There is a cyclone brewing in India’s animation film industry, after Hanuman’ took the Indian film industry by storm. Many animations films are taking shape in studios, with big budgets riding on them and industry insiders claim that close to 10 such films will be ready for release in India in 2008.
Here’s a peek at what viewers can expect.
Yashraj Films Ltd in alliance with The Walt Disney Studios has finished 60 per cent work on its first animation film `Roadside Romeo’, slated for release in June 2008.
Shemaroo has also finished work on `Ghatothkach’, its second animation fim after `Bal Ganesh’.
Govind Nihalani is working on Kamlu’, h is f irst a nimation f ilm, and has lined up three other animation projects after that.
Apart from these big banners, a handful of other studios are also busy designing characters on their story boards.
Yash Chopra, chairman, Yashraj Films, said animation has a huge business potential and India needs some good products.
“We have seen the success of animations films. We have just stepped into this field and hope to give a good product,” he said.
Yashraj’s film will be a full fledged 3D animated feature film, with all the elements of a Bollywood flick. The lead character is a dog and it will have the usual masala expected from that banner.
So, Mr Chopra explained, “We will have everything like songs, romance, fights etc like a Bollywood film. Jugal Hansraj is directing the film.”
While he declined to give investment details, he admitted the amount involved is “huge.” The likes of Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, and Javed Jafri will give their voices to these animated characters. Though Mr Chopra was cautious, saying Yashraj’s future animation projects will be decided after the release of `Roadside Romeo’, it is learnt that the tie up between Yashraj and Walt Disney extends to more films in the series.
Goving Nihalani, the director known for critically acclaimed films like `Dev’ and `Thakshak’, has also turned to animation and is currently concentrating on his forthcoming 3-D animation film `Kamlu’. This is the first of four animation films he has lined up. Mr Nihalani said he is investing close to US $ 3 million (about Rs 12 crore) in his maiden animation film, `Kamlu’, with a promise of making it something big and giving something for everyone.
“I am working on the pre production of the film. It will not be just another animation film. It is an area very close to my heart. I want to make something worthwhile. And this is not just one film, I have three more animation films lined up after that. I will start working on them soon after `Kamlu’ is done,” he said.
Indications are that the film will have four songs and will be released in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and English at the same time. Mr Nihalani expects to release the film by end 2008.
Shemaroo Entertainment’s Ghatothkach’ is set for release soon. Atul Maroo, managing director, Shemaroo, said they have invested Rs 15 crore in this venture.
“We got a good response for our first animation film, `Bal Ganesh’ and our second films is set for release soon. After this, we hope to make two animation films every year,” he said.
Singeetam Srinivasa Rao, who directed the silent film `Pushpak’, starring Kamal Haasan, has directed Ghatothkach’. Sunanimatics, who partnered Shemaroo for `Ghatothkach’ is also working on three other films called ‘Eshan- the legend of Bhairav’,
‘Romeo’s Ronnie & Juliet’s Jennie’ and an untitled movie based on gaming.
Mumbai based Graphiti Multimedia, led by Ram Mohan who is regarded as the father of India’s animation film industry, is developing two animation films that are being produced by Turner, a Time Warner Company and by Anubhav Sinha, the director of the recent Hindi film `Cash’.