The Donkey King Movie Review: “The Donkey King” (Urdu: Danki King) is a 2018 Pakistani animated comedy film helmed by director Aziz Jindani. With a voice cast featuring Jan Rambo, Ismail Tara, Hina Dilpazeer, Ghulam Mohiuddin, and Jawed Sheikh, the film hit theaters in Pakistan on 13 October 2018, courtesy of Geo Films and Talisman Studios. Following its domestic triumph, it made history as Pakistan’s inaugural animated feature to undergo dubbing in ten languages for numerous international screenings, facilitated by Annalisa Zanierato for Pantera Film.

Claiming the title of Pakistan’s highest-grossing animated film to date, “The Donkey King” also ranks among the top-grossing Pakistani films overall.

The Donkey King Movie Review - The Celeb Guru


Mangu, a lowly donkey washer, harbors grand aspirations of wealth and fame despite his uncle Pehelwan Chacha’s discouragement. Encouraged by the spirit of his father, Changu, who appears in his dreams, Mangu remains determined to pursue his ambitions. Living under the rule of the elitist Big Cats who exploit the herbivores, Mangu witnesses futile protests against this injustice.

During a laundry delivery, Mangu encounters the cunning senior adviser, Miss Fitna, in the castle. Learning of King Badshah Khan’s intention to pass the crown to his inept son, Shahzada Khan, Fitna schemes to maintain power through manipulation and propaganda. When the King proposes a “democratic” succession, Fitna seeks out Mangu as a puppet candidate, easily swayed by her influence.

Encouraged by his father’s spirit, Mangu agrees to run for the crown, engaging in humorous competitions with Shahzada Khan under Fitna’s guidance. Despite her support, Mangu’s heartfelt speech ultimately wins over the animals, leading to Shahzada’s defeat and Mangu’s ascension to royalty. However, Mangu becomes complacent in his newfound luxury, neglecting his responsibilities.

Unbeknownst to Mangu, Fitna harbors ulterior motives, serving a human ringmaster and exploiting kidnapped animals for a circus. When Mangu discovers Fitna’s treachery, he rectifies his mistakes, apologizing to the animals and thwarting Fitna’s plans. Fitna meets her demise, and Mangu reconciles with the public and the Big Cats, assuming his rightful role as their king.

As Mangu embraces his newfound leadership, the spirit of Changu moves on, content that his son has fulfilled his dreams and earned his place as king.


In August 2018, the animated film’s first glimpse emerged, under the direction of Aziz Jindani, crafted and produced by Talisman Studios and Geo Films. Jindani disclosed that the concept for the film had been brewing since 2003, with actual production commencing in 2013 during his tenure on the Commander Safeguard animated series. The voice cast includes Jan Rambo, Ismail Tara, Hina Dilpazeer, Ghulam Mohiuddin, Shabbir Jan, Jawed Sheikh, and others.

Aziz established Talisman Studios, an animation hub in Karachi, in 2016, initiating work on “The Donkey King.” The film’s animation was meticulously crafted using Autodesk Maya and rendered with Fox Renderfarm, showcasing the studio’s technological prowess.

The film’s teaser dropped on August 20, followed by the trailer release on September 23, igniting anticipation for this animated adventure.

Box Office

The film achieved remarkable milestones in Pakistan’s cinematic landscape, starting with the biggest opening ever for an animated film, raking in Rs. 36 lakh. Its momentum continued as it soared past the Rs. 1 crore mark on its second day, setting a new record for single-day earnings in the animated film genre. Surpassing the one-week record of “Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor” within just a weekend, it amassed approximately Rs. 2.75 crore.

By the end of its first week, the film had amassed over Rs. 4 crore, followed by a second weekend that outperformed the first, earning Rs. 3.78 crore. Within its second week, it became the highest-grossing Pakistani animated film, overtaking “3 Bahadur: The Revenge of Baba Balaam” with Rs. 9.1 crore in earnings.

Continuing its stellar run, the film recorded the second-biggest third weekend in Pakistani cinema history, amassing Rs. 3.85 crore. By its third week, it had crossed the Rs. 5 crore mark, with Tuesday figures surpassing previous records. Within four weeks, it had accumulated a staggering Rs. 16.95 crore.

Internationally, the film’s success continued, with its global gross surpassing Rs. 20 crore. Notably, it became the second Pakistani film to achieve this feat, propelled by strong performances in markets like China, where it earned around Rs. 16 crore in just two weeks, surpassing the box office gross of “Parwaaz Hai Junoon” in China.


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