Samsher Sikander Chaddie Buddy – & other such fallacies

Title of the post translated – Samsher Sikander Underwear Buddies!

Sitting on a Kingfisher flight staring at the in-flight entertainment system with most channels showing up as scrambled, and therefore flipping channels – and this is what I see. Is this what kids watch these days? Unbelievable!!!

It’s good to be proud of one’s mother tongue and maintain that sense of national integrity, but translating all good shows/movies into the Hindi language is a serious sin. I mean – Stanley Kubrick will turn in his grave if he hears the cult satire – Dr. Strangelove being recited by a bunch of Hindi-speaking jokers reciting the dialogues made infamous by Peter Sellers and George C. Scott.

One of the funniest translations that I have ever come across was for the movie Jurassic Park, where the humongous dinosaurs were referred to as ‘dekho dekho, itna bada chhipkali’ (for those uninitiated to the Hindi language or those who want to fake it) the literal translation is ‘look, look! Such a huge lizard’. blech – how could they even come up with something like that?

Coming back to the wonderful show that triggered my fingers off to blog about this immediately, this cartoon show is about a boy who has a monkey as a friend and they play pranks. The funny part is that at the introduction of the show, where the boy (am assuming he is Samsher) is introducing his monkey (Sikander), while the monkey introduces himself by bearing his behind and slapping his rear repeatedly shouting out his name. Anyway – all the best to the kids who are watching this kind of nonsense and their parents.

I really miss watching all the shows that really made cartoons what they are supposed to be – innocent and fun-loving. The original Tom & Jerry cartoons…not the trash that Hanna Barbara or whoever is churning out these days by turning old foes into friends (is the Cold War really over?), Popeye Show, Disney Cartoons, and of course, those good old Looney Tunes characters – Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd (wabbit hunter), Tweety & Sylvester, Lode Runner & Coyote, the list goes on. Absolutely brilliant!

The show that still tickles my funny bone and that I have the fortune of catching once in a while in English is Johnny Bravo. Agreed that it’s not the classic, traditional rib-tickler, and is for the slightly older audience (read teenagers), but heck – it makes me laugh.

I guess one of the reasons that most of these shows have gone off the air is because of the fact that they have seen rerun after rerun and the cartoon channels need to offer variety in order to keep advertisers interested. The good thing about this entire thing though is the fact that many animation movies are being churned out these days, and I am happy to say that most of the stuff is pretty entertaining and is full ‘paisa vasool’.

Animated movies such as the Shrek Trilogy, Finding Nemo, Lion King series, various Disney animated movies, Dreamworks productions, and yes – South Park too for those who just enjoy nonsensical shows, these programs/movies offer great entertainment value. Sometimes I prefer watching these animated movies to the trash that some Hollywood producers (not to mention bad Bollywood movie houses) churn out. At least you know that you will laugh at the points where the writer/producer’s intend you to.

All this writing really reminds me that there are quite a few animated movies that I need to catch up on. I just hope that these fellas don’t go overboard in the quest to make hay while the sun shines and this genre is still a very safeguarded and specialized one.

Bollywood has tried it’s best to cash in on the trends that the Hollywood guys have set by producing some animation flicks of their own. Unfortunately, as always, we have made an utter mess of what could have been a wonderful opportunity. Animated movies such as Ghatotkacha (the spelling always confuses me!), Ganesha, Shri Krishna, Hanuman, etc. (what’s the deal with these god-obsessed, illiterate movie producers?) have completely sidelined their audience and restricted them to children. It’s surprising. I thought Hindi productions were made to cater to the masses, but this came as a complete surprise to me. Badly animated, poor script execution, terrible production are just some of the hallmarks of our Indian attempts at making animated movies.

Well – that in a nutshell my friends are my views on what the state of the animated caricatures of entertainment productions are here. Feel free to disagree. Until next time – tally ho!

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