Mumbai, June 21 (IANS) A cute Ganesha who speaks fluent English, has tattoos on his arms and guitar in hand - that's how the endearing character in the sequel to the animated hit film 'My Friend Ganesha' is going to look like.
'My Friend Ganesha', released last year, was one of India's first composite animation movies, so called because it features animated as well as live characters.
Produced by Coffee Breaks Films, the movie did an average business theatrically but on television it turned out to be a success. In fact, it created a record by getting telecast 53 times on different TV channels in India.
Children particularly were enamoured by the animated character, Ganesha, in his modern-day avatar of sorts as he speaks a smattering of English in the movie.
Knowing the popularity of 'My Friend Ganesha' among children, Banba Arts Limited of Mumbai bought the rights from Coffee Break Films to make two sequels - 'My Friend Ganesha II' and 'My Friend Ganesha III'.
The first of the sequels is complete and it is slated for release next month. The work on 'My Friend Ganesha III' has also started at Radiant Animation Studio in Mumbai.
'In the sequels, the animated character, Ganesha, has been given an entirely Westernized look. He now speaks fluent English, carries a guitar in hand, dons Bermuda shorts and a cap and even has his arms tattooed. Yes, he has become quite a character in the sequels,' Rajiv S. Ruia, who has directed the sequels, told IANS.
He denied that the most revered Hindu elephant-headed god was being lampooned in the movie by showing him having a gambol in a modern-day set-up.
'In 'My Friend Ganesha', he is just an endearing character who interacts with live characters and plays pranks with them,' said Ruia, who had also directed the original version of the movie.
Asked why he opted for sequels instead of making another fresh animation or composite animation movie, Ruia replied that it was the original's popularity among children that encouraged him to do so.
'While making the first part, writer Sachindra Sharma and I had decided that should the movie become a hit with the children, our intended audience, we would work on its sequel to carry the story forward. So, here we are,' he said.
'My Friend Ganesha II' has five songs composed by Samir Phaterpekar, Vinay Kapadia and Frequency Band.