MPhil. Art and Design (2018-2020)
Semester-1 (Final submission)
Submitted to: Dr. Ahmed Bilal
Submitted by: Aqsa Tahir
University of the Punjab, Lahore
How Pakistani Animation as a medium, reflects sociocultural values
The customs, culture and traditions of a country are representative of its history, language and
environment. Similarly, the cultural patterns of Pakistan speak of its rich cultural heritage and
traditions. Animation as a mature International industry is rapidly growing and animation films
have taken a role in introducing the cultural characteristics of various nations and backgrounds
This research will shed light on, how Pakistani animations represents sociocultural values of
Pakistan. This paper will tell about the cultural depiction of Pakistan in animated movies and TV
series of Pakistan. How animation as a medium plays its role to present the sociocultural picture
of Pakistan to the whole world. This research will give the comparison of two Pakistani animated
movies, which will tell that how these movies reflects socio cultural values of Pakistan.
Animation is a series of Drawings moving very quickly, twenty four frames per second. It
involves the manipulation and management of still images to generate the illusion of
movement. 1 In Pakistan animation started in 1990s and now it’s flourishing and
evolving. As it started from animated TV Commercials, then animated TV series and
now it led to 3D animated films.
1. To find the definite representation of culture in Pakistani animation.
2. To look into the thought process behind each character and environment design.
3. How these animations reflects Pakistan as a nation or Does it help or not to build an image of
3. Literature Review
In 1990s the first renowned animated TVC was made and aired on the television “Ding
Dong Bubble Gum” by Hilal Foods PVT (LTD). Afterward, now a large number of
animated TV Commercials are on screen for many years. Few of the examples are Tiger
bubble, Prince Biscuit, walls Pedal Pop, Cocomo, candy land Funny bunny etc. 2
The trend of Animated TV Series was started by P&G’s health care brand Safeguard. It
stepped outside of the norms, introduced Pakistan’s very own animated superhero named
Commander Safeguard. After that many other brands created superheroes for their
products. Like Germ Busters, Lifebuoy, HBL Money Bank, Dettol Warriors are few
of the notable examples. All of these animated series have some social, ethical and
cultural content, where they tapped children as their target Audience.
Unicorn Black animation Studio introduced Pakistan’s first female animated super hero
called Burka avenger. This animated series was also made on a social subject and
characters had strong Pakistani cultural influence. Quaid sy Baatein is another animated
TV Series for children it was about historical and ethical values of Pakistan.
In 2015 Pakistan’s first animated film “3 Bahadur” by Waadi animation was released. It
was a Social/ thriller/ comedy film. The story was based on three brave and extraordinary
children who save their city from the villain, Baba Balaam. Later in 2016 this film’s
sequel 3 Bahadur: The Revenge of Baba Balaam was also released. Allahyar and the
legend of Markhor is another latest animated film by 3 rd world studio. Allahyar is a
young boy who stands against the illegal hunting of Wildlife. This movie was about
social and ethical values that are being followed in Pakistan. Recently in 2018 a new
movie released named “Donkey King” by Geo films and talisman Studio. It’s a Socio-
Political comedy film.
4. Research Analysis
The two movies which are been chosen for this analysis are;
Allahyar and the legends of Markhor
The Donkey King
4.1 Allahyar and the legend of Markhor
Allahyar and the legend of Markhor is a 2018 Pakistani computer animated comedy film.
Target audience: Youth and Children
Subject: Social/ Cultural
Allahyar is a kid who lives with his father in the northern areas of Pakistan; he
hates bullies and loves animals so when he encounters an encaged Markhor, he
brings her home only to find out that the men behind her abduction want it back at
every cost. They kidnap Allahyar and abduct the animal only but the former may
be down, not out. 3
4.1.2 Sociocultural Representation
This movie is made on a social issue in which a young boy stands against the
illegal hunting of Wildlife. The subject matter of this animated movie is a
“Markhor” national animal of Pakistan, Which is about to extinct because of its
illegal hunting. So, this animated film is focusing on a social issue which tells
about cultural as national values of Pakistan. The whole film was made in a
traditional cultural manner of Pakistan. This film presented the northern areas of
Pakistan, literally as originally they are. The highly decorative trucks of Pakistan
are shown in this movie as a cultural element.
4.1.3 Character Stylization/ depiction
The main character of this move is Allahyar. The character stylization and
development of this character is very accurate as per the Pakistani culture.
The boy is wearing shalwar qameez, national dress of Pakistan, with a
small flag of Pakistan on it. He showed as a brave and strong boy.
4.2 The Donkey King
The Donkey King is a 2018 Pakistani computer animated comedy film 4
Target audience: All age group
Subject: Social/ Cultural/ political to some extent
A piece of land, Azad Nagar where animals are in power, the King Badshah Khan , a
loin (decides to take a break, leaving his son Shehzada in charge, who has an effeminate
with his presence on social media.. Seeing that other animals didn’t like the idea, he
accepts a proposition put forward by Miss Fitna (a fox), giving the population a chance
to elect their leader. Villainess in the story who tries to double-cross the king when the
animals of the jungle don’t approve of his idea to put his son on the throne. She tells him
to introduce democracy in the country, find a numbskull of a ruler, which ultimately
would put the king’s son back in the saddle. 5 A useless, day-dreaming donkey Mangu
gets to contest the election against the Prince despite opposition from his Pehelwan
Chacha, and wins the election by a huge margin, not because of his popularity but
because everyone hates the Shehzada. It is only after being crowned the King that
Mangu realizes that there is more to the designation than meets the eye; not everything
is as ideal as it seems from the outside. The same animals who promoted him to win the
elections want him to be their puppet so that they can continue their agenda without any
4.2.1 Sociocultural Representation
This film was made on unique and different story outline, its story is based on an
animal kingdom. Although this story is being depicted by animals as a symbol. At
the same time, the dresses and the outlook of these animals are very traditional and
desi, the dialogues and the script had strong sociocultural influence of Pakistan.
The main character of film, Mangu is derived from the famous Pakistani TV
character Jan Ramboo. To some extent it gives some political vibes which has
been shown in he story outline.
4.2.2 Character Stylization/ depiction
The character stylization was bit challenging in this movie as “Mangu” the
leading character, who is a donkey, is an animal character. But still the
charters were being designed successfully as per the need of the story
outline which is based on cultural and social aspects of Pakistan.
Mangu was dresses up in a very typical way as per his role. A dreamer and
a foolish character dressed himself in a western dress. Pent and t-shirt
with a very slight traditional element, the bandana he has been wrapped
around his head. Furthermore rest of the characters were also designed on
this strategy of mixture of western and eastern influences.
All these Pakistani animated films, TV series are playing an important role to present the
sociocultural values of Pakistan. Animation is now a powerful medium of expression, which
could help to make an image of any culture and nation. This research analysis comes to a
conclusion that these animated films could portraying sociocultural aspects of Pakistan. These
films are portraying the real picture of culture and tradition of Pakistan but with a slight
western influence. But most of the content and depiction is complimenting Pakistan’s
sociocultural values in an appropriate way.