From THE LION KING to FINDING NEMO to SHARK TALE to SHREK, Hollywood has produced qualitative animation films most successfully. Even otherwise, Hollywood has often made films on super-heroes, be it Superman, Spiderman, Batman et al.
Bollywood is slowly waking up to animation movies. Though the animation industry is still in the infancy stages in India, it's for the first time that an out-and-out animation film, revolving around a mythological super-hero, is finding a wide release in India.
The effort to make an animation film, publicize it like a star-studded film and give it a respectable release is nothing short of a breakthrough in Indian entertainment.
But the triumph lies in the fact that the animation is truly good [it should prove to be a novel experience for Indian moviegoers] and the narrative has the power to keep you hooked to the proceedings for the entire 90 minutes.
HANUMAN tells the journey of this mythical super-hero from his days as a naughty but blessed baby, to his eventual triumph in the army of Lord Ram.
Hanuman was blessed with supreme intelligence, strength and divine powers. As a baby, Hanuman was quite naughty and used his powers to pester the saints living in the nearby forest. Once, when he was hungry, he even leapt to catch the sun thinking it was a fruit [mango].
Blessed with divine powers, Hanuman grew up to be powerful and mighty. No harm could befall him from any weapons, while fire and water could not harm him either. He could overcome death and above all, he could transform his body to take the smallest form or attain the biggest form of life.
He befriended Lord Ram and Laxman in their search for Sita. Hanuman, with his super powers, helped Lord Ram and Laxman defeat Ravan and secure the release of Sita.
HANUMAN is loaded with eye-popping visuals, which, even on a second viewing, would never fail to mesmerize. At the same time, a film like HANUMAN refreshes your memory about Indian mythology and you only feel enriched at the conclusion of the screening.
The animation is of superior quality and the goings-on [director: V.G. Samant] are engrossing. Especially the portions pertaining to Lord Ram, Sita, Laxman, Hanuman and Ravan. The baby Hanuman looks very cute and should prove to be a favorite with kids.
The voiceovers are in sync, with Mukesh Khanna's baritone voice [for Hanuman] only accentuating the impact. Special mention must be made of the background score [excellent] and the few songs in the enterprise.
On the whole, HANUMAN comes at a time when Bollywood is truly going through a major transition and the moviegoers are ready for challenges. After having watched the animation version, one can only feel proud that at least someone has had the courage to invest time, effort and resources in a project that can easily compete with the West. All said, HANUMAN will appeal to children from 6 to 60.