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India Animation Update #1

India Animation Update #1

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of weekly columns by Fred Patten that survey films, television and trends in the Indian animation industry. These stores are mainly culled from the Indian trade journal Animation Xpress – and these (below) represent material for first half of January 2014. 

I began posting a selection of the announcements in Animation Xpress partly to help me write a regular column for Jerry Beck’s other blog, Cartoon Research, and partly to give American animation professionals and fans a glimpse of the animation being produced in India today.  As far as I know, nobody else in America is posting Indian animation news with theatrical trailers.  We should be interested in animated features like Krishna aur Kans, the Chhota Bheem movies, Koochi Koochie Hota HaiDelhi Safari (which is a direct-to-DVD children’s release in America; one of those animated features that nobody knows where it came from), Goopi Gawaya Bagha Bajaiya (which has been shown in North America only at an international film festival)Arjun: The Warrior Prince, and others.  Okay, so I have padded out these columns with animated Indian student short films and TV commercials. But its all interesting animation – and apparently unavailable elsewhere in America.

After several years, I still have no idea how I got on Animation Xpress‘ mailing list when apparently nobody else in the American animation community has.  If anyone wants to get the complete newsletter, which is mostly not about animation but about Indian comic-cons, Indian video games, new Indian animation software, and the like, let me know at fredpatten@earthlink.net and I will send you Animation Xpress‘ automatic subscription weblink.

January 2.  Animation
delivers two animated New Year shorts, along with their studios’ plans for 2014.  First, “
Vaibhav Studios wishes a Happy 2014 to AnimationXpress.com readers by
sharing with us the latest animated TVC in Fevicol commercial series.  Scripted by O&M Mumbai, this 14
second TVC is Designed and Directed by Vaibhav Kumaresh, developed by Vaibhav
, Music & Sound design executed by Roto Shah, Animation
production  is done by Chandni Chudasama, Technical
direction brought out by Bhavesh Gondaliya, Animation  by
Vinayak Phadatare, Modeling & Layout by Tapas Jana, Bhavesh Gondaliya,
Mahboob Raja, Rigging is by Chandni Chudasama, Abhijit Ghodke,
Texturing by Avinash Gulhane Lighting carried out by Sagar Kulkarni
and Production assistant is Baadal Chaurasia”.  Vaibhav Studios plans to spend 2014 working
on its Return to the Jungle CGI
feature, which has been in production for a couple of years now.

Second, “Handmade Animation Studio
Creates ‘Naya Saal Mubarakho’ Stop Motion Animated Short.  Handmade Animation Studio, which is currently
seeking a broadcast deal for its mythology stop motion feature ‘Ashur
Binasini’, has created Naya Saal Mubarakho Stop Motion Animated short that
wishes one and all a very Happy New Year. 
Founder of this studio, Amit Patel, describes this 1 minute, short ‘A
Shayarana Andaz movie’ and the dialogues in the short very well justify Amit’s

Putting light on how Handmade came
up with the idea of this short, Amit shares his thoughts with AnimationXpress.com by
saying, ‘Our team member Sudeshna Dutta came up with the idea of creating
something creative for New Year.” As we were busy with our film, we didn’t have
ample of time to create something on a larger scale and hence decided to bring
out something short, revolving around a single character.’  The character used in this short is picked
from their previous stop motion work titled ‘Koi Deewana Kehta Hai’ and they
did some touch up to this character and used it for this short.

Elaborating more on the making of
the short, Amit, informs, ‘Entire animation of this short was based on
Dialogues. We had to create a breakdown of every single phrase with the
accurate lip shape.The characters lip was made using paper cuts.’

It took five days for the team to create
the short. For executing animation, they’ve used Dragon Frame software.
Dialogues are written by Sudeshna and voiced by Arvind Gupta.
Adds more, ‘We
were clear during our pre-production module that the short will consist of a
stage where the character is performing and so we went ahead to build it
digitally in After Effects and added basic sounds of audiences.'”


