A rhino is determined to make things right in this fun animated adventure that brings a message about endangered species and the issues with poachers and hunters today.
From a young age, Riki has always been a headstrong rhino in the jungles of Indonesia. His best friend, duck named Beni, tends to always hype him up to the other animals much to his chagrin. However, one night changes his life forever. A night excursion leads to a confrontation with Mr. Jak, a hunter and poacher who is looking for big game. Mr. Jak cuts off Riki’s horn and Riki is now embarrassed.
Soon enough, with a makeshift horn, Riki and Beni have learned of a mysterious master who may be able to help Riki get his horn back. However, it will be a long journey, but Riki is determined to meet the healer who can help. Along the way, Riki and Beni run into other animals who need help. At first reluctant, Riki soon begins to help the other animals out. He soon learns with each animal he helps; he is given a special stone which will allow him to shapeshift into a hybrid between himself and the animals he has helped. When Mr. Jak and his crew arrive, Riki decides he must stop the hunters and learns a lesson within himself in the process.
You have to love a good family film with a message and this Indonesian animated film brings about a message about endangered species and hunters. The titular Riki, voiced by Jennifer Castle, is a Sumatran rhino, an endangered species that only have about 80 in the wild. Despite being the smallest of the rhinos, Riki is headstrong and iron-willed. While he is at first embarrassed about losing his horn, he is given a makeshift horn that eventually becomes a source of power he never expected to have.
While Riki is the hero of the film, there is the comic relief in domesticated (and soon enough) featherless duck Beni. Voiced in English by Paul Reynolds, Beni gets himself into one comic mishap after another. What’s great are the animals that Riki helps out have something in common with him: they are also endangered species. From Sumatran tigers to proboscis monkeys, the animals depicted in the film are real-life endangered species and what’s fascinating is when we get to see Riki rewarded and use his newfound abilities to help others in need.
While Mr. Jak is the main antagonist of the film, there are other hunters depicted, including the required female hunter in Nina. However, there are two buddies who serve as the comic relief for the hunters. In this case, Bogeng is the big goofy comic hunter whose sidekick and best buddy Jathul is the more levelheaded member. Bogeng believes that the animals are to be “rescued” and not hunted and this causes some conflict with his best friend, let alone Mr. Jak, who is determined to keep his standing as the best in the business.
Riki the Rhino is not only a fun animated film, but brings a serious message behind the film, one that’s important when it comes to the preservation of animals.
WFG RATING: B+
Uncork’d Entertainment and Evolutionary Films presents a Batavia Pictures production. Director: Erwin Budiono. Producers: Lucki Lukman Hakim and Genesis Timotius. Writer: Cassandra Massardi; story by Jony Yuwono. Editing: Hedin Mardianto.
Voice Cast: Jennifer Castle, Paul Reynolds, Mike Leeder, Candice Moore, Russell Wait.