On an Animation Safari

With Akshaye Khanna as the rogue parrot and ‘Shaktimaan’ returning as a cyber junkie — animation in India is ready for big action

Written by Jaskiran Kapoor | Published: May 21, 2012 3:16 am

With Akshaye Khanna as the rogue parrot and ‘Shaktimaan’ returning as a cyber junkie — animation in India is ready for big action

Arnab Chaudhuri was sure of one thing — when he would “spin the yarn”,it would be of “epic” proportions. Putting in three years with a team of 300 and plots from the Mahabharata,he is ready with Arjun – The Warrior Prince,his directorial debut. The film is scheduled to release on May 25.

“I always wanted to make an epic action martial arts film,and Arjun was the perfect subject,” says Chaudhuri. Arjun – The Warrior Prince is the untold story of this hero,from his boyhood to a world of betrayal,vengeance and deceit. The director admits it was difficult to sift through the story matter and create the era,the palaces,the sceneries,the battlefields and the lifestyle in animation. He has roped in music directors Vishal and Shekhar for the music.

Choosing an animation over a live action feature has its advantages. “Animated characters have more freedom and space,and can be experimented with,” agrees ‘Shaktimaan’ Mukesh Khanna,now prepping for a 3D film and a 3D TV show.

“We started with Shaktimaan in 1997,and ran it for seven years. Now,it’s time to bring back the hero in a new avatar,” says Khanna. So,out goes ‘Pandit Gangadhar Vidyadhar Mayadhar Omkarnath Shastri’ and in comes ‘Rihaan Arya’. “Rihaan is no longer the bumbling photographer; he is a cyber junkie,” says Khanna. The animated version will air on Nickelodeon and Sonic. On the other hand,Pune-based Krayon Animation has produced India’s first stereoscopic 3D animation feature film called Delhi Safari. A slice of famous animation Madagascar,this one has five jungle inmates on a mission spiced with all the ingredients of a Bollywood blockbuster.

“There’s Akshaye Khanna as Alex,the rogue parrot; Govinda as Bajrangi,the militant monkey and Urmila Matondkar as the Queen,” says Rashmi Ahad,producer of the film. While Delhi Safari releases this year end,Ahad’s next project is Govind Nihalini’s Kamlu,the story of a flying camel.

“With rapid changes in technology and increase in multiplexes that showcase 3D cinema,animation is one genre where one can explore beyond imagination,” says Ahad. The action is in animation now.

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