Is this story really about believing in God?
The prelude to the ocean crossing certainly caters enough food for thought to support this hypothesis.
Or is it solely about a boy, a tiger, a hyena, a zebra and an orangutan after all?
The passionate, pathetic and poetic picture Ang Lee painted on the movie screen, seemed to favour this second option, as did the lion part of the original book.
Or was it about a tiger boy, a hyena cook, an orangutan mother and a zebra sailor?
A beastly plot that was briefly served to the Japanese maritime investigators, but it clearly was one which they apparently wholeheartedly disliked.
Perhaps it all boils down to the quintessential question the protagonist poses near the end of both book and movie:
“Which story do you prefer?”