Entertainment Ltd (MEL) and Leander Sport Pvt. Ltd (LSPL) have joined hands to co-produce an animated fiction series, The Magic Racquet.
The Magic Racquet will be based on sports and fitness themes and include digital images of sports personalities, beginning with Leander Paes. The series will have 26 episodes of 30 minutes each, which will aim at promoting the values of an active outdoor lifestyle, healthy eating habits, physical fitness and a winning mindset, while offering tips on tennis as a sport.
The animated series will not be restricted to the Indian audience; it will be thrown open to the world market through TV, DVD, mobisodes and other future technologies.
Jai Natarajan, executive vice-president and business head, MEL, says the series is being produced in English, and is likely to be aired on a TV channel with a worldwide reach, which targets kids. However, a decision on the channel partner is still awaited as the entire project is still in a nascent stage. In the Indian market, it will have to choose between the two Disney channels, Cartoon Network and Pogo, and Nick. The first episode of the series is likely to go on air in the next six months.
The Magic Racquet will also be adapted in live reality formats.
Ronald D'mello, managing director and chief executive officer, MEL, says, "MEL is constantly moving up the value chain by developing own or shared IPs for local and international exploitation, while constantly delivering a positive message. After commencing an international science based co-production for a TV series called Cosmic Quantum Ray and launching the production of a mythological feature film, we are excited about being associated with Leander in developing innovative content from our studio."
Ara Pararajasingham, director, LSPL, says, "The Magic Racquet is the beginning of a stream of engaging content aimed at the active lifestyle market, which is core to our broader corporate strategy. The goal of this venture is to use technology to inculcate the core values of fitness, competitiveness and patriotism. These are the same values that Leander Paes is known for."
Leander Paes, India's tennis champion, says, "Through this venture, I can use my achievements in the sporting arena and the popularity generated by my performance to create wholesome digital content for children and youngsters. The series will help impart love for sports and an active lifestyle, so that the next generation can develop the mindset of champions both on and off the field. I have found an able and creative partner in MEL to take this forward and create content utilising my digital persona and those of other global sports celebrities for a worldwide audience."
For the record, MEL was established in 1996, and is into the business of live action and animated content. LSPL, as its name suggests, is linked to the ace tennis player, Leander Paes, and is into sports, entertainment, media and sports infrastructure.