Director: Johan Nijenhuis | 103 minutes | drama, comedy, adventure, family, romance | Actors: Nicolette van Dam, Vivienne van den Assem, Patrick van der Werff, Ewout Genemans, Juliette van Ardenne, Jon Karthaus, Erwan van Buuren, Marco Borsato, Kim Boekhoorn, Sabine Koning, Teun Kuilboer, Ernst Löw, Hugo Maerten, Pieternel Pouwels , Raymi Sambo, Sylvana Simons, Monique van der Werff
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After the success of the feature film ‘Zoo Rangers in Africa (Zoop in Africa)’, a sequel could not be missed. This time the heroes of the eponymous television series ‘ZOOP’ travel to India. Their ranger buddy Alwin has just been there for a year and asks for their help. The village where he stayed has lost a herd of elephants. Alwin had cared about his friends, the rangers in training at the Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen, and all the villagers’ hopes are on them. The young animal friends leave in a hurry, but it soon turns out that not everyone is happy with their arrival in India. There appears to be more going on. The elephants have been kidnapped by ivory smugglers who don’t want a scavenger hunt by the rangers. The thieves do everything they can to thwart them. Then the friends decide to split up. Taffie (Monique van der Werff), Elise (Viviënne van den Assem), Mike (Patrick Martens) and Alwin (Erwan van Buuren) go into the jungle in search of the disappeared herd. Bionda (Nicolette van Dam), Bastiaan (Ewout Genemans), Sira (Juliëtte van Ardenne) and Moes (Jon Karthaus) cross Mombai and hope to track down the smugglers there.
The recording of ‘Zoop in India’ did not always go smoothly. Although the film crew was used to working with foreign teams, India often encountered communication problems and cultural differences. In addition, the actors did almost all the stunts themselves, which made the shooting days on location physically difficult for them. Not a day went by without a plaster, iodine or bandage. But according to director Johan Nijenhuis, that is inherent to making an action film.
You notice immediately after the start that ‘Zoop in India’ is an action film. The momentum is good right away. Alwin is soon stepped up with his request for help, and the rangers hardly hesitate. From that moment on, they experience one adventure after another and you don’t have to be bored for a moment. There are many moments of tension and because of the shooting on location, plenty of colorful shots. The question is whether all shots are suitable for the target group, children from six to thirteen years old. The images of attacking cobras and near-fatal accidents will also boost adrenaline levels in adults.
The film confirms many clichés about India. Snake charmers, turbans and a bed of nails are reviewed, but that shouldn’t spoil the fun; it gives this Dutch children’s version of ‘The Raiders of the Lost Ark’ an exotic twist.