Delhi Safari (2012)

Delhi Safari is a 2012 Indian bilingual stereoscopic 3D computer-animated comedy feature film directed by Nikkhil Advani. It has been produced by Krayon Pictures (a Pune-based 3D animation studio). The film is based on a story and concept by Advani and features the voices of Akshaye Khanna, Govinda, Sunil Shetty, Boman Irani, and Urmila Matondkar. The screenplay of the film is written by Girish Dhamija and Suresh Nair. The film traces the journey of five animals and birds from Mumbai to Delhi. The music of the film is composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, while the lyrics are penned by Sameer. It is India’s first stereoscopic 3D animation feature film. The film released in India on 17 October 2012. Delhi Safari has been granted exemption from entertainment tax in the states of Maharashtra and Delhi. At the 60th National Film Awards, it won the National Film Award for Best Animated Film. The English version of the film has voices by Tom Kenny, Jason Alexander, Cary Elwes, Tara Strong, Christopher Lloyd, Jane Lynch, Vanessa Williams and Brad Garrett. The international sales of the film is being handled by Fantastic Films International. The film was released in the United States on 7 December 2012. Delhi Safari received a 15% score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and a 35/100 in Metacritic.

Running time 92 minutes


Delhi Safari is the story of a journey undertaken by a leopard cub, his mother, a monkey, a bear and a parrot when the forest they live in is on the verge of destruction. Builders have encroached upon their forest and the animals decide to go to Delhi and protest in front of the parliament and ask the parliament some very simple yet pertinent questions they were thinking of– why has man become the most dangerous animal? Doesn’t man understand that if the forests and the animals don’t co-exist with humans, the balance of the ecosystem will be endangered?

The film starts with Yuvraj (or ‘Yuvi’, for short) (Swini Khara in the Original Hindi Version) saying that he lost his father, Sultan (Sunil Shetty) in the morning, but doesn’t want to lose his home at any cost. The film carries a flashback of the morning with Yuvi and Sultan playing in the forest and Sultan teaching self-defence to Yuvi while his mother, Begum (Urmila Matondkar) enters. The two mock her for her too much caring attitude towards son that gets Begum angry and she goes. Soon, Begum forgives Sultan and Yuvraj (following a song – her one weakness). However, while coming back, a whole pack of bulldozers come from nowhere and proceed to demolish the surrounding jungle. Begum manages to escape, but Yuvi and Sultan are trapped. The two try to protest bulldozers but land at a site in the forest where they see all the trees missing. In a bid to save Yuvi, Sultan catches Yuvi in his mouth and tosses him to Begum. However, he himself is killed by a human wielding a shotgun, making the whole forest a large enemy of the humans. A talk happens with attendants of all the animals in the area. Many believe that leaving their homes is the only way to survive; however, Bajrangi, a monkey (Govinda), says that he would beat out the wits of those men with his so-called “vanarsena” – Marela (Sanjai Mishra) and Bharela (Saurabh Shukla), but Bagga the bear (Boman Irani) advises him to talk to humans and Bajrangi asks whether there is anyone who knows the language of humans. A white bird, seemingly a pigeon, Hawa Hawaai (Deepak Dobriyal) pipes up, saying he knows someone who knows both animal and human languages. Yuvi meets the white bird the next day, and asks who is the one he said about. The white bird says the animal he spoke of is Alex (Akshaye Khanna), a parrot who lives with a director, Vikram Khosla. Bajrangi, his “army” of two monkeys, Hawa Hawaai, Bagga and Yuvi go and kidnap the parrot and convince him to go to Delhi with them to talk to the parliament and save their land. Initially refusing, Alex agrees to go to Delhi. Begum, Bagga, Bajrangi and his army board a train to Delhi from Mumbai. After some time Yuvi joins them and Alex refuses to continue until Bajrangi drops his weapons,which he reluctantly does after Bagga hangs him upside down. They then reach Gujarat with guidance of road from Raju, a bat. In Gujarat they meet flamingos and a couple who give them shelter in their homes. One of the flamingos strictly advises them not to cross the banyan tree to avoid the wolf Kaalia (Prem Chopra) and his gang. But Bajrangi goes there and ties Alex using a rope for Kaalia to kill him so that no one can doubt him. Yuvi spots Bajrangi and confronts him but they are spotted by Kaalia. Begum arrives in time to save them.

