‘Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan’s VFX is worked upon by redchillies.vfx

The trailer of Ayushmann Khurrana and Jitendar Kumar starrer Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan was recently dropped. Directed by Hitesh Kewalya and based on a progressive subject, it is based on a same-sex love story. In the trailer, Ayushmann khurana plays the character of Kartik Singh who is in love with Aman Tripathi.

The trailer features Kartik beckoning Aman to inform his parents about their relationship. Aman, who is already married to Kusum, explains to his parents about his relationship with a man. By the end of trailer, Aman and Kartik profess their love for each other to the world and kiss in front of people.

Movie’s VFX is being worked upon by leading VFX studio redchillies.vfx. Recently redchillies.vfx has been a hotspot for many recent bollywood projects. Shared redchillies, “What more can one wish for? Super excited to do the VFX for Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan.”

Recent upcoming projects include Bollywood romantic flick Love Aj Kal

Shares redchillies.vfx, “Love is in the air. Imitiaz Ali is back with the sizzling chemistry and brewing romance flick LoveAjkal, and we couldn’t be happier being a part of it.”

They have also worked upon a serious movie titled Shikara, based on true events of 1990 exodus. The movie will be replete with visual effects ranging from fire effects to violent sequences and stunning imagery of Kashmir valley.

redchillies.vfx shared, “The untold story finally unveils after 30 years! Honoured to be a part of this.”

We hope to watch the movies and behold the VFX artistry soon! Stay tuned!

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Shemaroo extends contract for cartoon series’ ‘Moorkhistan’ for Tata Sky

Shemaroo Entertainment has extended the contract with noted writer and comic artist, Sukhwant Kalsi regarding his fun IP Moorkhistan, a series of cartoon strips for Tata Sky.

“My first contract was for two years 2017-2019, and the renewed contract is for another year, 2019-2020,” Kalsi told Animation Xpress. 

Kalsi is also the writer of the upcoming 3D animated show, Johny Lever based on the legendary Bollywood comedian, Johnny Lever. He also co-owns the IP with the production house, Yolo Media. 

Commenting on the inception of Moorkhistan, Kalsi said, “I created Moorkhistan 32 years ago for the cartoon column of children’s magazine, Nanhey Samrat which I have also been editing since 1988. The idea behind Moorkhistan was to create a fun world, the land of ‘idiots’ where only intelligent people live. It’s a non-political show and has been largely accepted by all age groups of readers, audience as this is something that kids haven’t seen till date and the concept is unique and unexplored. It’s very popular on social media and I am in talks with a few prestigious production houses of the animation industry, who wish to acquire the rights and create animated series out of it.”

Moorkhistan cartoons got great responses in both print and digital media. The official Facebook page has more than 10,500 followers. The cartoon strips are circulated daily by Kalsi himself on WhatsApp which gets viral in no time. On Tata Sky too, its viewership is in millions. 

Moorkhistan cartoon characters are also quite popular in the merchandising space, given its posters are already available on amazon. Further publication of books, T-shirts and prank gadgets of Moorkhistan are in the pipeline.

Moorkistan has also been appreciated and advocated by well known comedians like johnny Lever, Sunil Pal, Raju Srivastav, Ahsaan Qureshi, Sudesh Lehri, Upasan Singh and other industry people.

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Yeti Farm Creative partners with renowned chef for pre-school series

Kelowna-based animation studio, Yeti Farm Creative is partnering with renowned chef Pierre A. Lamielle for pre-school series Munchy, Munchy. The series will be based on Lamielle’s The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids along with Alice Eats: A Wonderland Cookbook and Kitchen Scraps: A Humorous Illustrated Cookbook.

The series will have 12 episodes, one minute each exploring the cool, fun and quirky attributes of food and is set to make its debut at the Kidscreen Summit hosted in Miami, Florida, this February.

“I am very excited to partner with Yeti Farm on these digital shorts to bring to life the amazing cast of characters in the Munchy Munchy bunch,” Lamielle said in a press release.

