But never judge a book by its cover and never judge a movie by its poster. Toonpur Ka Superrhero may not be the most satisfying and gratifying movie experience you've had, but the film at least makes an effort to go where Hindi films have been before.
Toonpur Ka Superrhero is not only India's first live action full-length animation feature, made on a lavish budget, it also has all the matinee masala that the other Friday offerings do. There's a hero, a heroine, a bunch of virtuous as well as wicked characters, a femme fatale and a baddie. The only difference is that this film has flesh and blood characters intermingling with animated characters.
Twenty-two years ago, Robert Zemeckis gave moviegoers Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which is talked about to this date. It was one of the initial motion pictures that depicted animated film characters interact with human beings. But it took years of development, preparation, research and homework for the makers of Toonpur Ka Superrhero to integrate animation with live action. Thankfully, the effort is worth it.
The motive of animation films or films like Toonpur Ka Superrhero is to entertain the entire spectrum of audience, from kids to adolescents to adults. So far, the target audience for our animated films has only been kids. But, hopefully, Toonpur Ka Superrhero should change the attitude and outlook. It's a film for kids and adults alike, who may take away different things from the experience, but who will be united in their sheer excitement of this visually exciting experiment. Of course, the film lacks finesse at places, but at least director Kireet Khurana and the technicians who worked on the film have made an effort to charter a new path, which, in my opinion, is worth acknowledging.
Final word? Toonpur Ka Superrhero blends inventive animation with old-fashioned values to deliver a decent family adventure. This one's an underdog!
Bollywood actor Aditya Kumar [Ajay Devgn] leads the perfect life: He has a doting wife in Priya [Kajol] and two adorable kids. But his children want him to be their hero not just on screen, but in real life as well. He can't do any of his own stunts, that's why gets stunt doubles, but he has to find a way which will make him look like a real-life hero in front of his children. Aditya finds an opportunity to become his kids' hero when he somehow lands in his kids' favorite cartoon show, Toonpur, where he must work with the Devtoons [good guys] to fight the Toonasurs [bad guys].
One doesn't take to Toonpur Ka Superrhero initially. Right from the lifeless and flat commentary [by Sanjay Dutt] at the very commencement of the film, to the sundry animated characters one is introduced to, to the conflict that Ajay has with his kids, Toonpur Ka Superrhero fails to take off the way one expects it to. But, gradually, the proceedings start making sense. Slowly and bit by bit, one gets a hang of things, although the impression that you hold at the intermission point is strictly okay.
It's the post-interval portions that do a complete turnaround. In fact, the film actually takes off in this hour and I must add, it has several moments that keep your attention arrested. For instance, the song with Rubdoot is appealing and so is the confrontation with the villain, Jugaro. The climax leaves you with mixed feelings. It holds your interest in bits and spurts, not in entirety.
Toonpur Ka Superrhero could've been an invigorating experience from start to end if it was backed by a watertight screenplay. The writing just doesn't complement the animation, which, in my opinion, is path-breaking by Indian standards. The visual excellence aside, the film doesn't engage you in entirety and that's a shortcoming. The music [Anu Malik] is pleasant and easy on the ears. 'Jeetoge Tum' stays with you; it's a motivational track. However, the picturisation of the songs is better, with a good integration of live with animation.
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Ajay dares to accept a challenge yet again. It must've been most tough for this intense actor to don a character which involves working with imaginary creatures in an animated film. To act with cartoon characters is extremely challenging because it's almost like attempting a soliloquy or a monologue. He must have had no actor across for the action-reaction custom. But he delivers a convincing and credible performance yet again.
Kajol doesn't really get scope, but she handles her part well. Veteran Tanuja appears in one sequence. Child artiste Amey does well. The animated characters, especially Bolly, Guppy and the villain's moll, are most noticeable.
On the whole, Toonpur Ka Superrhero is a delightful and endearing kiddie movie. It has an engaging narrative [second half mainly], neat performances and adorable animated characters. The real stars are the technicians [who created the animated characters], the director [Kireet Khurana] and of course, its lead man [Ajay Devgn] who pulled off a technically remarkable achievement of having humans and animated film characters interact with each other. Revisit your childhood while watching this one!
Frankly speaking, there's zilch hype for Toonpur Ka Superrhero. Even though its principal stars, Ajay Devgn and Kajol, have gone out of their way to promote their new film, even though Eros has left no stone unturned to promote the film, for some strange, inexplicable reason, the film isn't on the 'must watch' list of die-hard movie addicts. Sure, there's awareness for the film, but not the type that would compel you to watch it first day, first show.