The land and sky of Africa are beautifully portrayed in traditional two-dimensional animation, and this film’s depiction of Paris could put Disney’s Notre Dame to shame. The snowy landscape of France feels alien compared to the palpable heat of Alexandria, while the constant rain pouring down in the French capital gives the city of love a refreshingly darker perspective.
It is therefore disappointing that the story and characters are so simplistic. The villain of the piece is nothing but hateful; his motives for irrationally pursuing Maki across continents are never explained, despite his efforts repeatedly failing. Yet this is first and foremost a children’s film, and its target audience will be amused by the eccentric merchant Mahmoud, entertained by the sword fights, and enchanted by Zarafa.
The film has a youthful innocence that will charm children and adults alike. The plot is simple, but it is Maki and his band of brothers that make it so successful.
Zarafa does not yet have a release date in the UK
Watch the trailer for Zarafa here: