Anaganaga O Dheerudu (English: Once Upon a Warrior) is a 2011 Indian Telugu fantasy-adventure film directed by debutant Prakash Kovelamudi in his first mainstream film. Co-produced by Disney World Cinema with veteran director K. Raghavendra Rao at a budget of ₹ 270 million, it stars Siddharth, Shruti Haasan, in her Telugu debut, and Harshitha as protagonists with Lakshmi Manchu making her debut in a negative role. It features a musical score by Salim-Sulaiman, an ensemble soundtrack by Salim-Sulaiman, M. M. Keeravani, Koti and Mickey J Meyer, while cinematography and editing are handled by Soundar Rajan and Sravan Katikaneni, respectively. Prasad Devineni of Arka Media Works is the line producer.
Anaganaga O Dheerudu focuses on the journey of Moksha, a nine-year-old girl with special healing powers, and Yodha, her fierce warrior bodyguard, as they travel to a faraway village to save its children, under the constant menace of the evil witch Irendri.
The film is loosely based on the 1992 Malayalam film Yoddha.
Irendri (Lakshmi Manchu) is a sorceress, who terrorises people of Anga Rajyam. A guru arrests her, doesn't allow her to play with the lives of people, and destroys her. Before she was destroyed, Irendri takes her soul away and traps it in a locket. Though she dies, her soul lives in the locket. Her great-great-granddaughter is Priya (Shruthi Haasan) and she lives as a gypsy.
She, too, possesses magical powers, as she was born into a sorceress' family. Yodha (Siddharth) is a travelling swordsman who always romances women whenever there is opportunity. He is smitten by Priya’s beauty and falls in love with her. Sudigundam (Ravibabu) is a local goon and he attacks the gypsies' village. Yodha prevents him and defeats him in a fight. However, Sudigundam makes a stealth attack, ties the hands of Yodha, and sets afire the entire village.
In this process, the locket in Priya's neck falls down and Irendri’s soul comes out with the touch of fire. The sarpa sakthi (power of the serpents) tells her that she could gain power with a drop of Priya's blood. So, Irendri takes away Priya and imprisons her. Meanwhile, Yodha turns blind as Sudigundam pierces his eyes. However, Yodha gets saved by a swami (Subbaraya Sharma) and appoints to save a girl named Moksha (Baby Harshitha), who has divine powers. Irendri, to take revenge, attacks Agartha, a village in Anga Rashtram and make the children of the village senseless.
Druki (Ramji) goes to Pushpagiri to bring Moksha, who could save their children. Druki, Yodha and Moksha start from Pushpagiri and reach Agartha. At this juncture, the sarpa sakti tells Irendri that the blood of Moksha would make her invincible if it was taken by her on lunar eclipse day. So, Irendri sends her men to capture Moksha. But Yodha kills all of them. Irendri again sends Sudigundam, the commander-in-chief, to bring her. Yodha follows them in search of Moksha, finds Priya alive, and saves Moksha and Priya. Moksha brings back Yodha’s vision with her divine power. Yodha decides to completely destroy Irendri as she is trying to harm people and succeeds in the climax.Siddharth as Yodha
Shruti Haasan as Priya
Lakshmi Manchu as Irendri
Subbaraya Sharma as Lama
Hari teja as Moksha
Ravi Babu as Sudigundam
Brahmanandam as Jaffa
Vallabhaneni Ramji as Druki
Tanikella Bharani as Kakshira
Ali as Jilebi
Pre-production for Anaganaga O Dheerudu began in June 2009 and the cast was finalized soon after, with the film creating expectations as it marked the debuts of noted star children Prakash Rao, Shruti Haasan and Lakshmi Manchu. Furthermore, the film marked a return to a rare genre in Indian cinema: the fantasy adventure. Shooting began in October 2009 and took place across India, whilst scenes were also shot in Turkey.
During the production stage, Disney agreed to co-produce with Raghavendra Rao's home banner, a Bellyful of Dreams Entertainment, marking the first South Indian production by Disney.
Anaganaga O Dheerudu was released internationally on 14 January 2011 during the Sankranti festival to average reviews and box office collections.
Dubbed versions were created in Tamil and Malayalam, but their release was put on hold indefinitely due to the unexpected failure of the Telugu version. The film is rated PG-13 in North America for "violence and scary images" making it the sixth of ten Disney-branded films to receive the rating.
The film was released by Buena Vista Home Entertainment on DVD and digital download on 26 July 2011. The release will be produced in DVD widescreen and include a Telugu language track plus English subtitles.Nandi Awards
2011 - Nandi Award for Best Villain - Lakshmi Manchu
2011 - Nandi Award for Best Special Effects - Phani Eggone
2012 - CineMAA Award for Best Female Debut - Shruti Haasan
2012 - CineMAA Award for Best Supporting Actress - Lakshmi Manchu
Filmfare Awards South
Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut – South - Shruti Haasan (Also for 7aum Arivu)
Hyderabad Times Film Award for Best Actor in a Negative Role (Female) - Lakshmi Manchu.