After this incident Alex pretends to have lost his voice. The animals consult a doctor Jadibuti Baba a turtle who prescribes some ayurvedic medicines of sandalwood, rose, guava to recover Alex’s voice, claiming that he has hypertension, stress and high blood pressure. Bajrangi wholeheartedly does the hard work, sometimes himself getting injured. One day he gets to know that Alex was just pretending and chases him leading himself to inadvertently hit a beehive. All the animals run with bees chasing them. A thrilling experience of trains follows after which Bajrangi tells Alex how guilty he feels of thinking to kill him. Alex also realizes how selfish he was and decides to help animals to help them to justice. Begum tells that no one is going to Delhi after listening to a tiger’s story of how he only survived death at a human’s hands by being a coward and forsaking his old ways; thankfully, following a pep talk and seeing Sultan’s spirit and Yuvi who inspires them, Begum changes her mind and with renewed hope, proceeds to Delhi. They finally reach Delhi and tell their message through Alex to the Prime Minister of the country that they want peace between humans and animals and how this young little cub Yuvi inspired all of them to go to Delhi despite all the incidents. In the last scene, it is shown the jungle is saved courtesy of a shared land act (with the area being called the “Sanjay Gandhi National Park-Borivali”) and all are happy and settled. The film ends with all animals settled in the Jungle with Yuvi seeing his father’s spirit and Begum together happy and Yuvi smiling.


Hindi Version

Govinda as Bajrangi the Monkey
Akshaye Khanna as Alex the Parrot
Boman Irani as Bagga the Bear
Urmila Matondkar as the Begum the Mother Leopard
Suneil Shetty as Sultan the Leopard
Swini Khara as Yuvraj the Cub Leopard
Prem Chopra as Kaalia the wolf
Deepak Dobriyal as Hawa Hawai the pigeon
Sanjay Mishra as Marela
Saurabh Shukla as Bharela

English Version

Carlos Alazraqui as Bajrangi the Monkey
Tom Kenny as Alex the Parrot
Brad Garrett as Bagga the Bear
Vanessa Williams as Begum the Mother Leopard
Cary Elwes as Bee Commander/Sultan the Father Leopard
Tara Strong as Yuvi the Leopard Cub
Jason Alexander as Male Flamingo/Hyena Cook
Christopher Lloyd as Pigeon
Jane Lynch as Female Flamingo
Brian George as Bat
Roger Craig Smith as The Two Monkeys
JB Blanc as The Director/Prime Minister
Dave Wittenberg as Kalia the Hyena Leader
Troy Baker as Tiger
GK Bowes as News Reporter #1
Kate Higgins as Antelope
Lex Lang as Hyena #1 / News Reporter #2
Joe Ochman as Man / News Reporter #3
Fred Tatasciore as Hyena #2
Travis Willingham as Man in Shades


Theatrical release

Delhi Safari was theatrically released in India on 19 October 2012.

International releases

France – 7 June 2012 (Annecy Animation Film Festival)
United States – 7 December 2012(Applied Art Productions)
South Korea – 21 February 2013
Russia – 11 April 2013
China – 5 September 2014(Huaxia Film Distribution)

Home media

Delhi Safari was released on DVD in following countries

India – 18 June 2013(Shemaroo Entertainment)
Australia – 11 May 2014(Roadshow Entertainment) (Released as Jungle Safari)
UK – 30 June 2014(Released as Jungle Safari)
Sweden – 1 June 2015(Released as Djungelsafari)


