Jumbo is the name of the protagonist of this animation film, which goes by the same name. He is a cute, loveable, baby elephant, who is in search of his father. That, in a nutshell, is the basic storyline of this animation flick. But there is just one problem with the film, it is not fun enough. Considering that the film is targeted at the kiddie audience, there is very little humour and even less fun moments in the film. Also, the coming of age plot has by now become quite hackneyed and done to death by more skilled filmmakers, like in the Lion King, for instance, still an all-time favourite with kids and adults alike.
The hook for the film, is supposedly Akshay Kumar, Dimple Kapadia, Gulshan Grover and Rajpal Yadav's voiceover, but it is not enough to salvage the film. The animation quality of the movie, which has been made in Thailand, is quite refreshing and good. But the story line seems to suffer from antiquity. Also, the tale is not narrated with the sense of levity as it should have been. Unfortunately, the film is much too verbose for its target audience. Forget kids, even adults will find it boring after they have got over the cuteness of Jumbo, the protagonist.
The story is about Jumbo, who goes out in search of his lost father but ends up losing his mother as well. But on the journey, he discovers love with a pink elephant called Sonia (Lara Dutta's voice). He also stumbles upon an exiled kingdom, which is ruled by a good king and joins his army as a warrior elephant. He then leads the army to battle with his arch enemy, a tusker called Bhaktavar (Grover).
The coming –of-age-theme and the need to emerge a winner has definitely been inspired by Lion King. But unlike the latter, which had a lot of fun elements, Jumbo lacks the fun quotient. The film is more like a moral story liberally dishing it out about peace, brotherhood and family values. This preaching-from-the-pulpit attitude mars the movie. Just because the target audience is kids does not mean that makers have a field day preaching? Films are meant for entertainment and that should rightly be the first criterion.
The star voices don't really add much to the film, except for the curiosity factor. The only voice which seems to stand out and actually elicits laughter, is that of Rajpal Yadav as a messenger bird. Besides being the voice of the protagonist, Akshay also appears for an item song which comes along with the film's credits. This film, which has been directed by Kompinn Kemgumnird, is too lethargic and lax. It fails to connect with its target audience.