The new series follows Yeti’s successful first original digital pre-school creation Sweet Tweets, which rose to popularity across various streaming platforms such as YouTube and Roku.

“Our goal is to constantly be thinking ahead and at the forefront of new and innovative ways to launch and leverage brands with digital audiences. We are so excited to be partnering with Pierre, who is a passionate culinary visionary and artist,” Yeti CEO Ashley Ramsay said.

Yeti Farm will be working with Daniel Ingram to create original songs for the series. Munchy Munchy has also been adapted for digital books and soon will be launched as a second series of short stories and songs for both digital platforms and linear broadcast.

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‘Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution’ coming to Netflix in February

Pokémon has been a forever charmer for over two decades and with the franchise growing strong with every passing day. Now, Netflix has announced a brand new feature film set in the Poké-world after acquiring the international rights (outside of Japan and Korea).

The global streaming powerhouse has unveiled the trailer of the latest Pokémon film, titled, Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution which is coming to Netflix in February 2020.

Though the last two films told new stories within a new timeline, Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution, is sort of a CGI remake with a few changes of Pokémon: The First Movie, which first came out in Japan in 1998 and tells the story of the creation of Mewtwo and his struggle to grapple with his own existence. The original movie is beautifully animated. The visuals in the latest film do not look as appealing, but has a smooth style reminiscent of Funko Pop.

Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution originally released in Japan and Korea in 2019 and will be making its wider international debut on 27 February on Netflix.

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HBO Max assents satirical animated comedy, ‘The Prince’ based on The Royal Family

The Royal family and limelight are synonymous to each other. With them making headlines even more after The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from their royal duties, there’s going to be a satirical animated comedy series based on them.

Titled, The Prince, the series has been ordered by HBO Max from Family Guy and Will & Grace fame producer and screenwriter Gary Janetti, who has nearly one million followers on Instagram for the same, and has garnered international attention. 

The Prince is described as a sharp, satirical perspective of Prince George of Cambridge, the youngest heir to the British throne, as he looks at the trials and tribulations of being a royal child. Written and executive produced by Janetti, the series will follow a cartoon version of the six-year-old Prince, voiced by Janetti himself, spilling the royal“tea” on his family, followers and the British Monarchy.

HBO Max original content head Sarah Aubrey told Deadline, “We’re so excited to bring the world Janetti has created on Instagram over to HBO Max, where our viewers can discover what his Instagram fans already know – that George can be hilarious, shocking, and surprisingly sweet. We can’t wait to see what he does with a bigger canvas to paint on than just a 1:1 square.”

Source : Reader’s Digest

The Prince also features notable characters in George’s life such as his parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, his fourth-in-line-for-the-throne little sister Charlotte, his modern Aunt Meghan and Uncle Harry, his great-grandad Philip and of course, his ‘Gan Gan’, Queen Elizabeth II.

The makers have also roped in an excellent voice cast including – Orlando Bloom as Prince Harry, Condola Rashad as Meghan Markle, Lucy Punch as Kate Middleton, Tom Hollander as Prince Philip and Prince Charles, Alan Cumming as Owen, butler to George, Frances De La Tour as Queen Elizabeth and Iwan Rheon as Prince William.

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Patton Oswalt to voice Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. in animated series

Marvel and Hulu announced four adult animated series an year based on characters including Howard the Duck, M.O.D.O.K., Hit-Monkey, and Tigra and Dazzler. The full cast has been revealed for Marvel and Hulu’s upcoming M.O.D.O.K. television series, which will feature Patton Oswalt as the titular supervillain.

Patton Oswalt

the new castings include Aimee Garcia (Lucifer) as his internet blogger wife, Jodie’ Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) as their son, Lou, who’s described as a kid who marches to the beat of his own drum and is an apparent loner; and Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) as M.O.D.O.K.’s daughter, Melissa.

