Netflix has added two animated features to its slate: “Bombay Rose,” the Indian drama from director Gitanjali Rao about the disparity between romanticized Bollywood and society’s ruthless truth, and Richard Linklater’s “Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Adventure,” inspired by his childhood growing up in Houston during the eventful 1969 Apollo mission to the moon (which celebrates its 51st anniversary today).
“Bombay Rose,” which streams in the fall, and played last year at Hollywood’s Animation Is Film Festival, ushers in the Netflix India deal involving several new projects made in India. Inspired by true events, the hand-painted feature explores how a red rose brings together three tales of impossible love, delicately woven through music, between a Hindu dancer and a Muslim boy, two women, and an entire city for its Bollywood stars.
“I have always wanted to tell the stories about the unsung heroes who live and love in Bombay, never become success stories, yet their struggle for survival makes heroes out of them,” Rao said. “Having struggled six years to make the film happen, I cannot be anything but immensely grateful to Cinestaan and Les Films d’Ici for supporting and making’ Bombay Rose’ and to Netflix for believing in it enough to bring it to the right audience.”
“Bombay Rose” was the first Indian animated movie ever selected to open Venice Critics Week, was also selected by TIFF and BFI, and won at the Chicago and Mumbai Film Festivals.
Meanwhile, Linklater’s “Apollo 10 1/2” (release TBD) unlike his trippy, rotoscoped adventures, “A Scanner Darkly” and “Waking Life,” involves a more ambitious hybrid of hand-drawn and CG animation along with live action. The live-action shoot wrapped in March in Austin, and the animation will be completed at Minnow Mountain in Austin and Submarine in the Netherlands (the rotoscoped “Undone”). The voice cast includes Jack Black and Zachary Levi, Glen Powell, Josh Wiggins, Milo Coy, Lee Eddy, Bill Wise, Natalie L’Amoreaux, Jessica Brynn Cohen, Sam Chipman, and Danielle Guilbot.
“Apollo 10 1/2” combines the astronaut and mission control view of the triumphant moment, as well as the lesser-seen bottom up perspective of what it was like from an excited kid’s perspective, living near NASA but mostly watching it on TV, and his fantasy about being secretly trained for a covert mission to the moon.
“It struck me years ago that this was my film to make, from both a chronological and proximity level,” said Linklater. “I was there, going into 3rd grade….Our unique animation style allows both the conjuring of a world long gone, and the flowing, playful expression of memory and imagination. It’s been a fun, creative journey to incorporate things like 3D graphics into a live- action shoot to help bring this story to life.”