable. Going ahead too, the plot is not treated with kid gloves. It stays pretty close to dark. That makes it a kids’ movie that respects the target audience’s intelligence even if the subtlety is not noticed by them.
And yet they need the fun and energy, which I think is missing. That kids might not miss it at all, is a completely different matter. The story doesn’t have anything new, but then kids love repetition. And hey, it is, in fact better than the alternatives produced in recent times. So, it all depends on what you are comparing it too. There are enough on either side of the scale and Jumbo stands pretty much in the middle.
Same goes for the animation, it wasn’t entirely appealing. Elephants with long legs, wide eyes, and out of proportion trunks were not pleasing to watch, even if it was only for 90 minutes. Same goes for other animals sketched out. I liked the concept of elephants in multiple colors though. A comment on how the species stays united despite the variation in skin color?
In my mind voices of characters are done well, if I have to try hard to recognize the voice - it seems familiar but I cant spot it because of the modulation. So, when a Gulshan Grover does a Gulshan Grover and Rajpal Yadav and Asrani too play themselves, I find it mundane if not annoying. On the other hand despite the tremendous publicity Akshay Kumar and Dimple Kapadia got, they sounded like supposedly-cute elephants would if they could speak. Their inflections sounded convincing.
On the Hindi animation scene for kids, there isn’t much happening - especially non-mythological. In that sense, it is good to have Jumbo dubbed with the right amount of star value. But otherwise, there isn’t anything remarkably different about the story or the animation.
- meeta, a part of the audience
So-So, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...A typical coming-of-age drama told in a simple, straight style, Jumbo has some respectable animation, but lacks the edge that is required to make it an engaging enough watch.... full review
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Violence: Fair amount of war scenes. Concept: Separation from and death of a dear one.