Pakistan’s foray in animation (so far) has been an exciting ride. While Usman Riaz’s Mano Animation Studios is working on Pakistan’s first full-length hand-drawn animation film, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s 3D computer animated franchise, 3 Bahadur (comprising two films) and Haroon Rashid’s award-winning animated series, Burka Avenger represent the beginning of a glorious animated age.
Adding a new (and possibly remarkable) chapter to this story is the upcoming film, Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor that is slated to release next month.
Directed and written by Uzair Zaheer Khan with Azfar Jafri spearheading the animation department, the trailer tells the story of Allahyar (voiced by Anum Zaidi) - who lives on the outskirts of a mountainous town in northern Pakistan - and his pursuit to save his family from certain trouble that lies ahead. Joined by Mehru (voiced by Natasha Humera Ejaz), Hero (voiced by Azfar Jafri) and others, Allahyar takes on the hunter Mani (voiced by Ali Noor).
The thing about animated films, at least when done right, is that they have widespread appeal. And the trailer in that sense is superb. The animation is detailed and therefore gorgeous. That doesn’t mean just the characters but also the environment and architecture within which they are found. The film will perhaps remind us to pay more attention to nature and to be less ambivalent to animals.
Apart from Ali Noor, Anum Zaidi, Azfar Jafri and Natasha Humera Ejaz, the cast of the film also includes Ali Rehman Khan, Hareem Farooq, Arshad Mehmood, Nadia Jamil, Amjad Chaudhry and Ahmed Ali.
Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor is scheduled to release on February 2, 2018.