This South African family animation tells of a little zebra who, born with few stripes, is ostracised by the herd, accused of being a bad omen. ‘No stripes, no rain’, bellows an elder as the last drops evaporate from their trusty watering hole. When Khumba (voiced by Jake T Austin) chances on a map locating a utopian lake, he grabs the chance to prove his worth and heads out into the wild blue yonder – and a date with one-eyed killer leopard Phango (Liam Neeson).
‘Khumba’ nods to South Africa’s ‘rainbow nation’ with its range of characters of differing backgrounds (the dim Afrikaaner springboks are a highlight). It’s formulaic, but also largely entertaining, quite touching, occasionally amusing and competently animated. Just enough, in other words, to keep restless kiddies from wandering off into the veld. Derek Adams