Noah's Ark (2007 film)
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Spanish theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Juan Pablo Buscarini|
Roberto Di Girolamo
Juan Pablo Galli
Enrique Cortés (screenplay adaptation)
Barbara Di Girolamo
Juan Pablo Buscarini (script collaborator)
|Distributed by||Buena Vista International|
|July 5, 2007 (Argentina)|
Spanish (original language)|
Noah's Ark (Spanish: El Arca; "The Ark", in the original English/Spanish version) is a 2007 Argentine-Italian animated comedy adventure film directed by Juan Pablo Buscarini. It is based on the biblical story of Noah's Ark, with its focus in the animals' point of view. The story tends to follow the traditional story; however, both the humans and the animals involved are seen as "talking" creatures throughout the film.
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In the opening scene, animals and humans are seen acting out the seven deadly sins: pride (the peacock), envy (the snake), sloth (the sloth), lust (the hedgehog), gluttony (the toad), wrath (the mandrill), and greed (the human). This results in their mutual doom, as they are killed or captured and taken to market where the remains of the killed animals are sold and the survivors are enslaved. God surveys the market, witnessing the assorted evils, and declares to his sidekick Angel that he will impose Judgment Day upon the sinful world. A chance encounter with the gentle and devoted Noah, who purchases the freedom of the enslaved man despite his own poverty, convinces him to give humanity one last chance.
God appears as a heavenly light to Noah and tells him to build an ark, upon which he will board his family and two of every animal, to survive the world-enveloping flood He will send. Noah then informs his family. Already unhappy with Noah's leadership, they assume he has lost his mind, particularly when he fashions a model of the ark out of mashed potatoes and begins cutting down his father's forest for lumber to build it.
Noah sells his home to the greedy merchants Farfan and Esther for a flock of pigeons to deliver messages to all the animals of the world. However, the birds immediately abandon their task and head for a jungle strip club to celebrate their freedom. Only one pigeon, Pepe, remains on mission, but is attacked by the animals he encounters. Pepe is rescued by a kind lioness named Kairel, secretary to the aging King Sabu and Queen Oriana. Kairel delivers Noah's message to Sabu, who calls an emergency meeting of the animal world. Sabu's spoiled libertine son Xiro has gotten a mangled portion of one of Noah's messages and mistakes the announcement of apocalyptic doom as an invitation to a party cruise. Xiro throws a tantrum after Kairel disqualifies all of Xiro's potential cruise-mates for lack of intelligence, and the tiger Dagnino sees an opportunity to seize the crown of the post-flood world's animal kingdom.
As Noah single-handedly completes the ark (an impressive but not Biblically accurate craft with a helm, thousands of luxury cabins, and other features more suited to a modern cruise liner), the animals arrive en masse. Kairel has been sent along to organize and supervise the trip, but the procession grinds to a halt when the herbivores demand assurance that the carnivores won't devour them once they're aboard. Xiro fails to make a decision, allowing Dagnino to gain the animals' respect by declaring that he will personally punish any act of violence on the voyage. As the rain begins to fall, the animals stampede onto the ark. Xiro's selected companion Bruma pauses to taunt the doomed Kairel, only to be smashed through the gangplanks by a toppling hippopotamus. Xiro impulsively grabs Kairel and brings her aboard the ark in Bruma's place.
Inspecting Noah's cottage, Farfan and Esther notice the ark in the distance. Their ridicule turns to panic as the water rises around them, and they barely manage to scramble onto the ark unnoticed. Inside, Kairel attempts to maintain some semblance of order and convince Xiro to take his duties seriously, but Xiro flees to a hastily assembled club. There he becomes infatuated with the seductive panther Panthy, as she dances while performing I Want to Live, a carnivore-themed parody of I Will Survive. However, Panthy is part of Dagnino's small cabal of carnivores who intend to discredit and overthrow Xiro, then establish a new order in which all prey species are bred and fattened in captivity until they are consumed.
