Monday Nov 05, 2018
GEO Films’ The Donkey King has taken cinemas across the country by storm. In a first, the main character of the film Mangu visited the studio of Geo News and children watching at home were overjoyed.
Mangu’s presence in the Geo News studio was made possible with the use of live action - a videography technique in which actors are used instead of animation. The sequence was shot with actor John Rambo (Afzal Khan) who was later replaced with the character of Mangu frame by frame with the use of masking and compositing.
The process was highly time-consuming and took the animation team almost a week to complete. Bringing an animated character to screen using live action has not been done before by any other media house in Pakistan.
Mangu spoke with Geo News anchors Zohaib Hassan and Neelam Yousaf about the popularity of the film. “There is a rush in cinemas to watch Mangu’s film. People of all ages have gone crazy over the film,” the animated character said.
Mangu could not believe the anchors had not seen his movie, prompting Zohaib and Neelum to leave the studio to watch the film. Turning his attention to the audience, Mangu said he would not speak to them until they watched the movie.
The Donkey King has been widely appreciated by fans and the film’s promotional campaign has also been praised.
“The promotion campaign around Donkey King is as good as the film itself. Mangu integration and interaction with live Geo News bulletin newscasters is a unique idea and very well executed,” said Chairman Starcom Raihan Merchant.
Not being able to hold back their excitement after seeing their favourite character on Geo News’ screen, children said they could not wait any longer to see The Donkey King in the cinema.
“I can’t wait any longer and want to go see the movie in the cinema,” a young fan of Mangu said in a message for her parents.
“After seeing The Donkey King on Geo’s screen I need to watch the movie in the cinema,” said another young fan of Mangu.
The film’s director Aziz Jindani said it felt good to see children of all ages enjoying The Donkey King. “We have always said this film is for children from 9 to 90 years. It would be great if children from all ages can learn a lesson from this film and The Donkey King can be the reason for dialogue starting in society,” Jindani said after attending a Q&A session with students at a private university in Karachi.
“The film is fun to watch and it depends on what context you see it in,” said a student at the university. Another student said she was motivated to watch the movie after hearing the director talk.
The director of the historic Capri Cinema in Karachi, Farrukh Ahmed said he had never seen such a rush to watch a movie.
The film released on October 13 is well on its way to breaking numerous records and is already the highest earning Pakistani animated film of all time with a box office take of Rs160 million. The trailer of the film released on September 23 has amassed over 4.3 million views on YouTube with 27,000 likes.