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Last Updated: Monday, 16 October 2006, 11:34 GMT 12:34 UK
Cartoon tribute to Pope John Paul
Animation of Pope John Paul II. Photo: Cavin Cooper Productions
Photo: Cavin Cooper Productions

A cartoon version of the life of Pope John Paul II, telling the story of his life and death in animated form, is to be released on DVD by the Vatican.

The film, subtitled The Friend of All Humanity, will be the first cartoon account of a Pope's life.

The cartoon traces the history of a man who rose from humble beginnings in Poland to lead millions of Catholics.

The story is narrated by two white doves and animated versions of his personal diary and fountain pen.

The film has been created by animation producer Jose Luis Lopez-Guardia.

There are two reasons why this film was so important for me - it was a tribute to Pope John Paul, and also for my mother, who adored him
Jose Luis Lopez-Guardia
Film producer

"There have been many film versions of the life of Pope John Paul II but not an animated one," he told the BBC News website as he travelled to the Vatican.

"There are two reasons why this film was so important for me - it was a tribute to Pope John Paul, and also for my mother, who adored him," he said.

He said he chose a pair of pink-beaked doves, Piccolo and Fiona, to narrate the story as Pope John Paul II was so often photographed surrounded by them.

"His life story is so serious, grave and even sad that I needed some funny characters to appeal to children and to lighten the story," he explained.

The film, produced over an 11-month period, is divided into two parts, with the animation section lasting for half an hour.

It is intended to appeal particularly to children.




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