While movie stars often achieve mythical status in film-crazy India, Hanuman, the star of India's first animation feature film, is a genuine deity drawn from the Hindu pantheon.
Over the years, India's burgeoning animation and special effects industry has cut its teeth working for foreign production houses drawn to South Asia by lower costs. But "Hanuman" is its first full-length, homegrown animation feature.
In promotional clips being aired on Indian TV, Hanuman - in an orange loincloth, gold armlets and anklets, with his long hair held in place with gold beads - wields a mace as he battles fire-breathing dragons and ferocious demons.
"Hanuman is like a super-superhero. We have tried to go beyond Superman," director V.G. Samant said on Thursday. "Which superhero can leap up and touch the sun or move mountains with one hand?"
Samant, along with about 60 animators and researchers, studied Hindu scriptures for more than two years to adapt them to celluloid for the 90-minute film, being released on Friday in India in Hindi- and English-language versions.