Animated feature film Khumba, made by Cape Town’s Triggerfish Animation Studios — home to many alumni of The Animation School, was the best performer at the South African box office when it opened on the last weekend in October, raking in over R1,7m in ticket sales.
Triggerfish was founded in 1996 as a boutique stop-frame animation studio and initially made its name creating commercials. Today it’s one of South Africa’s largest animation studios, home to some of the best animators in the country, and one of the inspiring local companies that demonstrate just how far local animators can go.
In 2001 the studio produced animation for the first season of Takalani Sesame, the local version of US children’s show Sesame Street, which won numerous awards and nominations at festivals around the world. The studio went on to produce animation for three seasons of the local show and four seasons of the US version.
Khumba features the voices of Jake T. Austin, Liam Neeson, Steve Buscemi, Laurence Fishburne, Richard E. Grant, AnnaSophia Robb and Catherine Tate. It tells the story of a young zebra — the titular Khumba — who is born with only half his stripes and is consequently rejected by his superstitious herd and blamed for a sudden drought affecting the land.
The film has also been released in Afrikaans with the voices of many well-known Afrikaans actors, including Brumilda van Rensburg, Hannes Brummer, Leila Etsebeth and Anton Dekker.
Khumba is the second full-length animated film from Triggerfish following hot on the heels of 2012’s Adventures in Zambezia.
The film was selected in competition at international animation film festival Annecy and at the 2013 Durban International Film Festival. It screened at the recent Toronto International Film Festival and screens at the Brisbane International Film Festival on 23 November.