January 3.  “Square Enix Unveils New Trailer of KINGDOM
Christmas holidays has released a new trailer for KINGDOM HEARTS HD
2.5 ReMIX from the recent Jump Festa event that took place in Japan.

Picking up from where KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5 ReMIX ends, the
trailer features fan-favorite characters like Sora, Roxas, Riku and Namine alongside the Disney cast including Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty),
Hercules, King Mickey, Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean) and
others – now in stunning high-definition graphics.”

January 7.  “Charuvi Design Labs ‘Shri Hanuman Chalisa’ to be honored as ‘Outstanding Indian Design based IP’ at Orbit Live- Industry
Honours 2014.  It is indeed a Happy New
Year for Charuvi Design Labs as its animated mythological poetry ‘Shri Hanuman
Chalisa’ is set to be honored as ‘Outstanding Indian Design based IP’ at Arena
Animation’s ORBIT LIVE – INDUSTRY HONOURS 2014. The movie will be screened
at 13th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF), 2014 and the
6th Jaipur International Film Festival which takes place in first week of
February. CDL has also made a creative announcement that we will read in the
later part of the story.

Charuvi Agrawal, Founder of CDL and Director of this short, will take home
the award on 11th January, at the Second Edition of Orbit Live, set to
happen at Mumbai.” 

Charuvi Design Labs has created a ‘Shri Hanuman
Chalisa: The Film and Exhibition’ display that is touring India and select
other Asian nations like South Korea. “Innovative ways of marketing animated movies attract mass audiences and
Charuvi looks like a firm believer of this as she has chosen to market the
movie in full swing by launching Shri Hanuman Chalisa: The Film and Exhibition
that showcases a divine sculpture made of 26,500 bells, which is an interactive
installation that tries to invoke Hanuman through worship of Rama and divinity
within. Another interactive installation lets you experience the awakening of

And to add to these ideas comes the announcement that CDL has just released
limited edition of Hanuman Chalisa Film Book, in which you will see selected
pictorials from the animated short.

So where do we see the next Shri Hanuman Chalisa: Film and Exhibition,
Charuvi says, ‘We have few cities lined up for the exhibition and are currently
finalizing the plan for the entire year. The main highlights are the film, 25
sculpts, 3-4 outsized physical installations, interactive applications and

January 7.  “Disney Princess Academy Event to Be Held
Tomorrow at Mumbai.  Due to popular
demand the Disney Princess Academy has returned to India from January
5th and will continue till February 2nd, 2014.

This year the Academy will be even bigger with three additional cities
added to the tour including, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cochin,
Pune, Kolkata and Delhi. The Academy will give 3600 Princess hopefuls the
opportunity to attend and be a part offun-filled activities including
makeover, dancing, etiquette training, tiara making and even a chance to meet
their favourite Disney Princesses. Eight Lucky winners (one from each
city) will also get a chance to be a star on Disney Channel!”

The description goes into greater detail than Animation Scoop readers will
be interested in.  A sample:  “At the Disney Princess Academy, each
participant will be groomed into real world princesses through a complete
makeover and lessons in positive values such as compassion, intelligence,
kindness and grace which the Disney Princesses personify the world over.
Participants will also get a chance to be a part of Art and Craft session where
they will learn to make their own tiara and take part in Dainty Dancing
workshop. The event culminates with a Royal ball where fans will have the
opportunity to meet and take pictures with their favourite Disney

