“Wizard of Hockey” – Dhyan Chand’s Birthday 29th August is celebrated as National Sports Day. After the Berlin Olympics final game in 1936, a German newspaper described his game as – “The Olympic complex now has a magic show too. Visit the hockey stadium to watch the Indian magician Dhyan Chand in action” ..’/
It’s a day to encourage our kids to pursue sports. Sports movies can teach us life lessons which are not only important to pursue any sport but are also required to become good headed individuals and citizens. Whether it is rising above adversities and beating the odds, overcoming mindsets or mental blocks, breaking down barriers & biases or sticking together and taking a stand for what you believe in. For the last bit , ‘Remember the Titans’ is one such fine example, the movie is about players and coaches who must rise above racial prejudice and win games.
Sports is a good way to reduce screen-time and develop locomotor skills.
I was tallying the number of good movies that Indian animation factory has spun out, to my dismay it’s as good as nothing. When the industry will look beyond just numbers and work with good intention to create something meaningful for kids is something that is yet to be seen. Indian cartoons lag far behind what Disney & Pixar have already made.
In the animation arena, a single production by the name of Howzzatt stands in the sports category, although, I must tell you — its genre can hardly be categorised as sport. The story is about Gulab Nagar Junglees – a bunch of youngsters, who under the coaching and guidance of Sweety Aunty, hone their cricket skills and go against a bunch of big bad bullies, who would play the game but never by the rules. I reserve my ratings on this — this could have been made much better, overall it failed to paddle across the values of sports and inspire the tiny lot to pursue games.
There is no dearth of sports movies but there is a yawning gap when it comes to the animations genre. ‘Chak De! India, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Dangal, Sultan and Mary Kom are quick to recall. But none so far, about the legend on whose birthday National Sports day is celebrated. Heard there is one in the making.
We celebrate laurels that our sports heroes & sheroes bring home but we rarely put them before the tiny tots as examples to follow. We have exemplary lives of Indian sportsmen which can be sketched, computer embedded and moved fast across the rolls.
For our kids, we need good home grown stuff that instils sportsmanship at an early age. Sports teach important lessons like being healthy is important but what our toons sadly promote is: “Bina samosa khaaye dimaagh ki batti nahi jalti’” (Motu in Chota Bheem) and Chota Bheem himself, youngsters’ favourite protagonist, who guzzles laddoos and tons of sugar with them. We need some hero who can promote healthy eating habits like Popeye who gulps down iron-vitamin rich spinach and beats the shit out!
Here is my list of sports movies that you may like to watch with your kids on this National Sports Day.
· Iqbal – A boy hard of hearing and without speech, dreams of playing in the Indian cricket team. With perseverance and patience he achieves his dream.
· The Bad News Bears – A story of no-hope little league which in the end teaches a very important message: trying is all that matters.
· The Sandlot – Scotty, a young boy joins the local baseball team where he experiences a series of adventures that he never imagined.
· The Karate Kid – The story of 12-year-old Dre Parker when he moves to a new place with his mother and his struggles to fit in, and standing upto bullies.
· Cars – About famous race car Lightning McQueen and his team who are invited to compete in the World Grand Prix race. Awesome animated sports movie that emphasizes on importance of friendship and family.
· Ice Castles – About a girl who wants to be world skating champion but meets with an accident. Wonderful story of rising above the odds.
· Little Giants – Father makes a football team with his daughter and other outcast kids to put a challenge to his own son.
Play and stay healthy!