No matter how old you are, no matter which field you work in, there is always that one animated character that has a place in your heart since very long. You probably started looking at life differently after you got to know it or you simply loved it for the way it was. It acquires a place on your bedroom wall or you sketch it and get it framed. You sport its t-shirt or are crazy for its line of toys. It inspires you to the extent that you either site its examples to the kids or go all the way to create more characters similar to it.
Here are some animation industry heads and their favourite animated characters and why they love them so much:
- P. Jayakumar: “I try to discover a Simba in myself everyday”
Toonz Media Group CEO P. Jayakumar’s favourite animated character of all time is Simba from the movie The Lion King, and believes that there is a Simba within all of us, waiting to be discovered. “Our circumstances or sometimes even our own self work against our confidence. And we all run away from ourselves like Simba. But when our will-power combines with destiny, we discover the king within us….the king who can take the pride to its greatest glory,” Jayakumar says. As everyday is a new challenge, he tries to discover a Simba in him each day. He does not watch the movie daily but each time he watches the scene where Rafiki makes Simba realise his true self, he remembers his own mentor guiding him at the beginning of his career. “For an art form to have such resounding influence on people’s lives makes me more of a believer in the profession I am; and absolutely proud of it.”
- Rajiv Chilaka: “I connect to Donald Duck in a way”
Green Gold Animation founder and Chhota Bheem creator Rajiv Chilaka can connect to the character of Donald Duck. He loves the character because it is not always rising and shining. “It has to go through a struggle,” Chilaka explains. He followed the series when it was broadcasted on Indian television and had also read its comics. “Shows such as these have inspired me to create Indian IPs,” he reveals, speaking of how these shows had always been at the back of his mind while working on IPs.
- Kavitha Jaubin: “I now watch Heidi with my son”
Sun TV Network head of content acquisition and kids channels Kavitha Jaubin feels that Heidi – a cute little curious girl from the Japanese animated series Heidi, Girl of the Alps – teaches the values of friendship and mutual help. “Like a ray of sunshine, Heidi lights up and soothes the hearts of people around her, inspiring them with her enthusiastic, generous and wonderful zest for life,” Jaubin exclaims. “The substance of a real heroine, Heidi goes through life in the present without ever losing her innocence and her free-spirited manners.” Jaubin still watches Heidi and enjoys the best parts. “I had been watching this from my childhood days along with my sister, and now watching with my son,” she shares, explaining how the memories it holds are garden-fresh and make her want to travel to the Alps once in her lifetime.
- Milind Shinde: “Minions are a fantastic example of animation”
EightyEight Pictures founder and CEO Milind Shinde’s favourite characters are Minions from Despicable Me. According to him, they are a fantastic example of what animation can do to an unimaginable object- put characteristics in that they become a part of your life. “Who would have thought that a round object without a language or specific characteristics could become so famous,” Shinde exclaims. That’s what animation is all about, he feels. “You can have a goose as father of a panda (Kung Fu Panda), a giraffe falling in love with a hippo (Madagascar), a dog adopting a human boy (Mr. Peabody & Sherman) and a mouse becoming a chef (Ratatouille). All this can only happen in animation.” These creations inspire him to create animated content, “and needless to say, Siddhie, my business partner and wife has all of them in her showcase!”
- Anu Sikka: “Shaun and his friends are adorable”
Viacom 18 programming head & Nickelodeon programming director Anu Sikka’s favourite animated character is Shaun from the British animated series, Shaun the Sheep. “I think that the characters are adorable and the humor is brilliant,” Sikka highlights. She has watched most of the episodes but unfortunately cannot follow it daily.
These industry heads no doubt continue to feel inspired and connected by these animated characters despite their busy lives. We will bring more such articles in future. Stay in touch with us!