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06-24-2009, 02:26 PM #1
Take your fill of animated movies
According to a Nasscom-Ernst & Young report, the Indian animation industry is slated to grow to $1.2 billion in 2012.
While the the numbers are small compared to the $80 billion global industry, the growth is encouraging for India.
It’s also well known that many countries are outsourcing their animation work to India mainly because of cheaper labour. Top companies such as UTV Software Communications, Toonz Animation, Pentamedia Graphics, Crest Communications, DQ Entertainment and JadooWorks have all inked in deals with global giants like Walt Disney, NBC Universal and Mattel to share copyrights and profits.
Hanuman, India’s biggest animated hit earned Rs 20 crore through theatrical and satellite releases, besides mopping up big bucks from home videos and merchandise. Inspired by its success, a slew of animation films were lined up and made ready for Indian audiences. Percept tied up with animation studio DQ Entertainment to make three films for the global market costing Rs 100 crore slated to be released in 2009-10. Reliance Entertainments has invested Rs 100 crore in animation. BR Films plans to invest Rs 50 crore in animation films over three years.
At a time like this, a few commercial duds seemed to have played spoilsport with Bollywood’s animated dreams. Trade sources confirm that Bollywood has had a bad run with Hanuman Returns, Krishna, Roadside Romeo, Dashavatar, Ghatothkach and My Friend Ganesha (1 and 2) with an estimated loss of up to Rs 70 crore. In fact, insiders say several animation films are ready, but have no takers. At least 25 animation films were announced by top corporations, and an estimated Rs 4,000 crore ($831 million) was to be kept aside for the animation studios that were being planned across India. Everything is on hold now. “Indian animation films have improved a lot when it comes to creativity and technology. If the script of an animated film is good, there will be an audience for it,” feels Prasad, owner of the Oscar winning animation company, Rhythm and Hues based in Hyderabad. Suryadevara Vinod who produced Ghatothkach doesn’t seem to be too worried either. “Ghatothkach was made in several languages. It was didn’t do well only in Indian theatres. But we topped the DVD list for a very long time.”
The audience seems to be wary of spending money on animated films and prefer to watch them on DVDs/television etc. Navin Shah, COO, Percept Picture Company says, “When Bollywood animation films are aired on television they garner high TRPs. Most animated films grab as many eyeballs as an average blockbuster on TV, but people don’t want to watch them in theatres.”
The solution seems simple, say experts and filmmakers. It’s important to create more animated content for the audience and woo them to the theatres.
Amidst this gloom, there’s good news too. Warner Bros has roped in Jyotin Goel for an animated film and has also finalised a multi-film deal with Soundarya Rajnikanth. “We are thrilled to expand our local production business across all four southern languages by getting into a strategic alliance with Soundarya Rajnikanth,” says Richard J Fox, executive VP, Warner Bros. International.
UTV has five animation films at various stages of production —comprising the likes of Arjun, Dream Blanket, Alibaba, Chinku and the 40 thieves directed by Soumitra Ranade. Filmmaker Ravi Chopra is working on an international project and producer Firoz Nadiadwala is planning animated versions of Mahabharat and Ramayana, and also those of his hit films Hera Pheri and Phir Hera Pheri. Karan Johar’s production company is already working on Koochie Koochie Hota Hai, while Ajay Devgan’s production company is doing Toonpur Ka Superhero. With ambitious films lined up, looks like Bollywood could get more animated in the future.
06-24-2009, 06:01 PM #2