Can adults live without a television set? Maybe. Can kids live without a television set? Definitely not! And that’s because Indian mythological characters have captured the slowly evaporating imagination of our toddlers. In fact, they’re even being made into full-fledged movies, and they’re even coming out in 3D! Mirror Mirror on the wall, which is the most popular of them all? Let’s find out :
Ramayana tells the story of Prince Ram and how he, along with his brother Laxman, rescue his wife Sita and Lanka from Ravana. It explains of his ascension to the throne, his exile, the dedication and love his brother had for him and his love for his wife Sita as he crossed continents to save her. Ramayana aired very early in the age of Indian animation and the distorted effects, paired with the terrible lip sync and dubbing, made it almost unwatchable. However, the remastered movies were received with warm reviews.
Almost every Indian mythology character is gaining prominence now with the success of Bheem and Krishna. There are even talks of a Mahabharata movie and series premiering on TV soon. But despite the failures of some of the shows, the Indian animation industry has grown in leaps and bounds and may soon be on par with its Western counterpart.
5. Bal Ganesh
Taking the 4th spot is Shiva’s son Ganesh in an animated avatar. It focuses on his entire story-line and how he transitions from the son of Shiva to the avatar of a child with an elephants head. Like the others, Ganesh faces several obstacles, fighting demons and legendary creatures, where he uses his powers to conquer evil.
4. The New Adventures of Hanuman
Hanuman, as we know him, helped Ram and Laxman defeat Ravan to rescue Ram’s wife Sita. However, in this version of the show, Hanuman is show as a child in which he they focus on his birth and how he uses the powers bestowed upon him by Brahma and the Sun to battle his enemies. Although the show did fairly well, it was overshadowed by the overwhelming success of Chhota Bheem, which led to its slow fazing out over time.
3. Roll No. 21
Roll No. 21 is the most awarded show on TV today. In the show, Krishna and Kamsa’s rivalry is visibly intensified as Krishna enrolls in a school in which Kamsa disguises himself as the Principal. Throwing Krishna in precarious positions, Kamsa tries to defeat Krishna and Krishna defeats his foes every time, all the while not revealing his true identity to anyone. The show provides a comic twist in the sense that Kamsa’s personality is not serious and most of the traps he sets for Krishna ends up backfiring on himself. The animation in the series makes it very watchable and we can see the improving trends in the Indian animation industry coming to life in Roll No. 21.
2. Krishna and Balram
Featuring Krishna and his elder brother Balram in the land of Vrindhavan, Krishna and Balram tells the tale of Krishna from his birth to how the two work together to defeat all which is impure. Balram is sensitive and understands the unlimited power of Krishna, as he praises his prowess and helps him overcome several difficult situations. What works with this show is the chemistry between the pair and how although Krishna is infinitely more powerful than everyone else, he maintains his composure and never uses it beyond that which is necessary. Throughout the series they hide his true power and live in peace and harmony. Amongst the Indian audience, the pairing of the siblings on-screen seems to instill a sense of attachment among the children and their own brothers/sisters which is a key element in why it’s so popular.
1. Chhota Bheem
Without a doubt, Chhota Bheem is the most popular mythological Indian character on TV. Living in the small town of Dholakpur, Bheem and his gang of friends defy all odds to defeat and defend their town from wrong doers. What makes Chhota Bheem so appealing to children is the innocence. Along with his can-do attitude, Bheem can overcome almost any obstacle he’s forced into. The animated movies have become a rave and trying to get tickets to Chhota Bheem movies is like trying to clean your whole house with a toothbrush, nearly impossible.