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Director: V G Samant
Hanuman - an animation film


NRI UK group's idea of "Hanuman" animation film,
open the doors for Indian producers

Director: V G Samant

Prajith Namboodiri

Hindi: (U) PVR Cinemas, Innivative Multiplex

The success of the Hanuman, the animation film, has opened up new vistas for enterprising individuals, according to V G Samant, director of Hanuman, the first indigenous animated film. Metrolife caught up with Samant recently when he was in Bangalore in connection with a seminar on the future of animation organised by Animaster, an animation school in the city.

The idea of making an animation film on Hanuman was mooted by an NRI group, who wanted to cover all aspects of Hanuman for the television audience in Britain.

the original movie is of a two-hour duration and the one that was released is of a ninety-minute duration. Initially, it was meant for TV audience in Britain, but seeing the quality of the film, the producers decided on a short duration film to be released in theatres. So, we had to edit a lot.

The work on the film started in 1998 and was complete in 2002 and was released only in 2005. We had to compromise on certain things so as to get back the money invested in it.

Mr. Samant said, "I will make only films for children for the next three years. Your advise to those who want to take up animation as a career... Animation involves drawing sketches of characters and giving them a rhythmic movement using technology. It is a skill that can be learnt over a period of time. It cannot be learnt in just 15 or 20 days. A lot of devotion, patience and interest is required for a career in animation "

Evil forces have made life on earth miserable. When too many rishis get killed and asuras have too much of a say, the nobler men up there decide enough is enough, and it's time for counter insurgency.

In the first part, Director V G Samant deals with Maruti's birth. The Dev-gan approach Vishnu, but the 'preserver' is busy with his homework on the imminent role of Sri Ram. The divine folk now plead with the 'terminator'. Parvathi, as always, offers to play a support cast, but the three-eyed sura is all business this time. And, the only 'bachelor-avatar' of Lord Shiva takes birth.

The second part is Hanuman's childhood. The little vayuputhr is a cutie and just steals the show. He takes off from the cradle straight for the sun, taking it for a mango! Bestowed with all the powers in the world, young Maruti does a Tarzan on the trees, an Asterix with an elephant, skis on the stars and surfs on rings of Saturn... and the divine pranks just do not stop. Soon, he meets his lord - Sri Ram. Hanuman chants Ram-naam all the way to his adulthood and there you lose the cutie. But with Mukesh Khanna rendering voice to the grownup Hanuman, who narrates the whole story, there is no let down.

Ram and Lakshman are now in their 14-year ordeal. Hanuman meets them in the jungle searching for Sita, and the chronic bachelor is out on the mission he was born for.

Background scores blend with wonderful work of animation. It took 1,50,000 drawings to complete the film, and the total process took over four years. Over 120 people were involved in this Converge Media production. And it shows.