Kairel finally gets Xiro to face the truth of their situation, and Xiro makes a sincere effort at governance. He grows closer to Kairel, but finds bureaucracy stifling and is still infatuated with Panthy to Kairel's jealous dismay. Trapped below decks with the animals, Farfan and Esther disguise themselves as a fictional animal species ("grasswhoppers") to avoid being discovered as humans. The disguises backfire when the pair's misadventures leave them under a pile of animal dung which is hauled to the top deck for disposal. Believing a pair of dangerous wild animals have escaped the hold, Noah's sons and daughters attempt to catch or kill them. In the chaos, Farfan, Esther and Noah plunge back into the depths of the ark. Noah's eldest son Japeth volunteers to rescue him, but quickly retreats upon hearing frightening noises below (which turn out to be the hippopotamus suffering intestinal distress). Noah's faithful pigeon Pepe volunteers to fly down to Noah, but instead plummets helplessly because of his injuries. Noah's sons fight over the helm and break it. Ashamed and desperate, Noah's family prays for God's help.
Farfan and Esther knock Noah unconscious and abandon him. Feeling cocky with Noah out of the way, Farfan begins bullying the smaller animals before inadvertently striking Dagnino. The two humans escape uninjured, but Dagnino tears off the lower half of Farfan's 'hide,' which he needs for his scheme. Panthy lures Xiro to her cabin, where Dagnino's minions use the torn disguise and tomato juice to frame Xiro for the 'murder' of the grasswhoppers. Dagnino assumes control and has Xiro locked up in a storeroom, but Xiro's herbivore friends quickly unravel the deceit and convince Kairel of the truth.
Noah regains consciousness and tends to Pepe before sending him out a porthole to find land. Xiro has been imprisoned directly below and overhears Noah's words of encouragement, mistaking them for a personal message from 'the voice of his lineage.' When his friends free him, Xiro races to confront Dagnino, who has captured the other herbivores. (Xiro's group challenges Dagnino with the Maori ritual known as a haka.) The battle between Dagnino and Xiro ends when the ark, having drifted into the Arctic, runs into an ice floe. The sudden stop pitches Dagnino and his minions through a wall, in which their heads are stuck fast.
The animals begin to panic again, threatening to flee onto the ice until Xiro finally asserts his authority with a mighty roar. Xiro delivers a speech that rallies the animals behind him (even many of Dagnino's gang, to Dagnino's chagrin). On the upper deck, Noah has made his way back up to his family, who are likewise now rallied behind him. Noah and his sons begin repairing the helm. God relents and allows Angel to shut off the rain. Xiro realizes the pitch for the ship's torches will melt the ice, and puts the animals to work spreading barrels of it across the floe. Xiro lights the pitch, breaking up the floe and freeing the ark. Farfan and Esther, believing the ark has run aground, break out and fall onto the floe just as the ark departs. They are last seen fleeing the hungry polar bears who have elected to remain behind in their natural habitat.
Pepe returns to the ark with an olive leaf, but is once again (accidentally) clobbered before he can reach his goal. Xiro and Kairel reconcile their different ways as the animals (including a caged Panthy, and Dagnino's gang still stuck in the section of wall) celebrate with a party on the open deck. God enjoys the festivities from above, but admonishes Angel for leaving the rainbow switched on.
During the end credits, God and Angel bicker over the contents of God's work-in-progress book.
El Arca was released on DVD in the United States by Shout! Factory under the title Noah's Ark on March 11, 2014. This edition has both an English and a Spanish audio track, with English subtitles.
- Rob Van Paulus- God: The omnipotent being who created the world and all who reside in it. Throughout the movie, God takes notice of the fact that his religion is the only one (at the moment) to have no book to go with it; thus, he sends his angel to write the Bible. In fact, God takes more interest in the creation of the Bible than he does for the well-being of the mortals who were chosen to create the new world. This form of God is depicted as a man of African descent with blond hair (as opposed to most other depictions, where God is depicted as a Caucasian man with white hair).
- Andrio Chavarro- Angel: God's humble aide, he is typically the one who does all of God's work (this includes unleashing the flood and stopping it). For most of the movie, he is seen writing God's book and is often asking God for advice.
- Joe Carey- Noah: An elderly man with the heart of a saint and the main protagonist (for the humans' point of view). A holy man, he and his family are chosen to be the saviors of humanity and all of the animals. He is easily sighted by his long grey and white beard, his glasses and his simple maroon clothes.
