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Review: 'Delhi Safari' means well but lacks zest

'Delhi Safari,' an Indian animated comedy with English-language voicing by Vanessa Williams, Brad Garrett and more, is eco-friendly and mildly fun.

December 06, 2012|By Gary Goldstein
  • A scene from "Delhi Safari."
A scene from "Delhi Safari." (Handout )

The Indian-made "Delhi Safari," being shown stateside in an English-language version, proves a painless, if only mildly inventive, animated comedy.

While it's passable, eco-friendly entertainment for young children, even they will likely spot the low-budget film's creative limitations. It may also be tough for even the most global-minded viewers to square the clearly non-Bollywood voices employed here amid "Delhi's" many localized names, references and visuals.

The script, written by director Nikhil Advani with Suresh Nair and Girish Dhamija, finds a mix of jungle animals — a wary mother leopard (voiced by Vanessa Williams), her plucky cub (Tara Strong), an aggressive monkey (Carlos Alazraqui), an equitable bear (Brad Garrett), a loquacious parrot (Tom Kenny) — caravanning from Mumbai to parliamentary Delhi to protest the destruction of their forest habitat for an upscale human housing development.

En route, when they're not battling one another or breaking into a bland song (save the title tune — it's a toe-tapper) the group encounters such momentum-building obstacles as a hungry band of hyenas and a shape-shifting swarm of bees. The turbaned flamingo flock (featuring the voices of Jason Alexander and Jane Lynch) also provides a bit of fun.

The final showdown, however, feels too swift and simple, with the whole well-meaning enterprise ultimately lacking that special zing.


"Delhi Safari." MPAA rating: PG for violence and menacing action, rude humor, suggestive content and thematic elements. Running time: 1 hour, 37 minutes. At Laemmle's Playhouse 7, Pasadena.

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