Critical response

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 15% based on 13 reviews. On Metacritic, the film has a score of 37 out of 100 based on 6 critics. Times of India gave Delhi Safari 3 stars. Rohit Khilnani of rediff gave it 3.5 stars and called it a must watch. Roshni Devi of koimoi gave it 2.5 stars. Social film rating site MOZVO gave it 3.5 stars putting it in Recommended category. Multiple critics noted Delhi Safari’s out-of-date and subpar animation. Some people noted that the character Alex the Parrot’s lack of flight skills and fondness of the domesticated life was similar to the character Blu from Blue Sky Studios’ Rio. Others felt that the story of Yuvi’s father’s death and his later appearance as a ghost was ripping off the story of Simba from Disney’s The Lion King. The film was also widely criticized for its unoriginal plot, many believing the “Animal road-trip” and “stop the humans” storylines to be too similar to Dreamwork’s Madagascar and Warner Brothers’ Happy Feet, respectively. Despite criticism, it was awarded National Film Award for Best Animated Film at the 60th National Film Awards with a citation “Animation and animal kingdom come together in showcasing the enormous significance of harmonious cohabitation of humans and nature. State-of the-Art Indian technology employed in this film should make us proud!”.

Box office

The film grossed ₹2.2 crore (US$320,000) during its entire run in india. In the United States, it grossed $4,334 in 20 screens in its first weekend. The film was released in South Korea in 2013 where it grossed US $1.83 million and China in 2014 where its lifetime collection is US$1.27 million


Delhi Safari qualified for the 2012 Oscars, and was listed in the “reminder list” for Best Picture, Best Animated Feature and Original Score.

Year Name of Competition/Award Category Result Recipient
2012 FICCI BAF AWARDS 2012 Best Animated Feature Film [Theatrical Release] Won Krayon Pictures
2013 60th National Film Awards Best Animated Film Won Producer(s): Anupam Patil,Kishore Patil(Krayon Pictures)
Director: Nikhil Advani
Animator: Rafique Shaikh
Infocom Assocham EME awards 2013 Best Animated Feature Won Delhi Safari


All lyrics written by Sameer; all music composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.

Track list
No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. “Dil Ki Safari” Shankar Mahadevan, Raman Mahadevan, Shivam Mahadevan, Hamsika Iyer, Swini Khara 4:17
2. “Meri Duniya Terey Dam Se” Shekhar Ravjiani, Mahalakshmi Iyer & Shivam Mahadevan 3:58
3. “Aao Re Pardesi” Karsan Sargathia, Tarannum Mallik 3:58
4. “Dhadak Dhadak” Shankar Mahadevan, Raghubir Yadav 2:14
5. “Jungle Mein Mangal” Shankar Mahadevan 3:05

All lyrics written by John Majkut and Ian Nickus; all music composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.

Track list
No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. “Delhi Safari” Vanessa Williams, Keri Larson, Tom Kenny, John Fluker, Carlos Alazraqui, Tara Strong, Alvin Chea CHEA, Fred Tatasciore,Christine Miller 4:17
2. “To Forgive… To Forget” Vanessa Williams, John Fluker 2:10
3. “All Day Party,Dance” Tom Kenny, John Fluker,Carlos Alazraqui, Alvin Chea, Christine Miller, Keri Larson 3:23
4. “We’re on Our Way Now” Vanessa Williams,Christine Miller ,Tom Kenny, Keri Larson, John Fluker, Alvin Chea,Carlos Alazraqui 2:14
5. “A Mighty Forest There is Not” Brian George 3:05
6. “Alex’s Song” Tom Kenny 1:10

The title track was among shortlisted 75 songs which were contender for nominations in the Original Song category for the 85th Academy Awards.


Krayon Pictures announced a sequel Beijing Safari which they will co-produce with Chinese production house Heshan Media. Writer Tab Murphy, Oscar Nominee for Gorillas in the Mist will write the film and Annie Award winner Daniel St. Pierre is set to direct the film. This will be an English language film with budget around $20 million.

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