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Anti-Mafia cartoon teaches Italian kids to think for themselves

In Italy, two Sicilian cartoon superheroes are making their debut. Giovanni and Paolo don't spin webs or wear capes, but they do take on Italy's most evil character - the Mafia.

The boys' cartoon characters are based on Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, anti-Mafia magistrates who grew up together in Palermo. Both were assassinated by the Mafia in 1992. The cartoon doesn't directly address the Mafia, a concept the creators felt was too difficult for young viewers. Instead, they fight a wicked sorcerer who has stolen their neighbors' souls and turned them into puppets.

The sorcerer asks who has cut the puppets strings. "We have!" the boys respond. The cartoon debuts on Italian television on July 18.

Author: Nancy Greenleese

Editor: Kate Bowen