April 2-2020
Remembering the classic animated ‘Ramayana’

It’s been over two decades and the 1992 animated Ramayana still remains the best movie rendition of the original epic. The long-running-live action adaptation of Ramayana which aired on Doordarshan was the only translation of the epic for a long time. Years passed, but the show still finds a special place in every Indian’s heart. And now Mahabharata and Ramayana are back again, to make the covid-19 lockdown bearable.

But, in 1992, an animated masterpiece came out for the world. The film was titled, Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama, with elaborate costumes, action sequences, adventures and lot more but in an animated avatar. The classic was retold by Japanese animation master Yugo Sako, and Indian animator Ram Mohan, giving the epic a magical touch. With a style similar to Studio Gibhli, the animation surely carved a place in our hearts.

While talking to AnimationXpress the assistant producer of the film Kenji Yoshi said, “Japan is working on a 4K digital version of Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama and re-release the film. If this film gets successful, it may lead to more projects between India and Japan. The subject, Ramayana is immemorial and re-releasing it will just add to the magic it already has.”

Yoshi also mentioned how the referencing for the characters happened. The initial illustrations and character sketches were done by Patwardhan from Pune, which were later sent to Japan and the Japanese animators worked on the provided blueprints of the characters.

Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama animation supervisor Ishiguro expressed the feeling he had while working with Mohan. “Mohan was a down to earth person. He had no ego. And he thought of this project as a learning experience, we were impressed and everyone was eager to work with him.”

Though the movie was created keeping in mind the younger audience, the elaborate themes, smart screenplay and witty animation piques the attention of adults too, making it a hit on channels like POGO or Cartoon Network, where it was broadcasted. Looking at the charming Lord Rama enact battle scenes, making use of magical weapons, superhuman creatures and apt landscapes, made everyone believe that justice was given to Valmiki’s original tale.

The animation technique helped parents to make their kids understand the rich culture of India and impart values and traditions into them. With a voice cast which included Namrata Sawhney, Amrish Puri, and Shatrughan Sinha, even those who were never aware about the real story, were now exposed to the epic.

Produced by Yugo Sako and directed by Sako, Ram Mohan and Koichi Saski, Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama will always be a cherished classic animation. On this Ram Navami, lets pay tribute to the victorious lord Ram!

We just wish to see this animated version on the big screen. And for now, can this generation get to watch it on the television channels again?