Written by Jason Flick
August 4, 2009
When it comes to movie theater releases, I’m often surprised about the number of films that I didn’t know were even made. So when I first heard about Delgo it was when a review copy arrived on my desk. At first I though it was a straight to DVD release as I had never heard of it, probably due to the lackluster marketing that it received, as I found out.
Delgo is an animated film that tells through a conflict between the terrestrial Lokni and the winged Nohrin in an otherworldly fantasy setting. The back-story involves the Nohrin‘s move from a dying land to that of the Lockni’s and the conflict that arouse because the Nohrin’s got too greedy. This resulted in a war that shattered the peace of the land and caused an act of treachery with in the ranks of the Nohrin. The Lokni and the Nohrin continue to hate each other throughout the film thanks to the acts of Sedessa (Anne Bancroft). After her treachery, she is banished from their home and left on a barren land.
The story follows a teenage Lokni boy named Delgo (Freddie Prince Jr.) on the alien planet Jhamora, and winged Nohrin Princess Kyla (Jennifer Love Hewitt) fall in love and save both societies from Sedessa and her army of misfits. During the first war between the two races, Delgo, whose parents are killed in one of Sedessa’s raids, was spared by an unknown Nohrin soldier.
Delgo grows up under the care of one Elder Marley (Michael Clarke Duncan) who teaches him the ways of a stone sage. Delgo’s hatred of the Nohrin stops him from seeing things clearly. But then he meets Kyla and develops a tentative friendship with her. This goes against everything the treaty and the two races believe in. Only through love and unity do these two races realize that they can get along and work together for the greater good.
The all-star cast doesn’t stop with the listed names above but continues with Eric Idle of Monty Python fame, Burt Reynolds, Chris Kattan, Val Kilmer, Malcolm McDowell, Kelly Ripa and Louis Gosset, Jr. round out the cast to make Delgo a vocal feast. The story is decent and follows a Romeo and Juliet style script sans the tragic deaths at the end.
Directors Mark F. Adler and Jason Maurer may not have created a masterpiece but I think that they did a good job telling an interesting story. Delgo is a movie about two races and their differences being put aside to strive for one goal ultimately in the end. The directors were trying to portray several messages in the film such as learning from past mistakes and not repeating them. The issues of prejudice, discrimination, hate crimes, violence are all present in this film much like they are in our own society. The true point of this film is for the heroes, mainly Delgo, to overcome these issues. I think the directors did this well.
Visually, Delgo looks good. It does pale in comparison to some of the greatest animated films of our times, but it holds its own. The colors and lighting used in this title vary from the bright and vivid to dark, depressing and foreboding. The inhabitants, environments and creatures created by these first time filmmakers are all pretty cool. I particularly liked the skin design of the Nohrin and how each characters is a little different than the others.
Delgo features some pretty good music and more importantly better acting thanks to the cast. The score and the sound effects actually worked hand and hand to create a seamless audio experience. A lot of time you will notice a definite gap between music and action in a film but if there was any in Delgo I couldn’t find it. Delgo is presented in English 5.1 Surround Sound and you can watch the film with Audio Commentary from the Director.
Delgo offers several extras besides the director’s commentary. Contained on the disc is a behind-the-scenes look featuring cast and crew discussing the production of this film. There is also a featurette that talks about how the music and sounds of Delgo were put together. For those curious about the characters or creatures in Delgo you can see them in two animated segments that you control. You even get some deleted scenes, some of which were pretty cool. But one of my favorite features is the included short “Chroma Chameleon” This little short was cute and entertaining and worth a watch.
Delgo may have been a box office bust, but I liked it. The story was good and the music is nice. The film is filled with an all star cast including the late Anne Bancroft, who the film is dedicated to. It’s a classic tale of two people that end up saving the world that they live in. You can find this title for around $15 to $18 dollars at most retailers. I would recommend renting it before buying as not all audiences may like it. For a family film I think it’s worth picking up though.