• 27 Aug - 02 Sep, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Interview

Introducing Team Muhafiz

Pakistan’s new warrior squad joins MAG to talk about their star-packed animated series

Superhero movies are now some of cinema’s most profitable franchises and it's easy to see why. The characters are icons of pop culture and the visual spectacle they provide is in a class of its own. However, the movies which populate that landscape right now are all live action. But what about those portrayals of superheroes that aired every week on television screens? Yup, we’re talking about superhero animated series!

Objectively speaking, it should be easier to adopt superheroes into cartoon form than it is to put them into live action. With cartoons, you can have a wide and expressive colour palette, you can contort your characters into any position you can draw and only have to worry about casting voices and not appearances. Also, you have a lot more time to develop characters in a television series than you do with a movie.

Most of these shows are developed with children as the main audience. Ones with exceptional storytelling and strong, impactful characters are fun and they have enough meat on the bones to make them incredible.

One such series taking us on a trip down memory lane is the recently released Team Muhafiz, a joint venture of ISPR and Geo Network in association with AzCorp Entertainment. Team Muhafiz is a comic book series about a group of ethnically and religiously diverse teenage athletes who fight injustice in the city of Karachi. The many topics the series touched upon include child abuse, drug abuse, kidnapping, corruption and environmentalism. In addition to that, Team Muhafiz also sought to promote ideas like women empowerment and positive body image. Here, the cast of Team Muhafiz joins MAG to talk about their star-packed superhero animation.

Sajal Ali (Parinaaz)

The series have brought together the voices of stars from Pakistani film, TV and radio, Sajal Ali being one of them. The mega starlet has voiced over the character of Parinaaz, an infamous hockey player’s only child belonging to Pattoki. Talking about her role in Team Muhafiz, Sajal says, “Performing in Team Muhafiz was a memorable experience. I didn’t think that the series would be this well received soon after their release.” Sajal also believes that the stories being told through the series are a big source of lesson for the youth. “We need more projects like Team Muhafiz,” she continues.

Ahsan Khan (Havaldar Farman)

Ahsan Khan is another famous voice actor for the animation, who voices the role of Havaldar Farman. Havaldar Farman belongs to KPK and is now retired. Regarding the series, Ahsan says, “Our children grow up watching cartoons but these days we don’t have much quality content based on topics like nationalism and patriotism. And the kind of stories the series touch will definitely keep the idea of national heroes alive among children.”

Dananeer Mobeen (Mahnur)

Social media artist, Dananeer Mobeen has also worked her voice for the project. She voiced over the character of Mahnur, a brave girl belonging to Gilgit Baltistan, Hunza. Mahnur is GB’s first lady martial art champion who is also a taekwondo player in the youth centre. Talking about her first voice over character, Dananeer says, “My character is of a headstrong girl and young girls will feel encouraged watching Mahnur.”

Wahaj Ali (Reza)

The voice over artist behind the character Reza is Wahaj Ali. Talking about lack of children-related content, Ali said, “There was a time when kid friendly programmes would air on PTV but till now, there weren’t much to any such programmes for children.” He continued saying, “Due to lack of local programmes, our children are more inclined towards foreign content. However, Team Muhafiz is a great effort that accurately reflects our values and educates children about serious issues using intriguing storytelling techniques.”

Shafaat Ali (Zane)

Anchorperson and mimicry artist Shafaat Ali joins Team Muhafiz as Zane, a young boy belonging to Quetta. According to Ali, “Normally, superheroes are seen fighting aliens and supervillains, but Team Muhafiz doesn’t have superheroes like Spiderman or Batman. Instead, it features normal humans fighting crime, making it look very natural to the audience.”