Bilal: A New Breed of Heroby BlairwolffNoah
Premiering at the Dubai Film Festival all the way back in 2015 followed by a release to MENA region in 2016, it's now taking only now in February of 2018 for Bilal: A New Breed of Hero to get to the states. An Arabic animation film telling the true story of Bilal ibn Rabah, a slave who rose to power through a lot in the 632 AD. Something VERY different to the start the year.
As a character, Bilal (voiced by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) lacks meat as a character. Much more is could be done to the character, seems too basic but he still brings enough to the character to please as he has nice determination and kindness to his character. He has a nice relationship with his sister Ghufiana( voiced by China Ann McClain), a sweet girl who's been slaved also even if the characters goes into some very basic character development. As for the film villains, they are cartoonish character and feel even more as a video game character. They are wooden and seem to lack vengeance as characters.
Maybe the most interesting element to look at in Bilal is the animation. It's awkward animation that feels like it lacking some type of budget (it has a 30 million budget which is saying something). Even more so, why put this story in animation because it wouldn't connect to a child? Animation that doesn't do anything to the film besides a fun ending battle sequence (the main highlight of the film). If this film was put in somebody hands in Hollywood, this story would be blockbuster with a much higher budget and running time.
We've seen underdogs story that Bilab is but given the animation to the film, Bilab: A New Hero feels different. A new different that goes past the finish line as 'respectable' but more issues than none rise with it.