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Hugo the Hippo (1975)
"Hugó, a víziló" (original title)

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The Sultan of Zanzibar has a problem--his harbor is infested with sharks. To solve the problem, he brings in twelve hippos to keep the sharks away, and it works. But once the hippos are no ... See full summary »



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Sultan (voice)
Aban-Khan (voice)
Jesse Emmett ...
Royal Magician (voice)
Jorma (voice) (as Ronnie Cox)
Percy Rodrigues ...
Jorma's Father (voice)
Len Maxwell ...
Judge (voice)
Jimmy Osmond ...
Don Marshall ...
Additional characters (voice)
Special Vocal Effects (voice)
Nancy Wible ...
Special Vocal Effects (voice)
Jerry Hausner ...
Special Vocal Effects (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gábor Berkes ...
Jorma (Hungarian version) (voice) (as Gabi Berkes)
Ferenc Bessenyei ...
Narrator (Hungarian version) (voice)


The Sultan of Zanzibar has a problem--his harbor is infested with sharks. To solve the problem, he brings in twelve hippos to keep the sharks away, and it works. But once the hippos are no longer needed, they become a nuisance and are massacred by Aban Khan--all but one little hippo named Hugo. What will become of the last of the Zanzibar hippos? Written by TPK

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Color, creatures, music, sound like you've never seen or heard before. It's the wildest trip ever animated. It's a treat for the whole family. It's... PHANTASMAGORICAL! See more »


G | See all certifications »





Release Date:

January 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hugo the Hippo  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sing Song, Pass it Along
Music and Lyrics by Bob Larimer (as Robert Larimer)
Performed by the Ken Williams Quartet
See more »

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User Reviews

A weird childhood memory
14 July 2005 | by (England) – See all my reviews

Now the television schedules (in England, at least) are crammed with home improvement, bargain-hunting, house-hunting and cookery shows in the afternoons, the chances of any of the terrestrial broadcasters digging out a complete obscurity like this to occupy a couple of hours of screen time on a slow afternoon are slender, to say the least. But back in the eighties, the BBC did just that, and guess what, I watched it. And it's a testament to the overwhelming weirdness of this Hungarian-American co-production that I can still remember large chunks of it, over twenty years later. To begin with, the eponymous hero appears briefly during the opening titles, only to vanish again for at least half an hour. (Imagine AN American TAIL re-edited so Feivel is nowhere to be seen, and you'll appreciate how confusing this is.) There's a supremely bizarre bit of animation where one of the characters gets his elaborately waxed moustache tweaked and stretched, complete with a boingy sound effect that causes him to go boss-eyed. Probably hilarious if you're stoned, but to a child, quite disturbing. Speaking of which, the infamous 'hippo cull' scene is represented in an abstract manner - clouds in vague hippo shapes are struck by lightning

  • but it's still pretty unpleasant. In fact, this film is pretty cold

and uninvolving throughout, a sad state of affairs hardly helped by the strange-looking production design, all muddy colours, wobbly lines, bloated forms and that uniquely European bleakness reminiscent of Jan Svankmajer, only not as compelling. Then, to cap it all, we get songs by the Osmonds! This isn't so much an awful film as a deeply misguided one, not so much phantasmagorical as a rather bad trip.

0 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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