- Kay Brady- Naamah: Noah's wife. Though she has been willing to stand beside Noah for years, even she has become concerned for Noah's mental health. Like Noah, she is heavily religious. During the trip to the New World, Naama has to do everything she can to ensure that her family stays together.
- Andrio Chavarro- Japeth: Noah's oldest child. He is distinguished by his brown hair and his fairly light-colored clothes.
- Oscar Cheda- Shem: The youngest of Noah's children. He is the most loyal of Noah's sons and (after Naama) is often the first to stand by Noah. He is more heavily set than his brothers, which helps him stand out amongst them, and he also stands out because of his red hair, his beard and his blue clothes.
- Brandon Morris- Ham: Noah's middle child (and the only African one). He sticks out a bit more than his brothers because of his large, black afro and colorful red clothes.
- Lissa Grossman- Miriam: One of Noah's daughters-in-law. More emotional than the other females of the house, she is often the one who is hurt the most easily; however, she is much kinder than her other sisters-in-law. She is married to Ham. She stands out because of her red hair and blue clothes.
- Loren Lusch- Sara: Another of Noah's daughters-in-law. The most temperamental of the group, she is married to Shem. She tends to be very frank with the people she meets. She stands out because of her dark hair and white clothes.
- Aubrey Shavonn- Edith: The last of Noah's daughters-in-law. Calm and cool, she brings some sense to any situation (though she can be a tad sarcastic, if the need arises). She is married to Japeth. She stands out because of her blond hair and red clothes.
- Terrell Hardcastle- Pepe: A white dove, he is the only one of his kind to actually deliver the messages that Noah sent out to the animals. A running gag throughout the movie is that he is constantly getting hurt (quite by accident, in most cases).
- Oscar Cheda- King Sabu: An elderly lion who was the king of all animals before the flood. Receiving Noah's message of the coming apocalypse from Pepe, he calls a gathering of all the animals in his kingdom to warn his people. Though he doesn't force the animals to go to Noah's ark (as some animals believed it to be a trap), he made it clear that if Noah's apocalyptic warning wasn't heeded and if it turned out to be a reality, those who failed to listen would have only themselves to blame. Knowing that his life will be ending soon, he (and the other animals whose times are almost up) stays behind and lets the procession of animals leave for the ark, declaring them "the salvation of the new world". It is believed that he was a wise and just ruler (which may explain why all of the animals were willing to congregate on his order).
- Heidi Harris- Queen Oriana: A lioness who was the wife of King Sabu and the queen of all the animals before the flood. Knowing that the time would come when her son, Xiro, would succeed her and her husband, King Sabu, she is more than willing to allow Xiro to partake in the journey to the New World. She trusts Kairel deeply, having her as a royal aide and trusting her to do some important tasks (i.e. ensuring that the pilgrimage to the ark runs smoothly).
- Harris also provides the voice of Bruma, a lioness and a minor antagonist from the animal side of the story. Though she chosen as one of Xiro's potential mates, Kairel (who was ordered to screen each of Xiro's potential companion candidates) rejected her because she was "too skinny [and had] no brains"; despite this, Xiro took her along as a companion, anyway. It is apparent that she isn't a very good person, as Kairel claims that, in her youth, she did some regrettable things that made her a wholly unimpeachable woman; she insists, though, that she "had no idea what she was doing". It's apparent that she and Kairel don't get along; to be honest, she hasn't built up much of a good relationship with the other animals in the jungle, either (judging the fact that most of them have nothing nice to say to her). She never lives long enough to get on-board Noah's ark because of an unexpected chain reaction accident that ultimately either smashes her flat (courtesy of a hippopotamus) or leaves her to drown, thus causing her to die to a well deserved death, which is most likely.
- James Keller- Xiro: A lion and the main protagonist for the animals' point of view. The son of King Sabu and Queen Oriana, Xiro is expected to be a leader to all of the animals; despite this, the prince is (at first) more concerned with having fun and enjoying himself (though he does mature as the story goes on). Xiro is something of a womanizer, as he is easily swayed by beautiful creatures, which often leaves him in dire situations. Despite his being a predator, he actually has a friendship with herbivores (among them Alvaro the pig, a panda and a mole).
- Keller also served as the voice of Farfan: One of the two con artists who proves to be a thorn in the side of Noah, his family and the animals. He is somewhat arrogant, as he states that he "has a gift for finding idiots". The shorter of the two con artists, he is more easily distinguished than his female partner-in-crime by his green skin and his baldness.
