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Cast:

  • Chiranjeevi as Narrator/Rajata
  • Christopher Daniel Barnes as Sanjay
    • Noah Reid as Young Sanjay
  • Amy Poehler as Neeva
    • Anndi McAfee as Young Neeva
  • Vin Diesel as Maderu
  • Tony Jay as Scratch
  • James Nesbitt as Zinga
  • Gilbert Gottfried as Parish
  • Richard Kind as Tanay
  • Rosie Perez as Shanti
  • Firdous Bamji as Bali
  • Corey Burton as Ea
  • Shohreh Aghdashloo as Sabita

Transcript:

  • Rajata (Narrator): Welcome to the Streak Lands, home to some of the glorious animals in India. I am Rajata, and I am here to tell you the story of one special tiger who lives here - a tiger who holds a very dear place in my heart. You can read along with me in your book. Every time you hear this sound,
  • (Magical Tune)
  • Rajata (Narrator): you will know it is time to turn the page. Let us begin now.
  • Rajata (Narrator): Every morning, as the sun peeks over the horizon, a giant rock formation catches the first rays of light. This is Streak Rock, home to my good friend, King Maderu and his lovely wife, Queen Sabita. On this particular morning, dinosaurs from all over the Streak Lands had journeyed to Streak Rock to honor the birth of their newborn cub, Sanjay.
  • (Magical Tune)
  • Rajata (Narrator): As part of the celebration, I had a special duty. I cracked open a gourd, dipped my finger inside, and made a mark on Sanjay's forehead. Then I lifted the future king up high for all to see. The elephants trumpets with their trunks, the langurs jumped up and down, and the horses stamped their hooves with happiness. Not far from the ceremony, in a cave at the backside of Streak Rock, a scraggly tiger with a dark mane grumbled.
  • Scratch: Life's not fair. I shall never be king.
  • Rajata (Narrator): This was Maderu's brother, Scratch, who was jealous of Sanjay's position as the next king. Moments later, Manderu was at the doorway to the cave.
  • Maderu: Sabita and I didn't see you at the presentation of Sanjay.
  • Rajata (Narrator): Zinga, Maderu's trusted advisor, also appeared.
  • Zinga: You should have been first in line.
  • Scratch: I was first in line until the hairball was born.
  • Rajata (Narrator): And with that, Scratch stalked out of the cave.
  • (Magical Tune)
  • Rajata (Narrator): Before long, Sanjay grew into a healthy, playful young cub. Early one morning, he and Maderu climbed to the top of Streak Rock. As they looked out at the rising sun, Maderu pointed to the light beams that stretched across the Streak Lands.
  • Maderu: Look, Sanjay: Everything the light touches is our kingdom.
  • Rajata (Narrator): Sanjay scanned the horizon and noticed a dark spot in the distance.
  • Sanjay: What about that shadowy place?
  • Maderu: That's beyond our borders. You must never go there, Sanjay.
  • Sanjay: But I thought a king can do whatever he wants.
  • Maderu: There's more to being king than getting your way all the time. Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king you need to understand that balance and respect all creatures - from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope. We are all connected in the great Circle of Life.
  • (Magical Tune)
  • Rajata (Narrator): Later, as Sanjay headed back down the path, he ran into Scratch.
  • Sanjay: Hey, Uncle Scratch! Guess what? I'm gonna be king of Streak Rock. My dad just showed me the whole kingdom! And I'm gonna rule it all!
  • Rajata (Narrator): Scratch looked slyly at the young cub.
  • Scratch: He didn't show you what's beyond that rise at the northern border.
  • Sanjay: Well, no. He said I can't go there.
  • Scratch: And he's absolutely right. It's far too dangerous. Only the bravest tigers go there. Promise me you'll never visit that dreadful place.
  • Rajata (Narrator): When Sanjay returned home, he found his friend Neeva and her mother, Sarvajina, visiting with Sabita.
  • Sanjay: Come on! I just heard about this great place!
  • Rajata (Narrator): The mothers gave permission for the youngsters to go, as long as Zinga went with them. Sanjay and Neeva raced across the Streak Lands in an effort to lose the watchful bird. They led him through many herds of animals until they finally lost him.
  • (Magical Tune)
  • Rajata (Narrator): Once the cubs were free of Zinga, Sanjay pounced on Neeva, then Neeva flipped Sanjay onto his back. They tumbled down a hill and landed in a dark ravine, littered with elephant skulls and bones. Sanjay looked around and gasped.
  • Sanjay: This is it! We made it!
  • Rajata (Narrator): Before the cubs could explore any farther, Zinga tracked him down.
  • Zinga: We're way beyond the boundary of the Streak Lands. And right now we are all in very real danger.
