Delgo is a happy young Lockni growing up in a beautiful land called Jhamora. He enjoys simple pleasures like playing with his parents. His village is friendly and prosperous. And virtually nothing bothers his generous, humble race in their idyllic home.
That is, until the Nohrin arrive.
Forced to leave their own decimated land, this winged, fairy-like race is welcomed by the Lockni until the Nohrin king’s cruel, ambitious sister, Sedessa, occupies and attempts to wipe out their generous hosts. Among the victims are Delgo’s parents. After being reprimanded for her heartless ambition, Sedessa attempts to murder her royal Nohrin kin … and is banished from the kingdom.
Fifteen years later, Delgo’s bitterness toward the Nohrin is so deep-seated that he believes he’ll never overcome it—nor does he believe he should … until a pretty Nohrin comes along. Young Princess Kyla happens to be flying by one day just as the teenage daredevil needs to be rescued from one of his stunts. After she helps him, Kyla and Delgo become fast friends and are more than a little intrigued by each other.
But their forbidden alliance crosses ethnic boundaries and military truces. And soon, the mere fact that Delgo and his cowardly friend Filo have associated with the princess sparks controversy. Coupled with Sedessa’s malevolent schemes, it threatens to ignite a new war between the Lockni and Nohrin.
Will Delgo be able to forgive the Nohrin? Can their long-standing racial tensions be healed? Delgo displays how even the bitterest conflict can be resolved when people forgive a hurtful past, overcome prejudice and work to build a new future together.
Thus, Delgo promotes racial equality and tolerance. Through his courage in saving (and being saved by) friends of both Lockni and Nohrin descent, Delgo gradually breaks through negative Nohrin stereotypes against his people (“Lockni only understand violence,” “All Lockni are liars,” etc.). And through Delgo and Kyla’s interactions and bravery, both races learn to appreciate the other and live peacefully.
Lockni elders view war as a last resort to be taken only after fervently negotiating for peace. Elder Marley, a “stonesage mystic” and leader of the Lockni, teaches Delgo that war is easier begun than ended, and that it’s only honorable to engage in it with an upright intention: protecting people from harm, not pursuing revenge. He also tells Delgo that people cannot change the past, but they can choose what they learn from it. He explains, “Where one learns vengeance [from a past injustice], another learns mercy.”
Though Delgo is initially brash and hotheaded, he gradually figures out how to rein in his passion and think through the consequences of hatred and bitterness. When presented an opportunity to save a bitter foe, Delgo remembers Elder Marley’s words and rescues the adversary. Meanwhile, Filo overcomes his cowardice and rescues a friend.
Consequences are assigned to a Nohrin general’s gambling addiction. He bets (and loses) all he has on a poker-like game. And because of the circumstances surrounded his gambling debt, he’s thrown into prison.
Stonesage mystic Elder Marley uses telekinetic-type powers to manipulate stones and other small objects. He teaches Delgo that the stones are not an end unto themselves, but that learning to control them is a path to the higher goals of self-discipline and power that will heal and protect the Lockni people. He tells Delgo to use the stones’ magic to build and not destroy, and to provide hope and guidance to his people.
The movies does not mention God or a higher power other than that of the stones and their “pulse”—which could be compared to the Force in Star Wars movies. While little is done to develop it, Eastern mysticism still lurks behind this subplot: Delgo uses his training to throw pebbles in self-defense and to mystify his enemies in order to escape them. Elder Marley and other stonesages take things further when they use the stones to discern whether or not to wage war against the Nohrin.
For a moment, Filo believes Delgo is dead. He calls to Delgo, “Are you up there?” Delgo replies, “No! Down here!” Flustered, Filo thinks his friend is in hell and briefly tries to figure out what Delgo did to deserve this fate.
Delgo and Kyla hold hands and kiss once.
Delgo isn’t graphic, but it is violent at times. It’s implied, for example, that Delgo’s parents are murdered by Sedessa’s troops. (His father’s lifeless hand flops to the ground, prompting a Nohrin soldier to tell young Delgo, “You’re on your own kid.”) There are several clanking sword fights that end with characters holding blades to throats. One key character is run through with a sword. Another falls prey to an archer’s arrow.
Numerous characters are kicked, punched, knocked down or hit with weapons or chairs. Battle-damaged buildings collapse on occupants. Armies rush against each other. Creatures and people fall from great heights, sometimes being caught and sometimes not. Delgo digs his ax into an ogre-like attacker’s face. Sedessa uses a glowing green gas to poison someone.
One of Delgo’s friends mentions beating the “snot” out of the Lockni and sucking someone’s guts out through their eyes.
Name-calling only. It includes “idiot,” “fool,” “pansy” and “wuss.”
Wine makes an appearance at a meal.
Sedessa’s “dog” urinates on a carpet and passes gas. (She says she should have had him stuffed.) Someone burps loudly.
The brainchild of Atlanta-based Fathom Studios, Delgo‘s computer imaging took more than six years to complete. Though its visuals are not as impressive as those of major production companies (read: Pixar), they’re pleasing nonetheless. Cute critters, fantasy landscapes and convincing facial expressions are among the highlights. The film also features the voice talents of several accomplished actors, including the late Anne Bancroft, to whom it is dedicated.
Delgo‘s somewhat involved plot offers a pleasant message of peace, racial equality and courage. Greed, revenge and gambling are punished. The hero gets the girl. And insight triumphs over cruel bigotry.
Mystical and fantastical spirituality demand a bit of family conversation afterwards. But it’s the importance of wisdom, empathy and reconciliation that finally wins the war in Jhamora.
Reviews from previous PluggedIn Staff members