Doordarshan had ably drawn kids to its screens on Sunday mornings in the eighties with its series The Jungle Book, by Japanese animation studio Nippon Animation.
Hindi general entertainment channel Colors took the same tack when it aired Suraj The Rising Star, a coproduction between Japanese animation studio Kodansha, TMS Entertainment and India’s DQ Entertainment, on Sundays at 10 am in December 2012 over 26 episodes. It acquired the series which did get some traction with young kids.
And now, Colors is once again trying to build its Sunday morning slot with another kids’ animation series titled Chhoti Anandi, which is scheduled to premiere on 17 January 2016 with two episodes of 22 minutes each from 10 am-11 am.
Based on the popular character Anandi of Balika Vadhu fame, it has been animated by Mumbai-based 2D animation studio HopMotion Studios, in which the creator of the original live action series – Sphereorigins Sunjoy Waddhwa – has invested.
Chhoti Anandi will run for 13 weeks every Sunday and Colors, which has commissioned HopMotion to create the series and Sphereorigins to serve as the production house, released the first teaser of the show over the New Year to the delight of young audiences online and TV viewers.
Says HopMotion founder Anish Patel: “In this animated series, Anandi is seen with her four friends on a fun loving adventure as they overcome various milestones coming their way.”
‘Animation is always fun’ and the central character Anandi, voiced by Devyani Dagaonkar, exhibits this quality vividly, at least it appears so from the first look promo.
While the popular TV soap has ruled everyone’s hearts with its emotional drama and character development of Anandi for almost seven years, the animated avatar sees her as a mysterious explorer.
“It is about how her life was before she got married and got drawn into family life. It displays how outrageous and fun loving her childhood is as she plays the hand catapult, enjoys ‘Gilli Danda’, flies in an air balloon, barges in a coal mine, rides a cycle-rickshaw, enters a haunted haveli, deals with spirits and travels through the land of Rajasthan. She has a totally different set of friends before her marriage,” explains Anish.
Adds a Colors’ spokesperson, “We are known for broadcasting serials that have a positive impact and this animated series too is based on the same principle. Every episode has a strong positive message at the end. We want to inspire kids and entertain them at the same time by giving them variety which has been the channel’s USP.”
Based on the basic funda of ‘Good overcomes Evil’, Anandi and her four friends namely Nattu, Chikku, Phuli and Champa will courageously face all the possibilities and emerge victorious. Moreover, the presence of a negative character named Goli enhances the series by keeping the thrill alive.
The promo gives a gist of the adventurous and beautiful life of Anandi and also creates a buzz for the much awaited programme. At first glance, HopMotion appears to have kept the animation and art style very simple and very Indian – along the lines of Chhota Bheem and Mighty Raju. Probably keeping in mind, the popularity of these two franchises with young Indian kids, HopMotion has kept it simple and effective.
Each episode features a new story, so every Sunday we will be entertained with two unique tales of the young girl and her adventures. The series will teach kids the positivity of life in a creative funny way. It is a programme that the family can enjoy together.