Zambezia (film)

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South African theatrical release film poster
South African theatrical release film poster
Directed byWaYne Thornley
Written byAndrew Cook
Raffaella Delle Donne
Anthony Silverston
Wayne Thornley[1]
Produced byMike Buckland
Stuart Forrest
James Middleton
Anthony Silverston
CinematographyWayne Thornley
Edited byMichel Smit
Paul Speirs
Luke MacKay[1]
Music byBruce Retief
Distributed byCinema Management Group (International)
Sony Pictures Entertainment (English territories)
Release date
  • 3 July 2012 (2012-07-03)
Running time
82 minutes
CountrySouth Africa
BudgetR173 million ($20 million)[2]
Box office$34.4 million[3]

Zambezia (also known as Adventures in Zambezia)[1] is an English-language South African 3D computer-animated adventure film. The film was directed by Wayne Thornley, written by Andrew Cook, Raffaella Delle Donne, and Anthony Silverston, and stars the voices of Jeremy Suarez, Abigail Breslin, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy, and Samuel L. Jackson with supporting roles done by Jim Cummings, Richard E. Grant, Jenifer Lewis, Jamal Mixon, and David Shaughnessy. Zambezia is the first film produced by Triggerfish Animation Studios and distributed by Cinema Management Group and Sony Pictures in English territories.

Zambezia was theatrically released on 3 July 2012 and earned $34.4 million on a R173 million ($20 million USD) budget. It received Annie Award nominations for Music in an Animated Feature Production and for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production. The film won the Best South African Feature Film at the Durban International Film Festival in 2012.[4] It also won Best Animation at the South African Film and Television Awards and Best Animation at the 9th Africa Movie Academy Awards.


Kai (Jeremy Suarez), a high-spirited falcon on the cusp of adulthood is bored and lonely living in a remote outpost with only his strict father, Tendai (Samuel L. Jackson), for company. Forbidden from venturing beyond the Katungu Boundary, his suspicions that there must be more to life are confirmed when Gogo, a kooky Stork (Jenifer Lewis) and her co-pilot, a cute weaver called Tini (Tania Gunadi), crash into his world. From them, Kai learns that downriver is a bustling bird city with exciting opportunities for a talented flier such as himself. In an angry exchange with his father, Kai discovers that Tendai has known all along about Zambezia and has been there himself! Hurt and angry at his father's betrayal, Kai leaves Katungu and journeys downriver.

Arriving at the famed bird city – a majestic Baobab perched on the edge of Victoria Falls – Kai is amazed by the throngs of birds from all over Africa who are busy preparing for the Spring Celebrations. He soon befriends a fast-talking Nightjar called Ezee (Jamal Mixon) who knows how to enjoy the perks of community life and guides him through the city. Kai is bowled over when he meets Zoe (Abigail Breslin), a beautiful and feisty Black-Shouldered Kite who is the adopted daughter of Sekhuru (Leonard Nimoy), Zambezia's founder an wise old Eagle.

Unfortunately for him, Kai doesn't make a good first impression when he accidentally ruins her Spring Celebration decorations. But he is thrilled when his skilful flying earns him a place on the Hurricanes, the elite defense patrol made up of the best fliers in Zambezia.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to him and the rest of the Zambezians, Marabou Storks, (Richard E. Grant and David Shaughnessy) tired of scavenging off the scraps of Zambezia, have joined forces with Budzo, a vicious egg-eating Leguaan, (Jim Cummings) and hatched a plan to take control of the island city. To make matters worse, Budzo captures Kai's father and all of the weavers, including Tini. In order to save Zambezia and Tendai. Kai and his father, Gogo, Tini and the rest of weavers got out the trap after the weavers weaving the bridge when Marabous and Budzo has arrived to eat eggs just in time. Cecil the leader of the Marabous since his beloved brother Cyril (he died after Tendai attack Gogo and Tini eariler) and his fourth cousin once removed Morton didn't realize Budzo has his own group of leguaans he betrayed and double-crossed them. Kai and Tendai came for help but Kai realize Marabous are birds before Budzo reach the nesting grounds to eat their eggs. Zoe rescue Ajax (Jeff Goldblum), a fat Bearded vulture and the rest of Hurricanes got out the trap after chasing Marabous. So Kai, Zoe, Tendai, Marabous and the rest of birds join the battle. Hurricanes drop the rocks the bridge and defeat Budzo's army they defeat Budzo once and for all Zoe caught the net and Kai came to rescue. Budzo falls to the waterfalls to his death. After Budzo was gone Kai and Zoe fly out of waterfalls and Marabous are allowed to welcomed to city. Kai has to face his past and learn that no matter how fast and talented a flier he is, no bird is an island.

Voice cast[edit]

Kelly Stables and Kristen Rutherford provide the voices of the Gossip Birds. A Green Turacos

Tom Kenny, Wayne Thornley, Jon Olson, Brent Palmer, and Jim Cummings provide the voices of various marabou in the film.

Sam Riegel and Keeno Lee Hector provided the voices of various Hurricanes.


Zambezia was theatrically released on 3 July 2012 by Cinema Management Group and Sony Pictures Entertainment in English territories and was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 24 April 2013 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.


The film won the Best South African Feature Film[4] at the Durban International Film Festival in 2012. It also won Best Animation at the South African Film and Television Awards and Best Animation at the 9th Africa Movie Academy Awards.

Award Category Recipient Result
Annie Awards[5] Music in an Animated Feature Production Bruce Retief Nominated
Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production Jim Cummings
Africa Movie Academy Awards Best Animation Wayne Thornley Won


Adventures in Zambezia (Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
Released20 September 2013
GenreFilm soundtrack
ProducerBruce Retief
Singles from Adventures in Zambezia (Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  1. "Get Up"
  2. "Say Hello to Zambezia"
  3. "Out of Mist"
  4. "Easy Easy"

The original motion picture soundtrack for the film was written, composed and produced by Bruce Retief, which was released on 20 September 2013 through Triggerfish in digital download. It includes fourteen tracks, with music from Retief as the film's score composer, and studio performances from various artists, including Gang of Instrumentals, Zolani Mahola (who also provided the voice of a weaver in the film), and Ludovic Mampuya. It is available on iTunes[6] and on Amazon.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All music written and composed by Bruce Retief, except where noted.

1."Get Up"Zolani Mahola3:38
2."Bandits" 1:18
3."High Speed Air Chase" 1:56
4."The Gorge" 4:32
5."Cecil's Lament" 3:00
6."Flying to Zambezia" 3:06
7."Say Hello to Zambezia"Gang of Instrumentals2:30
8."Zambezia Theme Variations" 1:18
9."Hurricane Trials" 2:36
10."Lizards on Zambezia" 2:40
11."Fight on the Bridge" 3:04
12."Budzo's End" 1:12
13."Out of Mist"Ludovic Mampuya3:19
14."Easy Easy"Gang of Instrumentals2:10
Total length:36:19


  1. ^ a b c Adams, Mark (12 March 2013). "Adventures in Zambezia". ScreenDaily. Archived from the original on 20 July 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  2. ^ Naidoo, Romaana. "Triggerfish takes on the big boys". Media Club South Africa. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Zambezia (2012)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Durban International Film Festival: All the winners". Deadline. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  5. ^ "Annie Award Nominations Unveiled". Deadline. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  6. ^ Adventures in Zambezia (Motion Picture Soundtrack) on iTunes iTunes Store Retrieved 6 September 2014
  7. ^ Adventures in Zambezia (Motion Picture Soundtrack) on Retrieved 6 September 2014

External links[edit]