And buy a ton of Disney merchandise. 
Here is just part of the list:  “Disney gives Princess Fans an opportunity to experience its characters
through an array of stylish and fun
         An exciting
range of Disney Princess role-play,which includes wands, tiaras, fashion
accessories, Princess dolls, role-play sets,accessory backpacks to fulfil
every little girls dream to be a Disney Princess. Available at a starting
price of INR 99
·         Little
Princesses can bring to life their favourite Disney Princess stories through a
range of home products such as electrical, wall decor, ceramic
tableware, melamine tableware, fans, bed linen, door mats, towels, bathroom
accessories and much more. Available at a starting price of INR
·         Girls can wear their
favourite Disney Princess through a range of fashion apparel such as t-shirts,
skirts, dresses, shortsand accessories like costume jewellery, socks, footwear,
watches, sunglasses and prescription frames.Available at a starting price of
INR 99
·         Experience the
magic of Disney Princess through storybooks, colouring & activity books
andlearning aid books at a starting price of INR 50”  An Indian rupee is a little over U.S. one cent;
there are currently ₹87 to the U.S. dollar.  Note that Animation Xpress is still using the old
INR abbreviation.  I guess that they
don’t have the new
₹ symbol on their
typesetting equipment yet.

“Fans and their parents can win a chance to be a part of Disney Princess
Academy 2014 by simply buying any Disney product and logging onto www.disney.in/dpa” 
Let’s just say that the Academy will thrill thousands of little girls
and their parents, and will outrage feminists everywhere.  Note that in the illustration, and also in
the www.disney.in/dpa filmclip, Disney is showcasing the
blonde, blue-eyed Rapunzel from Tangled.  In India. 
I would have thought that Pocahontas or Jasmine would be a more suitable
Princess, particularly considering the late 2012 public reaction to Disney’s
white-skinned blue-eyed Sophia in Sophia
the First: Once Upon a Princess
as a Latina Princess.  (The direct-to-DVD CGI movie specifies that
Sophia is a mixed-race child of a royal Latina mother and royal Nordic father,
but this has not stopped criticism that for a Latina Princess, she does not
look Latina enough.  What must Indian
parents think about their daughters being given a blonde, blue-eyed

January 10.  “Disney Princess Academy Mesmerizes Mumbai
Fans.”  This story about the Academy’s
one-day appearance in Mumbai on January 8 is little more than a gushing
repetition of the previous story about all that the Academies have to offer,
but it does include a publicity photograph.

January 13.  This is unfortunately too new to have any
animation finished yet, but it sounds intriguing. 

Studios and Percept Pictures Hanuman-Ek Bacha Nidar Enters Production.

Hanuman – Ek Bacha Nidar, a 2D Animated 90 minutes
full length feature, Directed by Ruchi Narain.

Produced by Percept Pictures in association with
Quintessential Studios has entered production. Moviegoers in this animated feature
will experience adventures of Jungle, exotic locales and characters that have
been developed after tedious research and understanding of the rich Indian
culture, flora, fauna and terrain in those times.

Speaking to AnimationXpress.com about
the interesting aspects of this film, Abhishek Nayar – Associate Producer of
Percept Pictures, shares, ‘I feel the idea of exploring ‘jungle-adventure’
genre with Hanuman is really new and multiple characters in the jungle
including friends & enemies will be a delight to watch.’

‘The Character Seetee in the movie is someone
audiences should look forward too.’ Alok Mishra, Executive Producer-Percept
Pictures says ‘As per the guidelines by Ruchi Narain our teams are working with
the sole objective of creating a world that existed in the age of gods

The team has been working on the movie since mid 2012
and looking to release it post Diwali this year. Around 50 artists have carried
out the Pre Production of this movie whereas 100 are a part of the production

Ashish Kukian, SVP- Production-Quintessential Studios
says ‘God is in the details. Meticulous research of the Indian vegetation was
conducted to create the perfect jungle environment. To re-create Hanuman’s home
too, extensive research of the art, architecture and vegetation of Hampi and
Kishkindha (Karnataka) was performed to achieve the precise designs.” “The
characters have been brought to life by some unique but famous voices from the
Indian film industry e.g. Sneha Khanwalkar is an acclaimed music director but
is the voice for ‘Seetee’, the second lead character in the film. The treatment
of the film and the storytelling is very contemporary keeping in mind the liking
of kids in present times’, concludes Abhishek.”

The website of Quintessential Studios in Mumbai is interesting,

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