A Nigerian superhero tale is born

My thoughts on trailer for the “Dawn of Thunder”


I really, really, really liked this retelling of the story of the Yoruba god of thunder, Sango (pronounced, “Shawn-go,” by the way).

I thought the animation and 3D were a little choppy, but at least one person has disagreed with me and I don’t 100% trust my judgement of animation and graphics anyway. But I do think it’s at least good enough, because the trailer gets right what I think the most important thing: the story.

In the three minutes it takes to start and end, this trailer does an amazing job of giving you enough to pull you in and actually get you caring about the character, even though it doesn’t actually say anything about him. It says very little, but it says it well, and leaves you wanting to know more, and that’s the job of a good trailer.

Fingers crossed the full story is just as well executed when it releases.

In the meantime, and apart from the great storytelling, there’s quite a bit to love here.

  1. Favourite scenes. My top two, in order: his perfect reaction to finding out his destiny, and the action of the mini-“fight” scene near the end. Best not say more about these though: they’re best seen, not described.
  2. The score. It feels old, modern and epic, all at the same time! And it’s catchy, to boot. It’s still playing in my head as I write this. (Had to check who scored it, and turns out it was Osarumen Osamuyi, who I know from Twitter as SkweiRd.)
  3. The dialogue. From the credits, they got an actual chieftain (he also voices the Ifa priest) to help with translation. The difference it makes is clear: the dialogue is in proper old-school (ìjìnlè) Yoruba and that adds an element of pathos to the whole thing. Look out for my favourite line: the very last one, right after the fight scene!
  4. The subtitles. They’re so well done, I got to enjoy the rare pleasure of finding reading subtitles as delightful as actually listening to the dialogue. You’d have to be a Yorùbá speaker to appreciate how really beautiful the English subtitles are, but the fact that so much attention is paid to such a seemingly tiny detail says a lot about these guys.
  5. The name. I have mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, “Dawn of Thunder” has a nice ring to it. On the other, it’s too reminiscent of another recent superhero movie (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) for me not to help but think they were influenced by that title, even if subconsciously. That takes away from my ability to enjoy the name, except as a bit of an in-joke on superhero movies in general.

I can’t wait to see the IndieGogo campaign and support any way I can. In the meantime, read the amazing story of the studio behind this here:


Thanks to Mo’ Lanee Sibyl, for triggering this without (probably) realising it.

Published by Doc Ayomide

I’m a medical doctor with specialty training in psychiatry, and I love thinking and writing about what it means to be human.

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