By Joginder Tuteja
Film: "Bal Ganesha 2"; Cast: Animated; Director: Pankaj Sharma; Rating: ***
More than half a dozen animated films released in 2008. However, most of them failed to make a mark, mainly because of sub-standard animation.
Now in 2009, comes the next instalment of "Bal Ganesha" and among all the animation films based on mythological themes, this is easily the best India has seen so far.
The sequel to "Bal Ganesha" has not really been promoted. But the animation is of high order, characters are fleshed out well, the story is interesting, the music is catchy and most important there are enough rib tickling moments that will keep kids rolling with laughter.
Cynics may compare the storytelling and animation of "Bal Ganesha 2" with that of Hollywood films.
Though "Bal Ganesha 2" may not be at the same level as its Hollywood counterparts, it does move in that direction.
Film maker Pankaj Sharma sets the entire team of narrators, a bunch of mice, in the present time and uses 'tapori' (street) language to make the narrative more crisp.
For those who missed the first instalment of "Bal Ganesha", there is a quick recap.
The film focuses on three stories, which are basically episodes from the life of Ganesha when he was a kid. These stories revolve around playing games with a cat, writing of Mahabharat and battling with a demon.
The stories all have twists in the end. They also have messages but thankfully that is not thrust down the throat of the audience.
It is clear that Sharma has understood the pulse of his target audience.
Also, the song "De Taali", which comes in the second half of the film is intelligently used to bring in a desired break between the stories.
Overall, "Bal Ganesha 2" is pretty good and deserves a watch.