India's first 3D film. One remembers enjoying the experience of going to the theatre and putting on the glasses for viewing the film. And then, removing them in some scenes just to see the thrill of a punch coming your away. Bam! Scary at that age. The story of kids who enter a haunted house and awaken the spirits, was scarier. But we went again and again to watch it. 'Chhota Chetan' was re-released 14 years later, with added touches including Urmila Matondkar's appearance.
The 2005 animation film traced the life of Lord Hanuman right from his birth to when he goes on to rescue Goddess Sita from Ravan's Lanka. Well, to be frank, the story's a bit fast-paced to be able to really enjoy it. But in the first half, the baby Hanuman rules the screen and that's when the film is gripping. Nevertheless, the animation was one of the best India has seen and the film clicks with the young 'uns. But the sequel, 'Hanuman Returns' did not do well.
The dream directorial debut for actor Aamir Khan, this film could've been another one where he hogged all the limelight. But Aamir the director chose to let the prized child star Darsheel Safary be the main protagonist. Ishaan Awasthi is a dyslexic child in 'Taare Zameen Par', but the film is not entirely a sob story. The subject and the child's experiences have been showcased gently and deftly by Aamir. And Darsheel's superlative performance makes us want to watch the film any time of the day.
A superb superhero flick, about our own 'desi' superhuman, and that too in Bollywood? It was like a dream come true for Indian kids, who'd had to make do with either the foreign counterparts or bad Indian rip-offs for decades. And who better than the hunky Hrithik Roshan to be the ultimate superhero of the country? The star was already a favourite with the young ones since his first film, and then 'Koi Mil Gaya'. To add to the charm was Priyanka Chopra, a journalist who falls in love with Krrish. The film had all the action, emotion and drama needed for success in theatres. And it is a big hit in the DVD circuit as well.
This was Mani Ratnam's 'Taare Zameen Par'. About a two-year-old girl Anjali (Shyamali) who is mentally challenged and terminally ill. Her father, played by late actor Raghuvaran, hides her from the mother (played by Revathi), letting his wife believe that the child died at birth. The mother eventually finds out, only to discover that her li'l daughter shies away from her. Ratnam had portrayed kids as they are in day-to-day life – naughty, adventurous, mischievous, singing and playing and indulging in little gang wars. The film explores the couple's relationship with each other and with their other two children. Everyone was at their best as far as acting was concerned, and Ratnam could bring out an amazing performance from the baby who played the title role.
'Mogambo khush hua' – villain Amrish Puri's voice still resonates from the film. Shekhar Kapur's 'invisible man' tale, 'Mr India', touched hearts. Arun (Anil Kapoor) and the super naughty orphans, who together with the sexy paying guest Seema (Sridevi) take on mega villain Mogambo, thanks to the device which makes Arun invisible. Straight out of a kid's dream.
A must-watch laugh-riot. Rumoured to have been ghost-directed by Aamir Khan, this Mahesh Bhatt film has gone down in history as one of the funniest films involving children in Indian cinema. Rahul (Aamir Khan) inherits a brat-pack of his sister's three kids along with her house. A simpleton with meagre means, he finds it difficult to adjust to his new life. To add to that, he has to unknowingly give shelter to a runaway to-be bride Vyjayanthi (Juhi Chawla). A hassled Rahul lands in further trouble when he refuses the advances of his boss' daughter (Navneet Nishan). The spoilt kids and the runaway girl finally come around to help Rahul save his business, and the house from being auctioned.
Santosh Sivan's cute film about a motherless child (Benaf Dadachanji of 'Baa, Bahoo Aur Baby' fame) who loses her dog Halo. The little sweetheart tackles all kinds of people and situations in the city in the pup's search. But Halo is nowhere to be found. Finally, she finds it, but let's it go.... Why? That's the reason why you should immediately grab a DVD and watch it, with your children. ASAP!
Music director Vishal Bhardwaj's first attempt at filmmaking was 'Makdee'. Chunni and Munni are identical twins (played by Shweta Prasad) who are poles apart. Chunni's prank lands Munni in the village witch's hands (essayed by Shabana Azmi), who turns Munni into a hen. The wicked witch needs 100 hens as an offering to the great big Makdee, or spider. Azmi plays the witch to the tee, scaring the wits out of the audience. And Shweta Prasad gives a career-making performance.
Between 'Maqbool' and 'Omkara', Vishal Bhardwaj made another children's film, based on Ruskin Bond's story. The film was released only in 2007 in India. Pankaj Kapur is Nandkishore Khatri, a shop-cum-restaurant-owner in the hilly region of Himachal Pradesh. He eyes an enchanting blue umbrella, which little Biniya (Shreya Sharma) has acquired from Japanese tourists by exchanging her rare neckpiece. In his conceit, Nandkishore steals the umbrella and dyes it red to hide his misdeeds. But villagers abandon him later for the act. Just like in Sivan's 'Halo', in this film too, the child shows immense maturity and lets go of the prized possession.
[caption id="attachment_768565"] Here's a list of the kiddie flicks we like. Who says meaningful cinema is not being made for kids? Aamir Khan's 'Taare Zameen Par' and Mani Ratnam's 'Anjali' are prime examples of children's films, which have effortlessly combined entertainment and moral messages for the young ones and adults alike. And now we have Darsheel Safary in Priyadarshan's new film, 'Bumm Bumm Bole'. Here's a look at our favourite of the lot. TEXT: SHWETA PARANDE | All Photos: Publicity Stills.[/caption]
The first part of the film was cute - about the adventures of elephant-headed god Lord Ganesh, when he was a child. The sequel, was cute, too. But not as good as the first one.
This series is a cute attempt, but only the third part was appealing to kids. The first two were average.