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There is so much knowledge and power that is associated with our culture, traditions and mythology and this imparts crucial life lessons to everyone, irrespective of their age.
The stories of the Ramayan, Mahabharat, Bhagvad Gita, etc., teeming with interesting characters such as Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, etc. as well as other icons such as Prahlad, Buddha, Akbar Birbal, etc. are the stuff that legends are made of.
Passing these stories down through generations
In the ancient times these stories were the curriculum for educating shishyas or students and were passed on by learned gurus in the gurukuls. In the recent past, they were narrated by grandparents or parents to the young ones to enrich and educate them.
Then came the illustrative story books which passed on these tales down to the kids. In the present day the vehicle to pass on these beloved stories are animated films and very soon the shift will be to apps on mobile smart phones!
Most of the Indian animated films feature stories from mythology, and not surprisingly most of them are about Lord Ganesha!
Why are movies about Ganesha so popular?
This is probably because out of all the Gods, Lord Ganesha is the favourite of all kids as they love him for his unique elephant head. He sports a trunk, a pot belly and four arms with a broken tusk being his special aspect. His divine vehicle is, surprisingly, a mouse!
If your kid loves hearing about animal gods, encourage his or her love for the same by narrating the Lord Ganesha story, reading out storybooks about Bappa or showing them the following feature films about the Vignaharta, which are our favourite too!
1) Hamaara Dost Ganesha
This was one of the first animated movies in the Hindi language about the adventures of Ganesha and his band of his kiddie friends. This was aired on the Cartoon network channel of India when it first released to a great response and can now be seen on Youtube.
2) Bal Ganesh
The premise of the film is about the fact that the elephant God, adored and loved by millions worldwide, was once a little child. As an endearing, intelligent child, he had his own set of adventures in which he had a lot of fun. The movie presents Ganesha as a naughty prankster whose childhood antics are spiced with foot-tapping music, delicious modaks and a naughty mooshak (mouse). The narrative is endearing to the target audience of kids.
3) My Friend Ganesha Movie Series ( 1, 2 & 3)
My friend Ganesha, was made in the year 2007 in as a fully fledged feature film that had an animated Ganesha interacting with an 8 year old boy whom he befriends to counteract his loneliness.
The story revolves around a family of 4 members which includes the parents, an eight year old boy and their maid. The parents are busy with their lives and that leaves the boy lonely. He has only the maid for company. The maid, Gangutai, being a devotee of Ganesha tells tells him that Ganesha is a friend on whom everyone can count on. This propels the boy to deeply believe so. Through the movies various twists and turns, in the end everyone in the family turns to be a devout Ganesha follower believing that the God is always there to help.
The popularity and success of this subject has led to the creation of a second and third instalment of films –“My friend Ganesha 2”, and “My friend Ganesha 3”. These films have songs too as is the norm of most Bollywood films. The song “O My Friend Ganesha” from this film is quite popular with the young kids.
4) Devon Ke Dev-Mahadev
This is not an animated series but very popular with all kids! “Devon Ke Dev... Mahadev” is a mythological drama series based on the legends of the Hindu god Shiva. Since Ganesha is Shiva’s son, there are many episodes which carry the stories of Ganesha too.
The roles are portrayed by real actors and this drama series has become very popular and has a huge fan following. This is also an example of entertainment that educates too!
The current generation of media savvy kids believes in the concept of Ganesha but is interpreting Ganesha in media and forms that are familiar to them. Thus the spirit of Ganesha is only growing and encompassing one and all!
Ganpati Bappa Moreya!