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Review: Bal Ganesh 2 is all heart

Review: Bal Ganesh 2 is all heart

Source: Sify

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 17/5

Sunday 25 October 2009

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Animation in India is obsessed with mythological figures. We?ve seen films on Hanuman, Krishna, baby Ganesha; why, there was even one made on the lesser-known Ghatothkach.

So then again, you have the second installment to the Bal Ganesh film that released in 2007. Here, we hear stories of an adorably tiny Ganesha as discussed by a group of mice ? one talking in tapori lingo with sunglasses and a sports car, the other in a dhoti and so on.

The film is divided into three stories ? the first one is where a cat is harassing Ganesha?s vehicle-for-all-times Mooshak the mouse. Ganesha teaches the errant cat a lesson only to be told it?s wrong to harm animals. The following stories are even more immersing. One about how Bal Ganesha was instrumental in writing the Mahabharata and the other one about how an evil demon was brought down to his knees.

Bal Ganesh 2 avoids the first deadly mistake made by mythological animations?getting too self-serious and telling the story like a dull history lesson. Throughout, writer-director Pankaj Sharma keeps the tone light and entertaining. Background score by Shamir Tandon and Sanjay Dhakan is upbeat and lively. The mice discussing Bal Ganesha?s deeds are adorable, especially when they break into a song with bhangra beats. The songs are enjoyable and sung by noted singers such as Sukhwinder Singh and Asha Bhonsle while the kids? portions are sung by winners of talent shows. Dialogue is wonderful, casually incorporating English words like friend, story and intelligence.

The cast does very well. Ashar Sheikh who is performing Bal Ganesha is sufficiently cherubic and impish. Bal Ganesh 2?s animation quality is remarkably better than the first installment.

Animations are tough to make ? you have to engage the kids and the accompanying adults as well. In the past, animations have resorted to tricks like item songs, and risqu? dialogue and the audience rightly rejected such films. Thankfully, this one is straight from the heart, doesn?t waste time trying to please, and therefore does.

Verdict: Three stars

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