Watch Zarafa

The film consists of a village elder (Vernon Dobtcheff) telling a story to a group of eager children. Set in the early 19th Century, the story tells of Maki (voiced by Max Renaudin), a ten-year-old orphaned Sudanese boy who has been sold into slavery by Muslim slave traders with his friend Soula. He escapes the villainous slave trader Moreno (voiced by Thierry Fremont) and comes across a young giraffe and its mother. Moreno catches up to Maki and kills the mother giraffe. Maki promises the calf's mother that he------€™ll protect and nurture her. Just as Moreno is about to take him to his slave camp, Hassan, a Bedouin nomad (Simon Abkarian), intervenes and saves his life. Maki follows Hassan as soon as he takes the giraffe with him. Hassan names the giraffe Zarafa (Arabic for ------€œgiraffe------€) and reluctantly agrees to take care of Maki and Zarafa. They come across a merchant, Mahmoud, who gives them two Tibetan cows, Mounh and Sounh. Maki discovers Soula being forced into slave labor by Moreno. When the evil man turns his attention on Maki, Soula hits him with a palm leaf, but before Moreno can beat her with his whip, Maki cries out for her and Hassan steps in. Maki thanks Hassan for saving him. Hassan is on a mission to the Pasha of Egypt, Mehemet Ali, who wants to offer a young giraffe to the King of France, Charles X, to convince him to unite his country against the Turks besieging Alexandria. Maki and Hassan join together with the aeronaut Malaterre, who agrees to take Zarafa to Paris via a hot air balloon. Hassan convinces Maki to leave Zarafa, but Malaterre thinks otherwise, seeing Maki------€™s determination, and takes the boy with them. The basket gets heavy, so Hassan and Malaterre toss Maki and the cows over the side. Maki and the two cows land on a pirate ship, where they come across the pirate queen Bouboulina and her ragtag crew. Maki explains that he is in pursuit of a treasure of great value aboard the balloon. Instead of taking him prisoner, Bouboulina welcomes Maki to her crew. Meanwhile, Moreno is determined to hunt down Maki and arrives on shore with Soula in tow. Bouboulina and her crew rescue Maki and scare off Moreno and his henchmen. The group continues on their journey. During a perilous crossing of the mountains where the balloon crashed, one of the cows is taken by a pack of wolves. Hassan, Maki, Malaterre, and the cow survivor finally reach Paris. The cynical King Charles accepts the gift but refuses to help the Pasha. Zarafa is shut away in the city zoo, and Maki stays firm about returning the giraffe to her home. Moreno kidnaps him and forces him to work in his household. Hassan is ashamed that he had failed his mission and mortified to have lost Maki, so he sinks into despair and alcohol. As several years pass, Zarafa------€™s appearance causes ------€œgiraffe mania------€ and she grows up. Maki is reunited with Soula and they escape from Moreno------€™s clutches. They manage to find Malaterre and Hassan, but the nomad is unable to help them, since he becomes an alcoholic and they cannot take him with them. Maki rushes into the zoo with Soula. He discovers a hippopotamus, and, remembering an experience he had with one before meeting Hassan, tells Soula to hold up her parasol. Maki does the same and the hippo squirts a colossal pile of dung onto King Charles and his subjects, giving our heroes enough time to make a getaway. They rush to free Zarafa, but she is too large to fit into the balloon. Maki realizes that he must give up Zarafa and go with Soula. Moreno appears and prepares to kill Maki, but Hassan steps in to protect them and is shot. Aided by Malaterre, Maki and Soula escape in the balloon. Moreno gives chase, but the two friends push him off the basket and he falls into an enclosure where he is devoured by a polar bear. Maki and Soula return home, marry, and found a flourishing new village. Hassan, treated at the hospital, survives his wounds and falls in love with Bouboulina. As it turns out, the storyteller is actually Maki himself.

NR
| 2015 | 1 hr 18 min | 6.9/10 | 64/100
Cast
Max Renaudin Pratt, Simon Abkarian, Abraham Adesoye, Sjaak Caderyn
Studio
GKIDS
Director
Remi Bezancon, Jean-Christophe Lie
Language
French
Ad
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Trailer|1:43

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