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Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor – trick or treat?

With the growth of animation production in Pakistan. One of the most talked about animated movie of the year is Allahyar and The Legend of Markhor. Made by 3rd World Studios in Islamabad, the animated feature, which includes a few songs, tells the story of a young northern Pakistani boy, Allahyar, who forms a close relationship with animals after setting off away from his home.

The film relied heavily on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 rather than a traditional animation pipeline. Cartoon Brew talked to some of the team from 3rd World about making Allahyar in Pakistan and how they took advantage of the real-time engine in production.

Allahyar and The Legend of Markhor, directed by Uzair Zaheer Khan, comes as the latest offering from our nascent film industry. It revolves around the young character Allahyar (voiced by Anum Zaidi) who finds himself escaping the hunter Manu (Ali Noor) and helping a Markhor named Mehru (Natasha Humera Ejaz) reach home.

Hats off to the entire team of the movie for raising the bar in terms of animation standards in Pakistan. And subsequently, Allahyar challenges other film-makers to step up, in terms of visual quality. Yes, it is Disney but the film is a step forward and the next logical and organic progression for the animation industry.

However, when it comes to storytelling, it needs as much saving as the Markhor. The first and the biggest problem Allahyar faces  is, It uses the kind of language children are not used to hearing, expecting them to know phrases like ‘himmat-e-marda, madad-e-khuda’ among many others. These dialogues sound rhythmical but not something that the kids can easily relate to.

The background score of Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor garnered positive reviews. However, it seems that the background music is just the tip of the iceberg. The film features a mix of new and old songs ensuring that both children and their parents have something to hum along. Till now there are a lot of mix reviews about the movie and we are still not sure if it’s a treat for the kids or just a trick!

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