- Tom Wahl- Bombay: An orangutan and one of the minor protagonists for the animal side of the story. A close friend to Xiro, Bombay proves to be a spiritual guide (in a method rather similar to how Rafiki served as a guide for Simba in The Lion King)- providing wisdom and advising Xiro on taking a course that will benefit as many people as possible -and a skilled massage therapist. On board the ark, Bombay keeps himself busy as the owner of "The Dive"- a small entertainment club down in the lower recesses of the ship. Though Bombay looks like any other normal orangutan, his pink bow helps him stand out among a crowd.
- Chloe Dolandis- Kairel: A lioness. It is apparent that she is high-ranking in the lion society, as she served as an aide to Queen Orianna. She can be strict (having worked with royals, she most likely had to learn about responsibility very quickly) and has a secret crush on Xiro.
- Antonio Amadeo- Pity The Parrot: One of the more prominent birds in the movie, Pity is famous as an entertainer in the ark's comedy club "The Dive". Having been around humans most of his life, Pity always has a hilarious story to tell. He sticks out because of his partly overgrown upper beak, his body (which is mostly covered in green feathers) and his loud voice.
- Wayne LeGette- Dagnino: A tiger and the main antagonist from the animals' point of view. Realizing all too well that the oncoming flood will mean a new world order, he conspires with several other carnivores in an effort to take over the ark and make himself king. Possessing both savage brawn and impressive mental prowess, he plots to disgrace Xiro and take his place as king of the beasts. Despite the fact that there is a female tiger already on board the ark, Dagnino seems to be in a relationship with Panthy.
- Danny Paul- Coco: A crocodile. He prefers to let his brute strength do the work for him, as he isn't much of a talker. He serves as something of an enforcer to Dagnino. He seems to be blind in his left eye (which is entirely yellow).
- Todd Allen Durkin- Patricio: A vulture. He is usually seen sitting on Coco's shoulder in a fashion similar to the way that a parrot sits on a partially blind man's shoulder.
- Gerald Owens- Cachito: A puma. He is perhaps the most minor of the animal mutineers, as he rarely (if ever) says anything.
- Barry Tarallo- Wolfgang: A wolf. Despite being a mutineer, he actually seems to care for the well-being of Xiro.
- Heather Gallaher- Panthy: A black panther. Being the only female of the animal mutineers, she uses her shapely feminine looks and sharp mind to help her fellow conspirators. She serves as the super-star of "The Dive".
- Rayner Grannchen- Alvaro: A pig and one of the minor protagonists of the movie. Though he is hesitant to trust predators at first, as the story goes on, he develops something of a friendship with Xiro. Though he is somewhat low on the food chain, he is surprisingly brave, as he openly shows his hatred towards most of the carnivores.
- Amy London- Esther: The second of the con artists. Apparently, she comes from a family of criminals, as she mentions that her grandfather was a swindler, but he ended up killed by a former partner (who may have been Farfan, given his reaction). She has some proficiency with a needle. The taller of the two con artists, she is distinguished by a healthier skin coloration, red hair and earrings.
- Deborah Sherman Gorelo- Lily: An orangutan and one of the minor protagonists for the animals' point of view. Despite being a female, she is something of a brute, as she can easily take out anyone (regardless as to whether they are friend or foe) with but one punch. Despite this, she is a softie deep down, as she does care deeply for her mate, Bombay, and will protect him to the end. Her shaggy haircut and dark fur help her to stick out amongst a crowd.
- Rusty Allison
- Robin Barson
- David Driesin
- John Felix
- Christy Hardcastle
- David K. Wait
- Josh Wetherington
- Stacey Schwartz
- David Steel
- Juan Carlos Mesa ... Noé (voice)
- Jorge Guinzburg ... Farfan (voice)
- Mariana Fabbiani ... Miriam (voice)
- Alejandro Fantino ... Jafet (voice)
- Magdalena Ruiz Guiñazú ... Reina Leona Oriana (voice)
- Lalo Mir ... Pity (voice)
- Alejandro Dolina ... Puma Cachito (voice)
- Diego Topa ... Palomo Pepe (voice)