Let’s get one thing straight: I’m a big fan of animated movies. There’s something so magical about fairytales and the way these movies spark your imagination. And there’s always that element of nostalgia. The child inside you walks out of the cinema feeling elated. That’s exactly how I feel about Pakistan’s first animated release this year: Gluco Allahyar And The Legend Of Markhor.
I first heard about the project through multiple postings on my social media because that’s how the news breaks these days.
There were melt-your-heart celebrity videos featuring their little ones.
“Children must be taught how to think not what to think” I want my son to be strong, energetic, and resilient, just like Allahyar, the hero in #GlucoAllahyarandtheLegendofMarkhor and that is why we believe in @peekfreansglucoofficial. In cinemas on 2nd February. Strong raho, smart bano! #GlucoAllahyar #PeekFreans #ARYfilms #3rdWorldStudios #madeinpakistan #2ndfeb2018 #AYATLOM @ayatlom
Honestly, how adorable are these ???
It was soon clear that the animated production had the makings of a total success and after watching the movie premier, I have to say, it did not disappoint.
The movie started off with the telling of a mythological story involving an old dervesh who gets attacked by a serpent but is saved by a Markhor.
Since that day, the two become the best of friends and lead a peaceful life together. Till the day the dervesh dies and transfers all his knowledge to the markhor. Legend has it, whoever saves the life of a markhor gains the ability to talk to all animals.
The real story begins with Allahyar, a little Pakistani kid from up north who dreams of becoming the bravest of all.
His father is a local ranger and it’s basically just the two of them against the world.
One night, some hunters are going past their house with a markhor captured in a crate. The crate falls off and the two decide to take in the baby markhor. The hunters come back late into the night, kill the father and abduct the boy along with the baby markhor. The boy once again saves the markhor’s life and the two run off into the jungle and that is where their unique journey begins.
The animations are absolutely brilliant with such attention to detail that there are times when you have to actively check whether it’s real footage or part of the animation.
The film is testament to the fact that despite being in such a nascent stage, Pakistani cinema is capable of producing animated feature films that are comparable to those made abroad. Allahyar and the legend of Markhor perfectly encapsulated an experience close to that of Disney and Pixar films but the cherry on top was the local context: Pakistani voices, Pakistani names, Urdu and the stunning backdrop of the Himalayas.
To point out a few weak points, the film uses Urdu phrases that are not very conversational and thus, loses that connect with the younger audiences. It is important to note that colloquially, we’re used to romanticizing Urdu to a point where children cannot adopt it in their daily life. A movie like this should be able to connect with children and that can only occur once the words start to feel familiar.
Allahyar sheds light on illegal trade of the rare and National Animal of Pakistan, “Markhor”, amongst other animals.
An important conversation that doesn’t really make the headlines and it is heartening to see brands get behind socially responsible initiatives such as these. The characters are well thought-out and funny in their own right. With Ali Noor, Natasha Hummer Ejaz, Azfar Jafri, Anum Zaidi, Arieb Azhar, Hareem Farooq and Ali Rehman Khan lending their voices, the film is a treat to watch.
All in all, Gluco Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor is worth a trip to the cinema. Whether you’re someone who’s looking to find the child in you or want to bond with your kids/nephews/nieces/cousins over popcorn, this should be your weekend pick.
The movie officially released for cinema goers all over Pakistan on February 2nd. So, when are you getting your ticket?
This post has been sponsored by Peek Freans Gluco.