M.O.D.O.K. title serves as an acronym for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing. M.O.D.O.K. picks up with the titular supervillain falling into a midlife crisis after falling out with both his family and the evil organization A.I.M. Now, the murderous cyborg must reinvent himself in order to recapture the things he loves.

Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. is set to hit Hulu later this year.

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Menstrupedia’s audio visual comic is a boon to women and girls across the country

A husband-wife duo, Aditi Gupta and Tuhin Paul came up with an innovative way to spread awareness about menstruation a few years back. And now are bringing out an audio visual version of the comic Menstrupedia. The audio visual book version of Menstrupedia is very similar to the original comic. It focuses on the same subject of menstruation with different audio content for different frames. 

The comic is targeted at kids aged nine to 13 and revolves around the lives of three young girls Pinki, Mira, Jiya and Priya, a young doctor who educates these inquisitive minds. Menstrupedia provides practical guidance based on real life stories, is well researched and medically accurate and culturally sensitive. The comic is used by more than 7500 schools, 270 NGOs and 1.2 Million girls across India.

 

“The audio visual version will be helpful for those who cannot read or are unable to see and can be a great tool to teach students about menstruation in schools,” said Gupta.

Almost 88 per cent of women use unhygienic ways to manage their period cycles in India due to taboo around the subject of menstruation. “Even I got curious about using sanitary napkins after watching the advertisements on television, but was ashamed to go and purchase them from shops or medical stores,” mentioned Gupta in a TedX chat.

“I was oblivious about the inconvenience due to menstruation and the various beliefs and customs around it. Aditi followed many myths and restrictive customs around menstruation until she started her work on Menstrupedia,” Paul had mentioned in an interview with AnimationXpress earlier.

In this book, you learn about growing up and the various changes that we all go through. What are periods, how they happen and how to take care during periods. Gupta and Paul have together worked on illustrations for the audio visual comic and have also provided the audio.

Though society is changing, the cultural mindsets are still somewhat narrow. Initiatives like these are need of the hour and Menstrupedia definitely is helping girls and women across the country to not be ashamed of this natural phenomenon. The Instagram page of Menstrupedia posts many empowering and fun posts around menstruation regularly, trying to portray the issue as normal and natural amongst all.

With thousands of copies sold and many shipped to countries including Uruguay,  Philippines, US, UK and Australia, one copy of Menstrupedia also lies with the National Art Library of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

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‘Chhota Bheem’ new episodes to arrive on POGO this summer after a gap of three years

Chhota Bheem fans can rejoice, as the Dholakpur hero is all set to come back with new episodes on POGO, this summer, after a gap of three years. 

Since its inception in the Indian animation industry, Chhota Bheem has been a game changer with a humongous fan-following across the globe. More than 72 per cent of Indian kids are aware of the show and follow Chhota Bheem in his actions and values. 

Commenting on the new development, Green Gold Animation founder and CEO Rajiv Chilaka told Animation Xpress, “I am delighted to inform the loyal fans of Chhota Bheem that brand new episodes of Chhota Bheem will be back on POGO. It’s been three years since we have produced episodic content of Chhota Bheem in 2D and we all are very excited to be working again on India’s #1 Animated Character in its original avatar. About 52 episodes of Chhota Bheem will be produced in 2020 which means we are going to have a very busy year.”

After all these years, the graph of the ‘brand Bheem’ has only gone higher! It has grown from strength to strength giving birth to other successful IPs – Super Bheem, Mighty Little Bheem and the very recent musical Chhota Bheem in Jadooi Adventure live theatrical adaptation apart from the feature film Chhota Bheem: Kung Fu Dhamaka

All rights are reserved by Green Gold Animation

After the 2D version made its mark in the animation space, Green Gold Animation had explored many dimensions of the IP, and also forayed into 3D animation to make the character and the stories more appealing to the younger audience.

Well, we are now waiting to see what Chhota Bheem does new!

