This Janmashtmi, India’s No 1 Kids channel Cartoon Network is premiering PMI Green Gold Animation Pvt Ltd’s Krishna: The Birth, a 2D animated feature (75 minutes) which revolves around the birth of Lord Krishna. The feature airs on CN on August 16 at 2.00 pm.
Krishna:The Birth is Cartoon Network’s second accquisition from Green Gold, the first being Vikram Betaal (2D Animation 80 minutes) which was rated the no.3 Program across all channels (TAM 4-14 YEARS C&S ALL SEC, ALL INDIA) when it was premiered in 2005.
The feature is part of a four-part series acquired by Cartoon Network, detailing the life of Lord Vishnu as Krishna on Earth. The four parts of the Krishna series would cover the birth of Krishna, Krishna’s Childhood, Krishna’s Teenage, and Krishna killing Kansa.
Anshuman Misra, Managing Director, Turner International India Pvt. Ltd., said, “We are extremely enthused by the response of our audience to local animations acquired and telecast by Cartoon Network over the years. Airing locally produced shows is one of the cornerstones of the Network’s localisation strategy and helps us contextualise the content for our Indian audiences. With the launch of Krishna: The Birth, the Network reiterates its promise of acquiring and showcasing over four local Indian animation products within this year itself, taking the total tally of home-grown animations acquired by Cartoon Network to twelve! I am sure that this absolutely riveting and charming animated version of the birth of Lord Krishna, will be enjoyed by both parents and children, who have grown up listening or watching this enduring tale.”
Rajiv Chilakalapudi, Managing Director, PMI Green Gold Animation Pvt. Ltd., said, “We are delighted to be working with Cartoon Network and are thrilled at getting the opportunity to animate a personality such as that of Lord Krishna. Krishna gives us the platform to showcase Green Gold’s Creative and technical strengths in Animation. Since its inception Green Gold has been focused towards the development of original intellectual animation properties with the assistance of powerful digital animation software tools while pushing the boundaries of constant innovation.”
In an exclusive comment to Animation Xpress.com Chilakalpudi added “Krishna will set a new benchmark in the Indian Animation Industry as far as quality and technicalities are concerned. It will also inspire the Indian Animation Studios to produce more Indian Animation content”
“The Deal with CN was finalized in Aug 2005, it took us almost a year to do Part I of Krishna from Pre-production stage” added Chilakalapudi.
The impact of Cartoon Network
On being asked as to what was the impact that Cartoon Network’s airing of its earlier show Vikram Betaal had for the studio, Chilakalapudi replied, The launch of Vikram Betaal on Cartoon Network has been a huge success for us. The show received great exposure on Cartoon Network and was rated amongst the top 50 kids’ shows across channels as well as the # 3 program across all channels in the launch week (19th June 2005 – 25th June 2005), reiterating the power of Cartoon Network as the best platform to showcase premium content. This coupled with the success of the show on the Home Video front inspired us to move a step further and go in for creating bigger IP products such as ‘Krishna’. Vikram Betaal has been a landmark project for Green Gold.
Tapping other revenue sources
PMI Green Gold is also launching Krishna world wide on Home Video Front through Sound Entertainment. The studio is also in the midst of exploring merchandising opportunities.
Would the features have a theatrical release? “We are contemplating on this, and we would only take a call once we have all the four features ready. However the four part series would first premier on Cartoon Network” he replied.
Production Specs for Krishna: The Birth
A 108 strong team worked on the Production of the show for about 6 months. These consisted of 1 Show Director, 2 Animation Directors, 6 Story Board Artists, 2 Character Designers, 6 Layout Artists, 6 BG Artists, 30 Animators, 40 Asst. Animators, and 8 Ink & Paint Artists and 7 Digital Compositors.
On being asked if the studio was ramping up to meet the production demands of producing four features, Chilakalapudi shared “We have already ramped up our team to meet the demand of the production. Interestingly we are also outsourcing work to other studios in order to meet the production demands”
Association with PMI
In a bid to expand its presence in the kids programming space the Hyderabad based animation studio has got into a joint venture with Mumbai based PMI which is into kids live action programming. The JV is called PMI Green Gold Animation Pvt Ltd whose first production was Krishna: The Birth.
Commenting on this association PMI Green Gold Animation Private Limited Executive Director, Ajay Patadia commented, “This is the right time to be in the kids programming space. The market for kids content in India has really opened up in last couple of years. PMI Green Gold, with the strong track record of PMI in live action and Green Gold in animation, is poised to reap the benefits of this growth. We have already lined up series of offerings both in live action and animation content”
Chilakalpudi commented, “We intend to leverage Green Gold’s animaton studio set-up and PMI’s live action production & marketing network to expand our presence in animation & live action children programming space. There’s a lot of exciting content in the pipeline”
“PMI Green Gold is currently only focused on IP projects. We are not into executing outsourced content unless it is in small quantity” shared Chilakalapudi.
Besides the four part Krishna series the studio is also working on “Chota Bheem”, “Jambhu and the sword of Hanuman”, & “Soma and Yamini”