Movies to Inspire You on National Sports Day!

“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” ..’/

Dhyan Chand -wikipedia

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! IndiaBhaag 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!

Why I want mums to be concerned about Cartoons?

how i got successWhy do I write ToonyMum ?

I write because I have love-hate relationship with cartoons. This is a reason but not exactly what motivates me to dedicate a good morsel of my days’ time to dig my teeth into the role of toonymum with gumptions.

Professor Sean Brotherson of Oregon State University says:

“A child’s brain is like a house that has just been built. The walls are up, the doors are hung. Then you go to the store and buy electrical wiring, switches, a fuse box and other electrical supplies, you bring these supplies to the new house and set them on the floor. Will they work? Probably not. You first must string the wiring and hook up all of the connections. This is quite similar to the way our brains are formed.”

Lets have a look at some statistics now –

In a research performed by the researcher Kayla Bois & Brad Bushman “Michigan University”, they summed up the cartoon content in our Children Schedules as follows:

2 – 5 years old children watch cartoon 32 hrs. Weekly.

6 – 11 years old children watch cartoon 28 hrs. Weekly.

And they stated that:

71% of 8 – 18 years old has a TV in their rooms.

53% of 7 – 12 years old has no parental monitoring for what being watched on TV.

51% of homes: TV is switched on most of time.

So they are neck-close and we cant avoid them.

And this –

“Children who consistently spend more than four hours per day watching TV are more likely to be overweight” (Ben-Joseph, 2016).

I like their funny hunky dory way and the ease with which a good message can be passed on in non-serious way.

There is lot which can be learned through them, I learned British way of English through Octonauts.

I too switch on the TV for the sake of it and when I need “me-time

Having said this all there is still a lot we can do to control & monitor what flows in.

………and this is why I write toonymum to give  heads up for what is wrong and how can we deal with it.

I want to paddle across following messages to all children and all mums & dads-

1.       Cartoons are fun but fun that is laced with some wisdom and learnings is worth sitting for hours but fun which is surrogacy for violence or vulgarity is what we have to guard ourselves.

2.      Young minds are too subtle to process, funnel & filter what is shown to  in vibrant, dazzling colours, so listen to  mum & dad.

3.      Don’t – Don’t make cartoons your idol or role model, discover your original self and stay unique.

4.      Don’t trust any product just because your favorite toon character is selling that. Read labels, compare cost.

5.      Go out and meet real people more because to fight evil & wrong you don’t have to resort to kicks & punches, use wit & wisdom.

6.      Anything that does not require to flex your mind muscle, is not worth wasting hours. The more you use your brain the better it will get ….. so play games, no not on screen !

7.       Question everything, why, what and how of things you watch and discuss with elders.

8.      Watch you age recommended cartoons. Why ? because you don’t eat grown up’s medicines too.

9.      Remember the good message, because stories help in later life to build perspective and improve understanding , like what Tex said in Cars  “There is whole lot more to racing than just winning” or what Peter Pan said – “All it takes is little faith and trust”incredibles

10.   Research says -Thinking and imagination are of the most factors that affect the functionality of the brain till the age of 12. The early years are important. Don’t feed your mind with junk!

 There was a wise man who said till boat floats on water it is good but when water enters the boat, it drowns.

Choose wisely what you watch.


Yours sincerely


How I Finally Got Success In Limiting The Screen Time Of My Overindulgent Daughter?

Toony Mum

Much to my chagrin, my husband bought an iPad for my daughter on her second birthday. As if the non-stop cartoon network wasn’t enough! I was then working in a 9 to 6 job and my daughter was taken care of by her grandparents – who, if you know Indian grandparents – were raining their mushy slushy love for their grandchild by allowing her to do things ‘her’ way. My weekends were usually spent on running errands. The end result was that my 2-year-old was becoming an expert in video games and a walking encyclopedia on cartoons.

I swear I’m not exaggerating. I’ve had several moments of uneasiness listening to her impeccable knowledge on cartoon genealogy when I wouldn’t even know my great grandfather’s name. My smiles at her gaming feats would diffuse into thin air when she would throw tantrums and make a terrible racket as soon as the…

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What our kids are being showed in the name of entertainment — Watch out!


I was vacationing in India this summer. The sultry and scorching days did not leave any choice for me and my daughter but to slump in the couch and watch some cartoons. I switched on the TV and after some careful shuffling through buttons, we settled on one of them. It was a commercial break that took forever to end. Guzzling down that advert was not without efforts , there was a beauty soap advert, where there was a fuddled husband running behind his wife to know the secret of her lasting fresh looks. I wondered what was there to achieve through this commercial that was running on a channel dedicated for children.

The commercial break ended after conducting a litmus paper test on my patience.

It’s good to see a good bunch of home-grown cartoon characters coming up. It’s equally sorry to see the contents famished of positive messages. There seems to be no concerns for what an average mother must be going through when she overhears her kids laughing and rolling over something like, “Bidu tera fatela hatela advice nahi mangta”.

There are some new crop of characters and episodes running on different channels. One common pattern that runs through the tapestry one after another is that all protagonists are good at kicking, punching and resorting to physical violence to teach lessons to the devil ones. One popular cartoon series is about three ghosts who keep track of sins committed on earth and they come down from their ‘bhoot-lok’ to torture and punish. There is also a timid and coy cop in the story. Law or rules are at mercy of these supernatural trio. If you are going to tell me that it’s a harmless subtle entertainment, hold on, this is exactly my issue. Our definition of entertainment is so grim and gross! From an early age we are allowing those impressionable minds to get conditioned to normalcy of laughing at somebody’s misery, pulped beaten faces, deformities and abnormalities.

How are we defining entertainment for school going children? What kind of apathy and aggression are we slowly injecting in them through the colourful hunky-dory characters?

The Indian cartoon factory is yet to spin out a character which can solve his problems with his good humour and positive attitude without having to beat the devil ones to pulp.

We should move towards more participatory and interactive format, where parents have more say in what kind of cartoons characters they want to be aired on TV. Definition of entertainment that is being formed and slowly gaining acceptance will have detrimental effects in the long run. There is another new series in which there are two he-cats who flirt around a neighbour she-cat. This she-cat has the tendency to tilt towards the stronger and better provider of her needs. It’s appalling!

As Indians we have the tendency to adjust to everything, make room for everything. Let this passivity not hamper the personality development of our kids. Their understanding of life should not be marred by the junk they take through TV every day. Let’s take the control button in our hands and let our voices be heard.