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The Jungle Book: Two visions, two creators, one story

We wonder if Rudyard Kipling ever imagined that his fantasy tale of a boy raised by wolves in the jungles of India would be told through various mediums. We wonder if Kipling as he was penning the story, ever thought that it would see the light of day on celluloid and be up for global consumption.

Jungle Book and Mowgli

Based on the famous Kipling story, The Jungle Book and Mowgli mixed real actors with computer-generated animals to tell this fantasy-adventure story.

Having inspired movies like Elephant Boy (1937), Rikki-tikki-tavi (1975), The White Seal (1975), Mowgli Brother (1976), Zoltan Korda’s Jungle Book (1942), Disney’s The Jungle Book (1967), Adventures of Mowgli (1967 to 1971), the 96- minuter feature film (1973) and the Japanese anime Jungle Book Shonen Mowgli (1989), Kipling’ Jungle Book has its made its mark as an absolute classic that stood the test of time and regaled generations.

Recent adaptations like Disney’s Jungle Book and Netflix’s Mowgli demonstrated how two seemingly analogous films can still vary in storytelling, tonality, CGI technology and the directorial approach.

While Favreau’s version was stylised as a family entertainer that was deliberately diluted to dovetail well with Kids’ viewing standards, Serkis’ Mowgli was a much darker retelling of the story that featured a more raw, violent and adult undertones in its treatment. As it were, turns out that was not the only difference!

Interestingly Andy Serkis’ Mowgli was in development before Disney’s The Jungle Book was even announced. But the Disney film was able to finish the production sooner.  We recently caught up with the senior creature animator Dhanu Muddikuppam who had co-incidentally worked for both the movies. While he served for a shorter amount of time for Serkis’ Mowgli, he played a prominent role in the making of Favreau’s The Jungle Book.

He shares, “Mainly I was there in Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book more than the Andy Serkis’ Mowgli. I was only involved in the beginning of the process for Mowgli.”

Elaborating on the difference in the approach of depicting the animals as in the popular performance capture technology in Mowgli vis-a-vis the more naturalistic portrayal in The Jungle Book, he shares, “It depends on the silent choice of the director you know.. Jon Favreau emphasised upon realistic performance. He wanted it as natural as real animals so when you do that you try to actually cut down the whole thing, you don’t want to push too much stylisation because then it becomes a bit cartoonish. When it’s real, it almost like ‘less is more kind of deal’. In Jungle book, we were trying to avoid so many accents deliberately that if you notice they’re not actually mouthing each and every line. We have tried to put realistic behaviour of animals and just added lip-synch to it. We did not go down the route of getting them to mouth each and every dialogue which you can see in other Jungle book versions.”

Highlighting the subtlety and importance of toning down and not completely replicating the facial expressions of the actors onto the animals, he reflects, “So if you see the Jungle Book they have even toned down the acting to even more minimum and not gone the documentary style like Lion King.”

Enlightening us about the process of previsualization in the preproduction stage, he shared, “But for both of them, they gave us a lot of references and starting points as what they were aiming for. Before the movie, they conducted experiments and tests as in animating a few creatures; with acting or sometimes without acting.. Naturalistic, realistic performances as to how a lion would behave or a tiger would do act. We did that in the Jungle Book basically, finding the right balance like what works well. The amount of acting that would suit rather than pushing it too much on the face. So finding the right balance and we kind of followed the same style for the entire movie.”

While they were seemingly identical films made by different studios, within two years of each other, there was a world of a difference in the twin films. There are balladeers and detractors for both styles yet these movies showed how extraordinary classics can be brought to life using modern technology and artistry.

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Studio of the Week | Studio Durga

Name : Studio Durga

About : We are the first Indian animation studio that creates anime, or 2D hand-drawn animation in the art-style of Japanese manga comics, wholly independent of foreign collaboration. We believe in telling powerful stories through the medium of animation, and design original entertainment that can be enjoyed by teens and young adults.

Location : New Delhi

Projects : Karmachakra: Episode Zero, an 80-minute film is our debut project under this freshly-formed studio, expected to finish production in mid-2020.

