Zarafa (2015)

Under a baobab tree, an old man tells a story to the children around him: The story of the everlasting friendship between Maki, a little boy aged 10, and Zarafa, an orphaned giraffe, a gift from the Pasha of Egypt to the King of France,… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: November 10, 2015
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Critic Score: 75% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Tom Huddleston
Time Out

In trying to tell an epic tale over just 78 minutes, the filmmakers sacrifice anything that might have made their film memorable.

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Boyd van Hoeij

While the gorgeous widescreen landscapes have a pencil-and-aquarelle quality, the characters themselves are literally rougher-edged, a clever reminder of the hand-drawn, sketchlike quality of traditional animation.

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Mike McCahill

The Kirikou movies were livelier.

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Nicolas Rapold
New York Times

This hand-drawn French adventure is a children's story in the routine template of many friends-and-villains quests, but with a fresh historical setting and a serenely subdued look.

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Jordan Mintzer
Hollywood Reporter

A colorfully compelling kids flick with darker historical undertones, Zarafa reps a smart and successful freshman animation effort from writer-director Remi Bezancon.

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Amber Wilkinson
Eye for Film

Although the animated characters have a detailed, Disney-friendly feel, there is little of the sentimentality that tends to fur the teeth of US animation.

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Sherilyn Connelly
Village Voice

Since there are giraffes in Parisian zoos, there necessarily had to be a first one, and Rémi Bezançon and Jean-Christophe Lie's Zarafa is a beautifully animated and often moving telling of how it arrived there in the early 1800s.

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Kevin Maher
Times [UK]

Zarafa is a gorgeously delicate hand-drawn animation about the first giraffe to make the perilous journey from Africa to 19th-century Paris.

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Andrew Osmond
Empire Magazine

The film veers from quasi-real to cartoonily silly and scenes either drag or whirl by too fast.

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