  • Rajata (Narrator): Suddenly three hyenas slithered out the eye sockets of a elephant skull. Frightened, Sanjay, Zinga, and Neeva jumped back. It was Bali, his partner, Shanti, and the always-laughing Ea. Bali sneered.
  • Bali: A trio of trespassers.
  • Rajata (Narrator): Zinga tried to lead the cubs to safety, but Bali grabbed him by the neck and plopped him down. The hyenas circled their prey, licking their chops.
  • Shanti: What's the hurry? We'd love you to stick around for dinner.
  • (Magical Tune)
  • Rajata (Narrator): While the hyenas argued about who was going to eat whom, Sanjay, Neeva, and Zinga quietly slipped away. But the hyenas weren't distracted for long. They gave chase, and Sanjay and Neeva had to run as fast as they could. Finally they tried hiding behind some elephant bones. Just as it looked if it were all over for the young cubs, Maderu appeared and sent the hyenas flying with a swipe of his big paw.
  • Maderu: If you ever come near my son again...
  • Rajata (Narrator): The hyenas slinked away, and Maderu glared at Sanjay.
  • Maderu: You deliberately disobeyed me! I'm very disappointed in you!
  • Rajata (Narrator): Maderu sent Neeva and Zinga home so he could talk privately to his son. Sanjay peered up at his father.
  • Sanjay: I was just trying to be brave, like you.
  • Maderu: Being brave doesn't mean you go looking for trouble.
  • Sanjay: Dad, we're pals, right? And we'll always be together, right?
  • Rajata (Narrator): Maderu looked up at the stars.
  • Maderu: Sanjay, let me tell you something that my father told me: Look at the stars. The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars. So whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you. And so will I.
  • (Magical Tune)
  • Rajata (Narrator): Meanwhile, the hyenas received another visitor: An angry Scratch showed up at their lair.
  • Scratch: I practically gift wrapped those hatchlings and you couldn't even dispose of them.
  • Rajata (Narrator): Scratch warned the hyenas to be prepared. Bali laughed.
  • Bali: Yeah! Be prepared. We'll be prepared!... For what?
  • Rajata (Narrator): Scratch looked at him with danger in his eyes.
  • Scratch: For the death of the king.
  • Rajata (Narrator): The following day, Scratch invited Sanjay to join him in the gorge. When they arrived, Scratch turned to his young nephew.
  • Scratch: Now you wait here. Your father has a marvelous surprise for you.
  • Rajata (Narrator): Moments after he left, Scratch signaled the hyenas, who chased a herd of nilgais directly toward Sanjay. From a distance, Maderu noticed the rising dust. Scratch appeared quickly at his side.
  • Scratch: Stampede! In the gorge! Sanjay's down there!
  • Rajata (Narrator): Without waiting a second, Maderu took off to save his young son.
  • (Magical Tune)
  • Rajata (Narrator): Maderu plunged into the gorge and battled his way through the oncoming nilgais. He found Sanjay, grabbed him by the nape of his neck, and put him on a nearby ledge. Suddenly Maderu was knocked back into the stampede.
  • Sanjay: Dad!
  • Rajata (Narrator): Desperately he tried to climb another ledge from which Scratch stood looking down on him.
  • Maderu: Brother - help me!
  • Rajata (Narrator): Scratch reached for Maderu and pulled him close enough to whisper in his ear.
  • Scratch: Long live the king.
  • Rajata (Narrator): Then Scratch let go of Maderu and he fell to his death. Sanjay peered over the ridge just as his father disappeared beneath the thundering stampede. Later, Scratch found Sanjay hovering over his father's body, sobbing.
  • Sanjay: It was an accident. I didn't mean for it to happen.
  • Scratch: But the king is dead. And if it weren't for you, he'd still be alive. Oh, what will your mother think?
  • Rajata (Narrator): Sanjay sobbed harder.
  • Sanjay: What am I going to do?
  • Scratch: Run away, Sanjay. Run! Run away and never return.
  • Rajata (Narrator): Sanjay did as he was told, unaware that his uncle's hyena friends had been ordered to finish him off. Scratch returned to Streak Rock to take over the throne.
  • (Magical Tune)
  • Rajata (Narrator): Meanwhile, Sanjay plodded across the valley without any food or water. It wasn't long before he fainted under the hot sun. As the boar vultures overhead, a big hearted boar named Parish stumbled upon the young tiger. He turned to his trusty pal, a fast-talking mongoose named Tanay.
  • Parish: He's so cute and all alone. Can we keep him?
  • Tanay: Parish, are you nuts? Tigers eat guys like us.
