ll of us know the story of the Ramayan and how Lord Hanuman [Images] helped Lord Ram defeat Ravan. But perhaps few among us know about how Hanuman saved mankind from demons as a child.
That is about to change. Come June, an animated film on Hanuman hits movie theatres across India.
Directed by V G Samant, the film is based on Hanuman's childhood, and later, about his love and dedication for Lord Ram.
"Hanuman has always fascinated me," says Samant. "I have been working on this project for the last six years and I am happy to see that this film is finally releasing. Many know about Lord Ram but very few people know about Hanuman. I hope this film will make people aware about the greatness of Hanuman."
Samant was first noticed after he bagged the National Award for best animated film, Law Of Nature, in 1978. After that, he has made quite a few films for the government-run Films Division as an animator.
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"We created 200,000 pictures and 20 colours in each character (of Hanuman). Hundred and twenty people have worked on this project. This film will be India's first animated film to be made by Indians alone. No outside help has been taken. I can say proudly that this 90-minute film is a world-class movie," he adds.
Singers like Shaan (who sang Tanha dil), Kailash Kher (Allah ke bande), Euphoria's lead singer Palash Sen, Sapna Mukherjee (Oye oye), Madhushree (Hum hai is pal) and Sneha Pant (Saiyanji baiyan chhudake) have lent their voices for the film.
Hanuman's voice has been dubbed by Mukesh Khanna.
"I am known in India for only two things -- my role as Bhishma pitamah in the (television) serial Mahabharata and for my performance in (television series) Shaktiman. I hope my third recognition to audiences comes because of my voice in this film," Khanna says.
"When I was doing Shaktiman, critics told me it was a bad copy of Superman," he adds.
"I used to tell them that the Superman idea was, in fact, lifted from our own Hanuman so no one can accuse me of plagiarism. I am proud that the opportunity to (give the) voice for Hanuman was given to me. I feel that I am blessed by Lord Hanuman."