Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Cartoon Hero

India's best doubles player Leander Paes will be an animation superhero in the series titled The Magic Racquet. He will play a miracle man who comes to the aid of school kids in each of the 26 half-hour episodes being planned.

The main idea behind the show is to promote values of an active outdoor lifestyle, healthy eating habits and physical fitness. The series will be produced by Paes’ company, Leander Sport Private Limited (LSPL) in collaboration with leading Mumbai-based Maya Entertainment Ltd (MEL).

Leander, who became a father a year ago, speaks about the thought behind his new venture. “It pains me when I see kids today spending a lot of time in front of TV sets and on unhealthy diets. As a father and national sports figure, I feel it is my duty to impart love for sports and an active lifestyle so the next generation can develop the mindset of champions, both on and off the field,” he says.

There is not much being said about the action taking part in the cartoon. All that was revealed at this stage is the fact that Leander will play roughly his own age and will sport tennis gear. The story will revolve around a school with three to five central characters between the age group of 6 to 10.

Jai Natarajan, executive vice-president and business head of MEL, says that there was never a doubt about defining Leander’s role in the series. “We wanted him to be himself. Paes’ creative instincts, friendly screen presence and strong value system make him an ideal catalyst for promoting healthy attitude among kids,” he added. But he is also quick to add that “the character will have lots of style.”

There are also plans to include other sporting stars as guests in a few episodes. “Since we want to promote sports in general, other big sporting stars too can be included,” he says.

So yes! We're probably gonna see Sania Mirza cartoonized soon...


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