"Zokkomon," a lively and engaging family film from the Disney unit in India, not only has a light, fanciful touch and superior production design but also more substance and cohesiveness than much Bollywood fare.
A musical number, which accompanies a young boy, Kunal (Darsheel Safary), on a train trip from a big city to a remote village, foreshadows what's in store for him. The lyrics state that it is not a good thing that time stands still in this community, a place whose inhabitants have no interest in the larger world. Such stagnation has allowed corruption, superstition and cruelty to flourish, embodied in Deshraj (Anupam Kher), the pompous, despotic headmaster of the local school
Unfortunately for bright and spunky Kunal, Deshraj, a homely man with a bad wig, happens to be his uncle, who has yanked him — for his own evil reasons — out of a private school where the boy had been happy since the accidental death of his parents three years earlier.
Deshraj soon takes Kunal back to the city, abandoning him at a carnival, then returning home to proclaim his nephew dead and thereby lay claim to his inheritance.