Chhota Bheem along with his Dholakpur team mesmerised the young and old audience alike with their excellent musical show, Chhota Bheem in Jadooi Adventure in Mumbai on 16 January 2020.
Bheem and his friends Chutki, Raju, Jaggu, Kalia, Dholu and Bholu created an unusual world of magic and adventure at Mahakavi Kalidas Natyamandir, Mulund, for the first-ever live theatrical adaptation of the cartoon series in a Hindi musical format.
Conceptualised and produced by Simply Green, in association with Green Gold Animation, this show was brought to the city by BookMyShow, India’s leading entertainment destination.
BookMyShow theatricals head Kumar Razdan said in a press note, “BookMyShow is excited to bring Chhota Bheem in Jadooi Adventure for the audiences. Loved by children and their families, the cartoon character Chhota Bheem reflects a truly Indian village superhero. This live musical performance will bring this popular story alive on stage for the first time ever in India. We hope children and family audiences will love their favourite character on stage as much as they love him on the screen.”
To experience this, Animation Xpress was present to witness this musical extravaganza in person and was totally overwhelmed. It was like having an on-screen experience off-screen, in reality! From casting, to direction, to storyline/script, to costumes to stage decorations, to lighting, to music, timing – everything was on point to give a memorable experience to cherish.
Talking to Animation Xpress about the ideation of Chhota Bheem in Jadooi Adventure, Green Gold Animation founder and CEO Rajiv Chilaka expressed, “We at Green Gold have been very inspired by a live-show like the ones we see in Disneyland and Broadway and others. Thus, we had a deep desire to do such a thing. Luckily we got in touch with the right kind of people, Simply Green, who did a thorough job and research diligently working relentlessly over a couple of years. It’s not an easy thing to accomplish in live show that too something that matches at par with international standards. The credit goes to Sailesh Gopalan and the team from Simply Green for doing such a fabulous job.”
Chhota Bheem is one of the longest running original Indian television animation shows for kids and is a lovable superhero who is an example of true friendship as he shows immense courage. Its loyal admirers are going to see him in a new and different way through a series of adventures in this musical entertainer. Its immense popularity has led to the hugely successful Netflix original show Mighty Little Bheem has been listed among the top 10 shows on the global streaming platform in the US, as well as the first Indian animated IP to get a live theatrical adaptation.
Added Chilaka on the audience response, “Chhota Bheem in Jadooi Adventure is an edutainment musical. We already saw the kids’ reaction and that’s fantastic. They’re enjoying, cheering, shouting, singing alone and participating in it. Even when the villain, Graago came in it was funny, and the kids were not scared. The direction, lighting, casting, costumes everything has come out so great. I think it’s a great show and for me personally, it’s an emotional moment to see my child, my creation in a live show. They say success has many fathers, today we saw a different dimension of Bheem given birth by Sailesh and his team.”
Directed by Shruti Sharma (Broadway-style musical, Disney Aladdin fame), Chhota Bheem in Jadooi Adventure brings together renowned creative talent like lyricist Gulzar, music composer duo Siddharth Mahadevan and Soumil, story-writer Darsana Radhakrishnan and Bollywood choreographer Rajit Dev amongst others.
Such a spectacular live-show has not been a cake walk for the entire team but is the result of hard work and toil for more than a year or so. Neither was it an easy task to recreate the characters and settings so popular in animation, on live stage.
Throwing light on the challenges, Simply Green Innovations executive producer Gopalan told Animation Xpress, “Since this is the first time an Indian homegrown animated IP that has come live on stage, we faced a lot of hurdles, on how the audience would react, given these are popular characters. Who would have thought that even in The Lion King live show, there are no animals on stage. So it’s about how would you convince and engage the audience that this is Bheem and his team up, live and running and doing all sorts of things. This was the biggest challenge for us.
We got the right team and casting, having three sets of people play the characters. The story/script has been done by Radhakrishnan who’s from Green Gold Animation and knew the characters inside out. And getting the right people to act in it, was again a challenge. There were a lot of auditions over a couple of months and we got Joseph on board for those who have done casting for many international and national projects. Since there are three sets of cast, it was important to have good bonding among themselves since they’re the backbone of the show. They have done a fantastic job and the children have connected well with them.
It was also important to get the right team and the right kind of music, because music plays a very important role and it’s almost half the entire play. Soumil and Siddharth have done a fabulous job. Even Shruti, our director has done a very good job in moulding the entire thing in a concrete whole.”
After captivating the audience in Ahmedabad and Mumbai, Chhota Bheem in Jadooi Adventure is going to be showcased in Kingdom of Dreams, which according to Chilaka and Gopalan is a good platform to establish this musical. “Post Kingdom of Dreams, we intend to go all around the country as well as the B class cities as we feel the fan following is much more there than A class cities, after June 2020,” informed Gopalan.
Chhota Bheem in Jadooi Adventure leaves an amazing experience for the audience, that keeps them hooked till the end. The entire show is very well crafted and executed, giving out important lessons about cleanliness, team work, friendship, honesty and self belief. Clearly, the climax steals the show with amazing animatics, special effects and laser work.
An elated and emotional Chilaka quipped, “Everything has gone very well so far, most importantly, we want more people coming and buying tickets to watch this show. India needs to support this kind of art from all sectors. People like Gopalan are willing to take the risk and even we at Green Gold have taken chances. These kinds of shows will also open doors of employment for so many artists. At some point in life, I would love to see this come alive on Broadway or Disneyland. We need a lot more partnerships from other digital portals, hoardings, press, sponsorships, Government cultural programmes, school contact programmes. It should be a year long thing, So we have achieved the initial part, now we’ll figure out a marketing plan as it’s an expensive affair”.
After the special screening yesterday, Chhota Bheem in Jadooi Adventure runs at Mahakavi Kalidas Natyamandir, Mulund on 17 and 18 january 2020.
So what are you waiting for? Go and grab a seat for this stellar performance!