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Times of India
A young falcon called Kai leaves his father and heads to a fabled city called Zambezia, set around a huge Baobab tree along the edge of the Victoria Falls that is a paradise-on-Earth for birds of all species. A coming-of age tale, the journey teaches Kai some important lessons in life.
So far this year, we've seen animated films about all kinds of creatures -racing snails, furry monsters, midget forest dwellers and various other cute creatures. So it's only fitting that there should be one about birds, as is the case with Zambezia.
Kai (Jeremy Suarez) is an ambitious and impetuous falcon who dreams of life beyond his current abode. Opportunity lands at his doorstep when Gogo (Jenifer Lewis) enchants him with tales about an exotic-sounding city called Zambezia. Now, apart from being enamoured by female falcon Zoe (Abigail Breslin) who also provides him inspiration, Kai is in conflict with his dad Tendai (Samuel L. Jackson) about the whole Zambezia idea.
Zoe's father is the wise elder of Zambezia called Sekhuru (Leonard Nimoy) who also offers the young Kai wise words. This is when things take a familiar turn - as part of his coming of age, he must overcome the parent-child conflict and stick with his beliefs. There's also another reason why Kai wants to go to Zambezia - to join the Hurricanes, who comprise the city's guardian elite. To make the grade, he must please the leader of the Hurricanes, Ajax (Jeff Goldblum). Together, they must be vigilant of the Marabous (who are not allowed in the city) who have teamed up with a dangerous lizard called Buzdo (Jim Cummings).
The plot of this South African film is needlessly complicated and the dialogues, too many. The surfeit of characters clutters the film and makes the pace plod at times, despite the relatively short running time. The animations look quite dull and not smooth enough, like a dated video game. This one's fairly ho-hum.