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Animation now in Indian colours

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LOCAL ANIMATION COMES OF AGE:`The Legend of Buddha' all set for premiere.
LOCAL ANIMATION COMES OF AGE:`The Legend of Buddha' all set for premiere.

Mandira Nayar

NEW DELHI: Continuing old fairytales with a new twist or animating one of the oldest stories in the world, Cartoon Network has decided to soak in Indian colours in more ways than one this summer.

With two "desi" cartoons, "Son of Alladin'' and "The Legend of Buddha'', local content will fight for space with the bigger names in the cartoon business. Kicking off this programming this Saturday is "Son of Alladin''. Produced by Pentamedia, this cartoon will see Mustafa, Prince of Basra -- as Alladin's son is known -- get the better of the evil Zee Zee Ba, meet the woman of his dreams and also rescue his long lost parents. The perfect feel-good cartoon for a lazy weekend, it is bound to have the tiny tots hooked to the screen. And literally adding a new dimension, it is in 3D.

While most people might see this as the triumph of good old Indian stories over the other more dominant world of well-marketed fairytales, the bigger victory is the coming of age of local animation. Produced by Pentamedia, these two animations take the tally of local animations acquired and showcased by Cartoon Network to eleven, with three of these launching in 2006.

"Cartoon Network is extremely proud of its pioneering role in bringing Indian folklore and historic tales to young audiences in a format that is appealing, educating and entertaining. We are also very happy that local animation has very quickly gained its rightful place of honour on the network, right beside the ever-popular international animation shows, demonstrating that quality content, be it Indian or international, resonates with the discerning young viewers,'' says Anshuman Misra, Managing Director of Turner International India Pvt. Ltd.

Giving young viewers something new in the popular story of the Buddha is `The Legend of Buddha', which will premiere on June 25. An animated version of the classic, the cartoon will take children through the life and times of Prince Siddhartha till he becomes "The Enlightened One".

Ushering in a new age for children watching the small screen and animators looking for a chance to show their skills, Cartoon Network promises that it is the beginning of a whole new world."Having paved the way for Indian animation shows on television channels in the country, we are very enthused by the success of these shows on the Network. Taking a cue from the overwhelming positive response to Indian content by viewers across the country, Cartoon Network is now moving to the next level of being involved in the creative process. The Network is scouting avenues for lending its expertise on the likes and dislikes of Indian kids to partner studios from the conceptual stage to the finished product,'' says Anshuman.

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