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Movie Review: 'Bilal: New Breed of Hero' Deserves Adult, Adolescent Attention

by Todd A. Smith


Young Bilal has dreams of riding horses and fighting in heroic battles.



A Tale for the Ages 


Animated films can be tricky to categorize.

Some animated films are clearly geared towards the younger demographic, while others contain tales and morals that all ages need to be exposed to.

“Bilal: A New Breed of Hero” is one of those animated films that all should be exposed to. And while the film, which is inspired by a true story, does not cover any new ground, its story of equality, freedom and unity is something the world needs now more than ever.

Young Bilal grows up wanting to be a great warrior and a great man.

While Bilal only thinks that being violent and triumphant makes one a true man, his mother instructs him that it takes more than fighting to become a great man.

It takes love, understanding and courage to be a true man.

The youngster is forced into manhood at an early age, when his mother is murdered right in front of his very eyes, and he and his sister are sold into slavery in a far away land.

While his sister Ghufira maintains hope that the gods will deliver her and her brother from enslavement, Bilal has lost all faith in the gods and the hope and inspiration instilled in them by their mother.

Despite his lack of faith, Bilal never loses his desire for a fight and when his master Umayya’s son Safwan assaults his sister Ghufira, his reputation for rebellion begins to spread.

As Bilal’s reputation for disobedience to authority spreads, he meets with some up-and-coming warriors who are disgusted with the way the noble class treats their servants.

The new warriors plan to overthrow the ruling class with Bilal as one of their leaders.

However, when Umayya learns of their plans, he assembles his own army, which is much bigger and mightier than those trying to emancipate the slaves.

But if Bilal can remember the words of his late mother and those of the new warriors, he can overpower the strength of his opponents by being cunning and clever.

“Bilal: A New Breed of Hero” is the perfect animated picture for Black History Month and the current climate in America.

While many want to overcome oppression with violence and prejudice, “Bilal: A New Breed of Hero” chooses to overcome evil with love.

The film shows the strength it takes to forgive and the strength it takes not to hate those who hate you.

“Bilal: A New Breed of Hero” features voiceover by veteran actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (“Get Rich or Die Tryin’”) and up-and-coming actor Jacob Latimore (“Detroit”), both voicing the character Bilal.

Unfortunately, “Bilal: A New Breed of Hero” is a bit predictable, which is to be expected from a film probably aimed at the younger demographic.

And while the film does produce heartbreaking twists and turns, the conclusion of “Bilal: A New Breed of Hero” is never in doubt.

But suspense is not the aim of the film necessarily.

The aim of the film is to promote unity, freedom and equality.


And because the film achieves its purpose so effortlessly, it will be hard to just categorize it as a film for children because adults need the message more than the kids.






This article was published on Friday 02 February, 2018.
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