1. What are the current trends you’re seeing in the Indian Animation space?

As the cultural materialists would say, artists and their art cannot happen if they do not have a stable and abundant financial background. In today’s world market however, economic strata has more to do with the league of university you end up going to rather than the brand value of the company you are likely to work for. In other words, not only is there a disparity between your qualifications and your acceptance in a certain firm, largely dependent on the job market, but also a widely observable break between your institution of training and your actual skills, largely dependent on yourself. So in the world of free information, there are many ways to subvert the system, some of which can, in a freak chance, prove to be eventually profitable.

Within this market, India has two distinct spaces. When it comes to animation, there is the corporate framework that primarily churns out kids’ content, either for the Indian audience or for foreign companies. That’s the money-raker, even in markets where there is a sufficiently developed parallel non-kids market, such as Japan’s. Alongside, there are independent small-businesses like ours, and there are quite a few, who are putting Indian animation on the world map in a way different than the corporates by taking the pains to showcase a broader and more evolved original animated product, which may or may not eventually be of interest for the buyers/distributors to license or promote, and largely depends on when (and if) they aware of its potential and foresee its commercial viability. Both the art style and variety of stories within Japanese anime have a wide appeal in the Indian animation fan base, which includes us, and so we decided to go for the same.

2. What are the challenges in this ecosystem?

There is a certain break between what we’ve grown up to admire about foreign entertainment and how most of us (are widely conditioned to) conduct ourselves in the Indian creatives industry. Broadly speaking, the socio-economic movements of say the US, UK or Japan, are both chronologically and essentially different from those in India’s history. So both the Indian market and the (nascent) ecosystem work differently for people trying to pursue creatives in a fashion other than the style of mainstream media, and more so when the work contains a certain level of integrity in terms of global aesthetic trends or emotional maturity. Simply put, there is an alienation that is felt by many creators similar to us, many of whom hope to escape it by altogether abandoning the thought of working in India and for the Indian audience. Then again, it’s the age of the internet and of a radically aware and up-to-date global audience, including Indians. It would be a waste to not leverage this phenomenon, and it’s one of the reasons why we went social although the project isn’t funded yet.

We’ve found it extremely difficult to find people with the specific skills for this project, mostly due to the lack of inclination or need to flex the muscle given the nearly non-existent scope for 2D hand-drawn animation within India for people who want to make a livelihood out of it. Besides, our product was rejected by Indian agents/aggregators (we couldn’t contact the platforms directly) who sell to every major broadcasting/OTT platform, for fear that it will be a financial failure with the Indian audience because it does not contain titillation, graphic violence, oversimplified plots and other massy elements, although they were thrilled with the quality of the product and praised us for following international benchmarks in animation. Apart from humongous production efforts that all of us at the studio share, also being the producer who has invested money in the production of this movie (I don’t like when anybody works free for me) since day 1 more than two years ago, and not having made a single penny from it till date, I have realized well that there is no other way this could have been done. Pre-destination and free will have become two sides of the same coin, and so ‘motivation’ has proved to hold little significance to me.

3. What’s one message you’d like to share with the aspiring enthusiasts?

Don’t wait for things to change, and don’t compromise or settle for less. If it’s anime or manga you want to eventually make, refine your skills towards that direction, instead of getting stuck with something you are not really into. The ‘odd-jobs phase’ is important for you to understand how the market runs and realize the value of money within it, but it shouldn’t be the arbiter of your entire career. It’s not necessary for everybody to take the path of most resistance that we have taken and create content like this within India, there is a lot of scope abroad, so if you feel you will blossom and flourish better, go ahead and do that. Almost every creative product out there has taken years of dedication and hard work on part of the creators to make it what it is, and an unbelievably long process to bring it to you. Respect that journey, and continue to try and fail, because it’s really all you can do. Don’t compete with others, compete with yourself. Build momentum.

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