Toonz to release animated film on Swami Ayyappan

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 4 (IANS) Technopark-based Toonz Animation is gearing up to set another milestone with a 75-minute animated film "Swami Ayyappan", based on the life story of a boy Manikandan, who became a god worshipped by millions.

The film is a co-production between Toonz and Mumbai-based company Animagic.

P. Jayakumar, Toonz CEO told IANS that the filming is almost done and the movie will be ready for release early next year.

"The film has the right mix of fantasy, action, adventure, mythology and history and is sure to delight audience of all ages. More than being a film on a mythological superhero, it is the message of religious tolerance and secularism that Swami Ayyappan highlights," said Jayakumar.

Incidentally the news comes at a time when the two-month-long Sabarimala pilgrimage season just began last month. It will end in the middle of January 2013.

According to estimates, around 1.5 crore pilgrims visited the hill shrine in the last pilgrimage season.

The temple, situated on the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats, at an altitude of 914 metres above sea level, is located four kms uphill from Pamba in Pathanamthitta district and is surrounded by dense forests.

Asked why did Toonz take such a long time to do a film on lord Ayyappan, Jayakumar shot back by saying: "For every good thing there is a time, and the time is now come for a great film on Swami Ayyappan to happen."

Former Chief Secretary of Kerala, K. Jayakumar has penned the lyrics for this film, which is directed by Mahesh Vettiyar and Chetan Sharma.

The movie follows the life of Manikandan, who is believed to be born out of the union between Lord Shiva and Vishnu in his Mohini avatar.

The incarnation is said to be for the purpose of slaying the demoness Mahishi, who was burning with anger to avenge the death of her brother the asura king Mahishasura, and thereby destroying all the three worlds. The larger purpose of his embodiment was to banish evil from this world and establish good.

"The production is almost over and it would be made in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and English, and will be released across the country," said Jayakumar.

Founded in 1999, Toonz's client list includes the biggest names in media and entertainment like Marvel, Hallmark, Paramount, Disney, BBC and Cartoon Network.

Toonz offers its clientele end-to-end animation services including 3D animation, 2D animation (digital and traditional), Flash, Stop Motion and VFX on a full spectrum of media platforms.

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