KAM Summit ‘21: An expert panel speaks on ‘Animation Beyond Kids’

We have probably been told cartoons and animations are just for kids, but today the scenario has changed. Animation is not limited to any particular field. It is used in all the corners of entertainment; right from films, cartoons, advertisements, businesses and much more. To break the myth that animation is not just for kids, KAM Summit 2021 put together a panel on Animation Beyond Kids panel.

The speakers of the session were Tavrohi Animations and Script to Screen Films CEO Colonel Rohit Kataria (Retd), Blink Pictures director and producer Indrajit Nattoji, Animation filmmaker Debjyoti Saha and Ghost Animation & Otter Studios co-founder Upamanyu Bhattacharyya and it was moderated by Climb Media founder and director Kireet Khurana.

“When it comes to animation, it is easier to grasp the imagination of a five or six year old kid. For adults, it might seem a bit far away from reality. As long as there is acceptance for animated content aimed at adults, then only we’ll be able to see more and more content on OTT and digital media platforms,” said Debjyoti Saha.

“As a filmmaker, I choose a medium to tell my story. There is no particular answer to what adults would like. If I think animation is required for that particular story, I will use it. Animation is a medium, not a genre. There has to be empathy, it has to resonate. If that happens, it works. Animation is an art,” added Indrajit Nattoji.

Gone are the days when adults didn’t understand the appeal of animation, and they felt the need to accost others for liking it. Nowadays, adults watch cartoons even without kids who belong to a more fitting age-group to watch that particular piece of animated content. Be it Disney and Pixar movies, anime or anything on Cartoon Network, adults equally enjoy them all. Infact, shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy are appreciated and that has got nothing to do with adult jokes in them.

“Animation is primarily considered for kids because of our perception. But, I feel adults love animation as much as kids do. We only have to present it in that manner. Adult animation has a place. It’s coming of age. It should not be always considered crass or edgy. We are aiming for animated movies for kids, adults, and families. While the kids will enjoy the visuals, the adults should be able to enjoy the deeper meanings. We currently have IPs too in the making. I feel war films are ideal for animation, especially when you show weapons and other equipments,” said Rohit Kataria.

Plenty of animation is not childish at all. The reason why it often gets dismissed as infantile is that many viewers simply have never been exposed to animated films for adults which discuss serious matters such as politics or the environment. This entails limitless possibilities when it comes to animation’s educational potential. It can be used to efficiently introduce challenging topics; teachers can rely on animation to make their classes more attractive and to explain various problems in a visually compelling way.

“From an independent animation point of view, I don’t think we segregate content for the kids and adults in our minds. That thought is not running on our minds while making an animation project,” said Upamanyu Bhattacharya. When inquired about his new project, Heirloom, he mentioned, “My next project/film is in it’s pre-production stage. The budget is kind of on the lower side when compared to a large live-action film. The first teaser came out in June at the Annecy festival. We had a lot of character designers and stop-motion artists work on it.” 

While Kireet Khurana started off the session by saying, “It doesn’t seem like too many people have cracked the formula when it comes to using animation beyond kids,” he happily concluded by saying, “It is very exciting to see that adult animation is coming of age in India. Thanks to you guys for being the torch-bearers.”

You can watch the session here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMowB29Sxz0 from 37:51