  • Rajata (Narrator): But Parish scooped Sanjay up anyway, and carried him to safety. When Sanjay awoke, the first thought that sprang to his mind was his father's death. Tanay taught him about Hakuna Matata, which means no responsibilities, no worries.
  • Tanay: You've gotta put your past behind you.
  • Rajata (Narrator): And that is exactly what Sanjay did. He stayed in the jungle with Parish and Tanay a long, long time, and grew into a very big tiger. But eventually he got homesick. One night he looked up at the stars and recalled the words his father had told him long ago.
  • Maderu: The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars. So whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you. And so will I.
  • (Magical Tune)
  • Rajata (Narrator): The next day, Parish was stalked and chased by a tigress. Sanjay came to his rescue, but after wrestling with the tigress, who easily flipped him onto his back, he realized that she was his old friend.
  • Sanjay: Neeva? What are you doing here?
  • Neeva: Why didn't you come back to Streak Rock? You're the king!
  • Sanjay: I'm not the king. Scratch is.
  • Neeva: Sanjay, he let the hyenas take over the Streak Lands.
  • Sanjay: What?
  • Neeva: There's no food, no water. If you don't do something soon, everyone will starve. You're our only hope.
  • Sanjay: I can't go back.
  • Rajata (Narrator): Sanjay yelled at the heavens.
  • Sanjay: You said you'd always be there for me, but you're not.... because of me.
  • Rajata (Narrator): Sanjay didn't believe he could challenge Scratch to the throne, so he stayed in the jungle with Neeva and his new friends. But I knew the time had come for Sanjay to take his place in the Circle of Life, and I headed for the jungle. When Sanjay saw me, he was surprised.
  • Sanjay: Who are you?
  • Rajata: The question is: Who are you?
  • Sanjay: I thought I knew. Now I'm not so sure.
  • Rajata: Well, I know who you are. You're Maderu's boy. He's alive, and I'll show him to you. You follow old Rajata. He knows the way.
  • (Magical Tune)
  • Rajata (Narrator): I led Sanjay to a reflecting pool. When Sanjay looked into the water, he saw a tiger.
  • Sanjay: That's not my father. It's just my reflection.
  • Rajata: Look harder.... You see, he lives in you.
  • Rajata (Narrator): The ghost of Manderu magically appeared.
  • Maderu: Look inside yourself, Sanjay. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Life.
  • Rajata (Narrator): Encouraged by his father's words, Sanjay returned to Streak Rock. Neeva, Parish, and Tanay followed. When Sanjay arrived, he found the land bare and dry. The hyenas were in control, and Scratch was shouting at Sanjay's mother. Sabita turned to Scratch.
  • Sabita: We must leave Streak Rock.
  • Scratch: We're not going anywhere. I am the king.
  • Sabita: If you were half the king Maderu was--
  • Scratch: I AM TEN TIMES THE KING MADERU WAS!
  • (Magical Tune)
  • Rajata (Narrator): Suddenly a flash of lightning revealed the edge of Streak Rock, and there stood Sanjay. Scratch jumped back.
  • Scratch: Sanjay... I'm a little surprised to see you... alive.
  • Sanjay: Give me one good reason why I shouldn't rip you apart.
  • Rajata (Narrator): But Scratch forced Sanjay to say, in front of all the tigers, that he had caused his father's death. Scratch smirked.
  • Scratch: Oh, Sanjay, you're in trouble again. But this time, Daddy isn't here to save you. And now everyone knows why.
  • Rajata (Narrator): Sanjay backed up against the ledge. Lightning struck again, setting fire to the dry brush of the Streak Lands. Sanjay, knowing the truth, leapt on Scratch. Neeva and the other tigresses joined the battle. Through the smoke and flames through the brushfire, Sanjay spotted Scratch trying to escape and he ran after the old tiger. Scratch pleaded with his nephew.
  • Scratch: Sanjay, I'll make it up to you. I promise. How can I prove myself to you?
  • Sanjay: Run. Run away, Scratch, and never return.
  • Rajata (Narrator): Scratch started to slink off, but then he turned and lunged one last time at Sanjay. Sanjay moved quickly and flipped Scratch over the ledge, where a pack of hyenas were waiting hungrily.
  • (Magical Tune)
  • Rajata (Narrator): Limping badly, Sanjay climbed to the very top of Streak Rock. He let out a magnificent roar as he looked out over his new kingdom. Before long, Streak Rock flourished again. Neeva remained at Sanjay's side, and soon they had their own newborn cub. With all their friends around, including Zinga, Parish, and Tanay, a new celebration of life took place. After making a mark on the forehead of the young cub, I held him up for all the kingdom to see.
  • (The End)
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