Virgin Comics, which lest we forget, also has an animation studio attached, is teaming with a Canadian animation company to produce a ‘toon film based on the RAMAYANA:

Kahani World, Inc. an independent animation company based in Toronto, Canada and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Comics, LLC have teamed up to co-produce Secrets of the Seven Sounds, a full length animated feature for kids 7 and up, inspired by the ancient Indian myth Ramayana.

In addition to action, adventure and fantasy, Secrets of the Seven Sounds challenges tradition by asking us to consider what it might really be like to be the little brother of the Chosen One? Seven Sounds tells the story of the handsome, naturally gifted, and love-struck Prince Ram who destiny has chosen to rescue Princess Sita (the object of his affections) and save the world from the villainous Lord Ravan. But the real hero of Seven Sounds is of course, Lux – Prince Ram’s 11 year-old little brother – the family’s insightful and often-overlooked intrepid fighter.

“The Ramayan continues to be the bedrock of India’s cultural identity in ways that no other myth can claim,â€? said Deepak Chopra, best-selling author and Chairman of Virgin Comics. “The Seven Sounds animated film is a is a marvelous way to share this story and inspire children around the world.â€?

Secrets of the Seven Sounds is already in an advanced stage of development; full production begins in just seven weeks. The feature is in collaboration with Virgin Comics co-founders,Deepak Chopra and Shekhar Kapur (director of Four Feathers, Bandit Queen and the 8-time Oscar© nominated Elizabeth) , and is based on an original story by Gotham Chopra, Sharad Devarajan and Jeevan Kang. The animated feature will be brought to market in the summer of 2007.

“Our comics and film stories are infused with characters and mythic sensibilities that resonate with audiences around the globe,â€? said Sharad Devarajan, CEO of Virgin Comics. “Kahani World shares our vision and understands the importance of epic storytelling. Together we are uniquely positioned to produce an exceptional animated feature, and adapt the film for global merchandising, graphic novels and promotional campaigns.

“It’s about time the world is exposed to the rich mythology we have stored up in our vaults in India and Asia. With Kahani, we are excited to be bringing one of the greatest Indian legends, re-fashioned, to the world, and in doing so create new planetary myths that people every where can enjoy,â€? said Gotham Chopra, Virgin Comic’s Chief Creative Officer. “This is just the start!â€?

“Kahani is focused on creating and producing world-class animation brands that become icons in India, resonate throughout Asia, and also appeal to audiences around the world,â€? said Biren Ghose, animation veteran, CEO and President of Kahani World Inc. and Executive Producer of Secret of the Seven Sounds. “We aim to put a new spin on storytelling, blending stories that may have an “Indian DNAâ€? but which thrive in the contemporary context and culture of the global kidizen! Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation have succeeded in straddling the East – West paradigm with equal excellence and are an inspiration and benchmark for what Kahani seeks to achieve as a Company.