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Tenali Rama goes `global'

Tenali Rama, the court jester of Krishandeva Raya, comes alive in the animation series `The Adventures of Tenali Raman' being made by Toonz Animation India Pvt. Ltd. It will be telecast worldwide from the beginning of next year.


TENALI RAMA is forever etched in the memory of all those who have read tales of how this jester in the court of the Vijayanagara King Krishnadeva Raya regaled one and all. As a child or as an adult one was impressed with his ready wit and wisdom.Toonz Animation India Pvt. Ltd is making a series of 26 episodes on this brilliant court jester titled The Adventures of Tenali Raman This serial will be aired on the small screen in the beginning of next year.

Toonz Animation India Private Ltd. headquartered at Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala has adapted this indigenous tale to suit international audiences.With a crew of international and Indian experts, stories from Indian mythology and folklore are now adapted in 2D/3D format by Toonz. Tenali Raman is one such venture. A peek into this series was provided by Toonz when they screened two episodes at a private screening recently.

Judging from the episodes one could figure out that the serial definitely caters to a global audience. The Indian audience may find it rather queer to see an Indian Tenali Rama series in a foreign accent. A few Indian voices are interspersed in the narration.

The quality of animation is good. The figures look true and real.

"About 15 episodes of the series is already complete and the others are being worked on," says Bill Dennis, Toonz CEO/President. Negotiations are on with various channels and things will be finalised in another month, he informs.

Why Tenali Rama, one asked Bill Dennis when India is a rich storehouse of mythology and folklore? "Tenali Rama was chosen after looking at different characters and different stories. He appealed because he is a character anyone can identify with. He is not a sacred and will be enjoyed by everyone," Dennis replies. Tenali Raman even took precedence over the Panchatantra which is entertaining and loaded with morals.

Already a few episodes of Tenali Raman were telecast for children and teachers in Kerala and the response was overwhelming, informs Dennis. It was also shown in France (at Cannes) where it was appreciated.

The Adventures of Tenali Raman will surely captivate all as it takes one through the pages of history, through forts and palaces where one individual tided over adversaries with his wit and charm with a moral message.

It will be screened in different languages in different countries thereby making it accessible to more people.

The future projects of Toonz include a series on Hanuman (scripted by Atul Rao, an Indian settled in the U.S.) and Chacha Chaudhry. So watch out for Tenali Rama to invade your living rooms next year.

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