Delgo is a 2008 American computer-animated adventure romantic comedy fantasy film directed by Marc F. Adler and Jason Maurer, written by Scott Biear, Patrick J. Cowan, Carl Dream and Jennifer A. Jones. It stars Freddie Prinze, Jr., Jennifer Love Hewitt, Anne Bancroft, Chris Kattan, Louis Gossett Jr., Val Kilmer and Malcolm McDowell with narration by Sally Kellerman. It was distributed by Freestyle Releasing with music by Geoff Zanelli and produced by Electric Eye Entertainment Corporation and Fathom Studios, a division of Macquarium Intelligent Communications, which began development of the project in 1999.
Despite winning the Best Feature award at Anima Mundi, the film received largely negative reviews and its box office was one of the lowest-grossing wide releases in recent history. Delgo grossed under $1 million in theaters against an estimated budget of $40 million. The film was released independently with a large screen count (over 2,000 screens) and a small marketing budget. 20th Century Fox acquired the film rights for international and DVD distribution It became a box office bomb, losing an estimated $46 million.
After having left their own world due to a loss of natural resources, the winged humanoid Nohrin settle on Jhamora with the permission of the ground-dwelling Lokni. Would-be conqueror Empress Sedessa leads those Nohrin that believe in its own racial superiority and try to take land away from the Lokni. The parents of Delgo, a Lokni, are killed in the resulting conflict. Nohrin King Zahn is horrified by the war and admonishes Sedessa, who then poisons the Queen and almost kills Zahn (who catches her) as well. She is subsequently banished, and her wings are clipped off. Delgo, meanwhile, is raised by Elder Marley, who tries to teach him how to use the power of magical stones. Delgo grows up and he gives in to his desire for revenge against all Nohrin. He meets Nohrin Princess Kyla and develops a tentative friendship with her. When she is kidnapped by Nohrin General Raius, who is actually working for Sedessa, Delgo and his friend Filo are blamed and arrested. In the Nohrin prison, Delgo meets Nohrin General Bogardus, who was forced to illegally gamble with his weapons by Raius, because Bogardus opposed an all out war with the Lokni. Delgo, Filo, and Bogardus escape into some underground caverns and eventually reach Sedessa's stronghold and rescue Kyla. They return too late to avert a war taking place. Bogardus fights and defeats Raius, but he is mortally injured.
Just as Bogardus dies from heavy wounds, Delgo realizes that he was the Nohrin soldier who spared his life many years ago during the first war between the Nohrin and the Lokni. Meanwhile, Sedessa's army of monsters join in the battle. Kyla convinces the Nohrin generals to direct their troops to stop fighting the Lokni and instead pick them up and fly them away from the battlefield. Filo then directs an entire stampede of large animals onto the battlefield, sending Sedessa's minions fleeing for their lives. Delgo goes off to face Sedessa and find King Zahn, whom she has taken prisoner. He finally manages to master the stone magic, and defeats Sedessa. He also puts the past behind him by saving her rather than letting her fall to her death. However, Sedessa then attacks Kyla, who has come to Delgo's aid. The two struggle and Sedessa finally falls, injuring herself by the fall and her artificial wings being of no use. Later, during the celebrations, it turns out Raius was not dead, and he makes one last attempt to kill Delgo. He is subdued by a Nohrin, but not before he throws his spear at Delgo. Then, out of nowhere, the spear breaks in mid-air. Everyone turns to look at Filo, who has finally mastered his slingshot. Later, Delgo and Kyla's friendship blossoms into romance when they finally kiss.
- Freddie Prinze, Jr. as Delgo
- Jennifer Love Hewitt as Princess Kyla
- Anne Bancroft as Empress Sedessa
- Chris Kattan as Filo
- Louis Gossett, Jr. as King Zahn
- Val Kilmer as General Bogardus
- Malcolm McDowell as General Raius
- Michael Clarke Duncan as Elder Marley
- Eric Idle as Spig
- Kelly Ripa as Kurrin
- Burt Reynolds as Delgo's father
- Brad Abrell as Spog
- Mary Matilyn Mouser as Baby Delgo
- David Heyer as Talusi
- John Vernon as Judge Nohrin
- Jed Rhein as Ando
- Melissa McBride as Miss Sutley, Elder Pearo
- Jeff Winter as Giddy, Lochni Man
- Armin Shimerman as Nohrin Merchant
- Don Stallings as Gelmore, Elder Kiros
- Tristan Rogers as Nohrin Officer
- Gustavo Rex as Elder Canta
- Nika Futterman as Elder Jaspin
- Susan Bennett as Melsa
- Louis K. Adler as the Soldiers
- Sally Kellerman as the Narrator
Box Office Edit
Delgo is notable for producing, at the time, the worst opening ever for a film playing in over 2,000 theaters, earning $511,920 at 2,160 sites. According to Yahoo! Movies, this averages approximately 2 viewers per screening. In 2012, another Freestyle Releasing film, The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure became the new holder of this record, earning only $443,901 on its opening weekend. Delgo is also the lowest-grossing computer-animated film of all time, with just $915,840 made worldwide, a record formerly held by the 2006 film Doogal ($7.2 million in the United States).
Critical Response Edit
Rotten Tomatoes reports that only 12% of critics gave positive reviews, based on 43 reviews, with an average score of 3.6/10, with the site's consensus stating that "Delgo features a blend of plot elements from earlier (and superior) fantasy films, with weaker animation and dull characters." Metacritic, based on a normalized rating from 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, gave the film an average score of 27/100, indicating "generally unfavorable".
Leonard Maltin's publication "TV Movies" gives the film a BOMB rating, calling it "a complete misfire." Critics from Newsday and Campus Circle gave the film acclaim, citing a unique look and it was widely accepted by parents for its positive influences. Universally, Academy Award-winner Anne Bancroft was commended for her performance as the antagonist in what became her final film role. Tom Keogh of The Seattle Times praised Bancroft's "excellent voice work" and noted the film was a "busy but decent animated fable that feels like a Star Wars or Lord of the Rings spin-off". Aside from the death of Bancroft, the film had several other setbacks which delayed its release. MGM was originally expected to release the picture but an executive restructuring altered these plans. In addition, Kevin Foster, the president of Fathom Studios' parent company Macquarium, died of heart failure during production, causing attention to be drawn away from the film for almost a year.