Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama (1992) – Movie Review

Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama is a mythological action-adventure animated film directed by and produced by Yugo Sako. The film is an Indo-Japanese collaboration project and is based on the Indian epic the Ramayana.

The film starts when the young Prince of Ayodhya Rama (Arun Govil/Bryan Cranston) – a noble and strong fighter with his younger brother Lakshman is getting trained under powerful sage Vishwamitra. The film captures all the major events from the Ramayana like – Rama’s marriage with kingdom Mithila’s beautiful princess Sita, the exile of Rama in the forest, the abduction of Sita by Lanka’s powerful king Ravana (Amrish Puri), and finally the fierce battle between Rama and Ravana.

When Yugo Sako, a Japanese filmmaker, was making this film, it was misinterpreted in India that he was making a new Ramayana. Also, the film was being made when the Ayodhya dispute was at its peak. Yugo Sako wanted to remain true to the original epic so he came to India and met with scholars, archaeologists, historians and started working out on the details. I liked the fact that the film has nicely captured the little details like – the look and feel of the characters, their cloaths, cultural nuances. But, the character movements, especially, action sequences are inspired by the Japanese anime characters, and it is so cool to watch.

I enjoyed the voice performance of Ravana by Amrish Puri; Even today, his deep, baritone, and villainy voice is very delightful. Rama’s voice performance by Arun Govil also feels close, who is popularly known for playing the role of Rama in Ramayan (1987 TV series). The background score and songs complement the film and make it an engaging experience altogether. My all-time favorite song by Udit Narayan is – “Janani Main Rama Doot Hanuman”.

The film was originally made in the English language and later dubbed in the Hindi. The film has won the Best Animation Film of the Year at the 2000 Santa Clarita International Film Festival in the United States.

Verdict : The film helped in bringing the Ramayana to a wider global audience. I watched this film first time on Cartoon Network India in my childhood. And, since then, it is one of my favorite films. The lockdown made me revisit it. If you want to introduce your child to the Ramayana, then this is the best-watch.

Rating : 4.4/5

Check the trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VLbCi9HxRc

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