Life is not all black and white for Khumba, a young zebra born with only half his stripes. When his superstitious herd blame him for the sudden drought affecting the land, Khumba teams up with a sassy wildebeest and a flamboyant ostrich to find the legendary waterhole where the first zebras got their stripes.

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On his daring quest across the Great Karoo desert, Khumba meets a host of quirky characters and comes face-to-face with a tyrannical leopard in an epic battle to earn his stripes. Half a zebra, a whole lot of adventure!

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Official South African Khumba Trailer

Khumba Release Dates

Below are the global release dates for Khumba.

United Arab Emirates 3 October 2013
Poland 4 October 2013
South Africa 11 October 2013
Portugal 5 December 2013
Thailand 9 January 2014
Russia March 2014
Belgium 9 April 2014
Netherlands 9 April 2014
France 16 April 2014

The World of “Khumba”

In addition to the narrative themes in Khumba, this film also provides an opportunity to present a uniquely South African aesthetic to the world, showcasing the magic and allure of the Great Karoo – a land that captured my own imagination as a child. Khumba’s quest takes the audience on a journey through this ancient land, a land of great variety and contrast that can be used to visually reflect Khumba’s inner journey. For example, when Khumba is feeling low, concerned only about his lack of stripes, he will see stripes in the clouds and in the landscape, whereas when things are going well for him, we will focus on the variety within the landscape. On the surface, The Great Karoo is a vast, and seemingly barren and uniform landscape dotted with the odd “koppie” (a distinctive geological feature of the Karoo –a mountain with a flat top). But when one looks more closely, one sees an entire microcosm of plant and animal life that is rich in diversity.

Epic Backdrop for Khumba Setting

The natural wonders of the desert landscape create an epic backdrop for Khumba’s daunting quest or they are honed in on a much closer level, reflecting how we often need to look beyond the surface to appreciate everything that is, in fact, right in front of us. Many of the elements of Khumba’s story are originally taken from the real world, or inspired by animals, people, or stories from this unique South African setting. The Valley of Desolation for example is a real formation of rocks near the town of Graaff Reneit; N!ao mountain is inspired by the folding rock formations seen near the Swartberg Pass; and the animals of course – from the endangered Riverine Rabbit to the rarely-seen Pangolin are all endemic to the area.

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The Karoo is also known for its succulents and has a diverse range of incredible, exotic and bizarre plants that gives the film a unique look. To survive in the harsh conditions (the Karoo is in drought for over 60% of the year) plants and animals have adapted in unique ways and diversity is key so the themes in the film have also emerged directly from the landscape. Khumba provides the perfect opportunity to showcase this incredible, yet overlooked uniquely South African setting.

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Ruan Smit started Pixelsmithstudios with the vision of creating a new design orientated environment of sharing, learning and expertise development amongst local Animators,Illustrators and VFX artists.