Leander Paes, who has saved India from several Davis Cup disasters and a medal hope at the Beijing Olympic Games in August, is going to play a miracle man who helps school kids in cartoon television series called The Magic Racquet.
Not much has been disclosed about the story line. Paes will play roughly his own age and will sport tennis gear. The story will revolve around a school with three to five central characters between the age group of 6 to 10. There are also plans to include other sporting stars as guests in a few episodes since the objective is to promote sports in general.
The 26 half-hour episodes project will be a collaboration between Paes’s company, Leander Sport Private Limited, and Mumbai-based Maya Entertainment Limited and is an endeavor in promoting values of an active outdoor lifestyle, healthy eating habits and physical fitness.
“It pains me when I see kids today spending a lot of time in front of TV sets and on unhealthy diets. As a father and national sports figure, I feel it is my duty to impart love for sports and an active lifestyle so the next generation can develop the mindset of champions, both on and off the field,” says Paes, the comic superhero.
Jai Natarajan, executive vice-president and business head of MEL, says that there was never a doubt about defining Leander’s role in the series. “We wanted him to be himself. Paes’ creative instincts, friendly screen presence and strong value system make him an ideal catalyst for promoting healthy attitude among kids.”
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. In the Indian market, it will 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.