Very small children may be amused, or at least distracted, by the English-language version of “Delhi Safari,” India’s first locally produced, stereo 3D-animated feature. But it’s unlikely many parents will feel compelled to pay firstrun admission prices for such a blandly unremarkable product during this retrofitted import’s theatrical run. The pic appears destined to fast-forward to homescreen platforms in English-speaking territories.The derivative plot pivots on efforts by a band of plucky animals — including a cute leopard cub (voiced by Tara Strong), his protective mother (Vanessa Williams), a belligerent monkey (Carlos Alazraqui), a forgetful pigeon (Christopher Lloyd) and a gentle-natured bear (Brad Garrett) — to save their Sanjay Gandhi National Park home from the ravages of supposedly eco-friendly developers. There’s an abundance of Bollywood-style production numbers — most notably, a flamingo extravaganza with a touch of Busby Berkeley — and a few odd (in this context) wisecracks that suggest awkward interpretations of the original Hindi dialogue (“They’re playing him like a cheap sitar”). For the most part, however, the pic all too obviously recycles bits and pieces from “Madagascar,” “The Lion King” and other made-in-America toons. Unfortunately, much gets lost in the translation.
An Applied Art Prods. (in U.S.) release of a Krayon Pictures production. Produced by Anupama Patil, Kishor Patil. Executive producers, Aditya Nath Jha, Namrata Sharma, Nishith Takia. Directed by Nikhil Advani. Screenplay, Advani, Griish Dhamija, Suresh Nair. (Color, 3D); editor, Aarif Sheikh; music, Shankar Mahadevan, Loy Mendonsa, Ehsaan Noorani; lyrics (English version), John Majkut; sound, Manoj Sikka; animation director, Rafique Shaikh. Reviewed online, Houston, Dec. 5, 2012. MPAA Rating: PG. Running time: 96 MIN.
Voices: Tara Strong, Cary Elwes, Vanessa Williams, Carlos Alazraqui, Brad Garrett, Christopher Lloyd, Tom Kenney. (English dialogue)