Chhota Bheem is one of India’s most popular animated characters. Now, it is coming back to the screens with a brand new film Hanuman vs Mahiravana. The movie is set to release on July 6.
In an interview with indianexpress.com, Rajiv Chilaka, the maker of Chhota Bheem, talks about the future of Indian animation films and why kids love Chhota Bheem so much.
Chhota Bheem is extremely popular amongst Indian kids. Did you expect such a reception while creating this mythological character?
Chhota Bheem is a fictional character based on the character of Bheema from Mahabharat. It became an instant success and this was mainly because of the simple storytelling method packed with content and filled with adventure, fun, friendship, respect, love and care. We never expected it to grow this big. It came as a surprise for us and also put additional responsibility and expectation on us, which the team has been delivering. If you notice we have put in a lot of compassion and responsibilities on Chhota Bheem and his friends.
There have been many animated movies made on Hanuman. How is this film different?
In this film, we have shown Hanuman as he should be – strong, courageous and intelligent. The 3D animation has made him look pretty real and you can feel his emotions as he embarks on his mission to save Rama and Lakshmana. We have also made Hanuman a little playful and innocent. The story also reminds of his unlimited strength and capabilities.
Why do you think a mythological film would appeal to today’s tech-savvy kids when they already have so many options?
No doubt that today’s kids are influenced by technology and they are pretty tech savvy. At the same time, we at Green Gold want to showcase good, strong content which will not only entertain the kids but also allow them a peek into our rich culture and heritage. Having said that, in Hanuman vs Mahiravana, one will see a story that is pretty much untold and most of the young generation is unaware of. The story has the right mix of adventure, fun, and emotions done in high end animation.
Also the movie has been made with a larger audience in mind, which includes kids and adults. So we are pretty sure this movie will generate deep interest among the audience in mythology.
Indian animation films are mostly based on tales from Indian mythology. Don’t you think it is time we explore other story ideas?
As I have been saying, our mythology is a plethora of rich stories that not only entertains but also educates us about the right and wrong way to live. These efforts also bring out the best in our heritage for the world to see and appreciate. Hanuman vs Mahiravana is one such example of good story telling with great visuals. We at Green Gold are also exploring other ideas like Super Bheem which is fantasy, and Mighty Raju which is set in present time.
Indian animation films are still not at par with films like The Jungle Book or Life of Pie. This despite the fact that a lot of animation work on these movies was done in India. How can the gap be bridged?
Indian animation has come a long way. Today, we are entering the golden period with many animation studios coming up and many great movies being made. The industry has seen a good change in the last few years with youngsters opting for serious career options in animation. This will propel better and stronger output.
Why do you think Bollywood actors are only doing voice overs for Hindi versions of international animation films, and not for Indian ones?
Yes, it will be wonderful if Bollywood gets associated with our animation content. It will really help change the thought process that animation is only for kids. We have seen some great work in animation, but due to restricted budgets, the reach has been limited. In recent times, we have seen Bollywood association with various movies.