Children's Animation Series Airs in India, Cambodia and Serbia
Animated adaptations of Daisaku Ikeda's original children's stories were recently aired in India, Cambodia and Serbia to a favorable response from viewers. Since 2004, when Tagalog versions of Mr. Ikeda's children's animations were shown on the GMA Network in the Philippines, they have been shown in more than 20 countries and 9 languages, either dubbed or subtitled.
A series of 17 animated films of Mr. Ikeda's children's stories, which convey positive values such as friendship, courage, hope and altruism, were originally produced in Japanese by Shinano Arts and Culture Consultants under titles such as The Prince and the White Horse, The Cherry Tree, Rainbow Mountain, The Boy and the Blue Sea and The Himalayan Kingdom of Light.
From April 8-28, 2008, Apsara TV, a nationwide TV channel in Cambodia, aired all 12 animated films in the series in Khmer. Each of the 26-minute films was shown at 5 p.m. and again the following morning at 8 a.m. Apsara TV is also broadcast by satellite to France, where it is popular with the large Cambodian community. The national Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) presented the animations on morning spots between February 12 and April 8. In India, the nationally-run Doordarshan broadcast the animations in Hindi on four Sundays from March 30 through April 20.
The films have drawn enthusiastic responses from children and adults alike. Vera Stojanovic, a Serbian architect and mother, commented about the film Rainbow Mountain that it "conveys to children the spirit to not be defeated and to not give up." Leang Lyna, student at Sonsom Kosal English School in nearby Somrong Kh'er, Kien Svay District, Cambodhia, stated: "When I watched The Flower and the Phoenix, my spirits were lifted. The boy is courageous and honest and he can do many things that surprise other people. I like the part when the boys and the Phoenix save the bamboo forest."
In early 2007, the National Geographic Channel aired selected films from the animated series in English and Hindi in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. A national Sri Lankan TV station has been airing the animations in Sinhalese since January 2008. Future airings are next scheduled for Hong Kong and Panama beginning July 2008.
[Adapted from an article in the May 24, 2008 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]