Regardless of its fantastical setting, bizarre creatures and strange inhabitants, the animated world in which the film Delgo is set suffers from many of the same concerns as our own. Yet the movie never gets past the point of feeling like an extended Saturday morning cartoon.
When the winged Nohrin’s homeland becomes uninhabitable, they seek refuge with the earth-bound Lockni people who initially welcome the immigrants. However the Nohri King (voice by Louis Gossett Jr.) sends his sister Sedessa (voice by Anne Bancroft) to oversee the settling of his people while he stays behind to ensure all his subjects are safely removed from their crumbling civilization.
Unfortunately, Sedessa isn’t content to just move in and share the land with her new neighbors. Mustering an army of Nohrin soldiers, she attacks the local residents and kills off men, women and even children. During one of her troops’ brutal raids, a young Lockni boy named Delgo (voice by Mary Matilyn Mouser) is orphaned when his parents are murdered in front of him. Only the mercy of one of the soldiers allows Delgo to live another day.
Raised by Elder Marley (voice by Michael Clarke Duncan), Delgo (voice by Freddie Prinze Jr.) is now a spirited adolescent who seeks out adventure with his more timid friend Filo (voice by Chris Kattan). But after the Nohri princess, Kyla (voice by Jennifer Love Hewitt), rescues Delgo from one of his misadventures, the teenaged boy is accused of harassing the girl. Hostilities come to a head and both groups prepare for battle. But Delgo and Kyla refuse to be drawn into their parents’ quarrel and seek for a way to restore peace.
Despite the pair’s desire, this film is full of animated depictions of war, sword fights and hand-to-hand combat between the opposing armies. Treachery and treason also plague the King and his household as his sister plots to take over his throne. With little to offer other than cartoon violence and one-dimensional characters, Delgo is a fantasy that fails to engage viewers in its truly magical world.