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Times of India
IT IS A SIMPLE CONVENTIONAL STORY THAT IS A DELIGHT FOR KIDS!
Chhota Bheem and his friends travel to Manali to get a taste of snowy winters. The city dwellers are exasperated of a local dacoit named Hidimbak, a shrewd, manipulative ski warrior who harbours the dream of ruling over the entire region. Does Bheem take the miscreant to task?
It is admirable that Chhota Bheem Himalayan Adventure stays as thrilling in a 90-minute film as it does in its half-hour episodes. It might seem humble in comparison to the inventive Pixar offerings of the recent past like Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur, but it wins on many counts. Benefiting from being an intrinsically desi story that captures the flavours Indian kids have grown up on, the stunts and Bheem's bahaduri has been amplified for celluloid purposes.
The writing is deliberately kept conventional and focuses completely on the deeds and misdeeds of Bheem and his gang. The best thing about the movie is that it is kept crisp. At 90 minutes, it never feels heavy. With a sketchy story at its core, its animation has a rich look. The beautiful rendering of the snow-capped mountains and the ski scenes are fabulously done. It is never quite photo-real but the earnestness in the effort is hard to miss. The gripes from its previous installment stay. Overemphasising on physical prowess has always been a major issue with this cartoon series.
There is no clever spin to the plot and it takes up a predictable hero-versus-villain route. It is a simple, conventional story that is a delight for kids but it never pushes itself to further the genre. The only thing worth applauding in this largely familiar story is the emphasis on adventure sports. Thankfully, we are told all about the safety measures, even if in a tad-too-preachy voice!
Chhota Bheem Himalayan Adventure is amateurish but a roller coaster ride that entertains to the hilt. You just wish it had a little more than what we've seen in the TV series.
Manali creamed, and how
Given the iconic status this animated hero has among pre-teens, reviewing this film is inconsequential. Apart from the fact that this demographic doesn't care for reviews, it's one that will lap up anything to do with their muscular teen hero. But for the parents who will be compelled to tag along, here's what you're in for.
Here, our minor Bheem heads for a major adventure in the Himalayan slopes with his usual gang of friends, Chutki, Raju, Jaggu the monkey, Kalia Pehalwan, his two followers, Dolu and Bholu and Princess Indu. Only this time, Manali, the hill station famed for winter activities is plagued with terror. A certain super villain Hidimbak wrecks havoc on the Himalayan town and threatens to take over the kingdom.
Naturally, Chhota Bheem's holiday becomes a little less ordinary and our mighty one picks up the necessary skills to apprehend Hidimbak. In this mission, Bheem and his friends are tutored by a certain Sardar Negi, a local known for his sharp skiing skills. Guessing how this story folds up won't earn you any Dholakpur ke laddoo (Chhota Bheem's power food). But it's safe to say no one exits unhappy from this screen.
Indian animae has been criticized for subscribing to a certain mould. A type that dismisses the need to detail out finer character attributes or attempt infusing them with any distinct expression. Watching this film doesn't alter this perception much. While most environments look like water colour paintings, the characters itself have restrained expressions. But to its credit, it manages to hold your attention and interest for most of its runtime. The music by John Stewart Eduri helps furnish a certain thrill, especially in the tense action scenes and the choreography for the song Zip Zap Zoom makes the little Bheem channel his inner Shahid Kapoor. Out of ideas to amuse your little one? This could cover you for an hour and a half.