3 user 49 critic

Zarafa (2012)

The plot of the film has a grandfather telling his grand kids the story of Maki, a young boy who escapes from slave traders, befriends a giraffe (the title character), cross the desert, ... See full summary »

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Credited cast:
Maki (voice) (as Max Renaudin)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hassan (voice)
Abraham Adesoye ...
Pika (voice)
Sjaak Caderyn ...
Hassan (voice)
François-Xavier Demaison ...
Malaterre (voice)
Le vieux sage (voice)
Charles X (voice)
Bouboulina (voice)
Mahmoud (voice)
Zarafa adulte (voice)
Thierry Frémont ...
Moreno (voice)
Wayne Grayson ...
Demis (voice)
Dazzy Iannuzzio ...
Bogo (voice)
Madigan Kacmar ...
Traore (voice)
Philippe Morier-Genoud ...
Saint-Hilaire (voice)


The plot of the film has a grandfather telling his grand kids the story of Maki, a young boy who escapes from slave traders, befriends a giraffe (the title character), cross the desert, meet a pirate, and a few other things on a trip that takes him from Africa to Paris. Written by Odin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

8 February 2012 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Die Abenteuer der kleinen Giraffe Zarafa  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

Good as a cartoon - horrible as a historical film
5 March 2017 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

It's hard for me to review this film. As a film, devoided of it's historical connection, I would rate it as 7, but in the context of it as a historical film I would give it a 5. The animations are fresh and beautiful and the two main characters, the boy Maki and the Bedouin Hassan, are interesting and cute in their relationship to the animals. The other characters are not really explored much and parts of them, like the Greek pirates, could easily have been done without with no significant significance for the film. Either that, or they should have had more character exploration. The story is cute and together with the animation makes it worth seeing even if it isn't a real masterpiece.

BUT it is a historical film. It is based, or at least it claims to be, on a real story and some of the characters are based closely upon the real people involved in the story. But the main part of the story could hardly have been more wrong unless they made it about moving a giraffe from France to Egypt or Nubian. The film claims that the giraffe is gifted to the french king in order to attain support for Egypt's war against Turkey. BUT the real story is the other way around. Egypt was not at war with Turkey, it was a part of the Ottoman Empire which were based in Turkey! Egypt, was a vassal state and as such was at war the Greek revolutionaries (like the pirates in the film) that fought for independence from the Ottomans. The gift to France was not to gain their alliance against Turkey, but to get them to stop their support for the Greeks! France and Egypt was at war as they were on different sides in this Greek War of Independence! How could you get the story so opposite? They might have it confused with another story about a giraffe in Florence which might have been gifted by the Sultan of Egypt in order to attain support in his war against the Turks from the Medici family who ruled Florence. But this happened more than 300 years before! I don't demand that a historical film should be 100% precise, but could it please just not turn the main story 180 degrees around? There are lots of other historical mistakes in the film that I don't complain about, but did they even use 1 minute on checking up on the story before they maid it? There should be limits to what can be accepted of a historical film before it influence the review and this film has crossed that line in the extreme by showing off an embarrassing level of ignorance and stupidity.

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