Direction: Wayne Thornley
Voices: Jeremy Suarez, Abigail Breslin
Taking full advantage of the technological advances in n, this South African feature is a surprisingly fresh entrant in the ever-burgeoning contemporary cartoon arena.
Set against a series of unwaveringly bright backdrops in the veldt, the kid-friendly fable revolves around the efforts of a fledgling falcon (voiced to perfection by Suarez) to defend the titular abode of birds.
Accompanied by his feathery friends, the flock soars into flight to vanquish a giant lizard (Jim Cummings, sufficiently sinister) and his stiff upper lip cohorts.
Debutant director Wayne Thornley has assembled a diverse – and very funny – crew of characters who add considerable verve to an already colourful adventure. To be sure, their saucy repartee will not amuse young children as much as it may the adult audience.
A braveheart kite (endearingly dubbed by Breslin) brings romantic chemistry to her relationship with the falcon. The soundtrack is filled with snippets of Afrocentric tunes. Commendably, too, the cautionary coming-of–age life lessons are schmaltz-free.
With its consistent invention and visual deftness, Zambezia provides popcorn-ready entertainment for the entire family.