2020 was a year full of highs and lows, owing to the global outbreak of Coronavirus that brought the world in front of unseen, unexpected situations. Everything witnessed a halt with the imposition of lockdown to contain the monstrous spread.
While working infrastructures, education patterns and other aspects changed radically, homebound people including the young ones across the globe fell back on entertainment and content to temporarily escape this scary reality.
Despite innumerable challenges faced due to changed infrastructure, adjusting to ‘work from home’ set up, internet and other shortcomings, transportation problem and other factors, kids broadcasters managed to pull off a brilliant show throughout the year with not only new episodes and TV movies of existing shows, but also launching brand new IPs and series.
A look back at all the new shows launched in 2020 :
Viacom18 owned Nickelodeon remained the category leaders for the sixth consecutive year with 40 per cent growth in FY 19-20. The kids channel launched two indegenous IPs in 2020 – Ting Tong (from Cosmos Maya) and Pinaki & Happy: The Bhoot Bandhus (from Tavrohi Animations).
Ting Tong is a spin-off created around a character named Ting Tong from the popular Nickelodeon original series- Gattu Battu. The show revolves around the daily adventures of a fun and lovable character who suffers from regular and temporary loss of memory, each time transforming into the character (person or animal) he sees before him. Ting Tong along with his adorable pet and companion Meeru and the local goons Single Dose and Double Dose set the stage for a laugh riot in this comic caper.
Pinaki & Happy: The Bhoot Bandhus portrays an unusual family of ghosts, who adopt a boy, the titular character, Pinaki, and raise him as one of their own. Fun and chaos ensues when both the worlds collide. The high-octane comedy combined with some ‘Bhootbaazi’ will take the viewers on a laughter ride with mysterious and hilarious stories of Pinaki and Happy. The show will illustrate daily adventures, familial love, friendship of Pinaki and Happy as the fun unfolds when the ‘bhoot world meets the real world’.
POGO and Cartoon Network :
2020 has been really exciting for both Cartoon Network and POGO in India. The company launched Titoo – Har Jawaab Ka Sawaal Hu (from Cosmos Maya) and Smashing Simmba (from Reliance Animation) on POGO, and Bandbudh aur Budbak (from Paper Boat Animation)on Cartoon Network, which has received phenomenal response from the target audience.
In fact, Titoo, has become one of the most successful launches ever in the kids’ genre in 2020 and is currently #2 in the entire kids’ genre in terms of average yield.
WarnerMedia also introduced international fan-favourite, The Tom and Jerry Show, with an Indian ‘tadka’ in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu commentaries on Cartoon Network in late 2020.
Titoo follows the daily escapades of an eight-year-old Titoo, who’s a good-hearted, intelligent boy. He loves to help everyone, but inadvertently manages to bring in more trouble. He is typically Indian yet wildly eccentric, including his parents, his loving and protective brother and a faithful gang of friends, all with unique, quirky personalities.
Smashing Simmba follows the hilarious cavorts of the quick-witted, mischievous, and fearless teenager, Simmba, who aspires to be a police officer. A fun-loving prankster with endless tricks up his sleeve, he spends the better part of his days nabbing villains and miscreants. Thick as thieves with his friends Ricky and Kittu Khabari, Simmba finds himself on exciting adventures which perfectly represent his catchphrase, ‘Mind is Blowing’. Rarely perturbed by any situation or threat, swag is Simmba’s middle name. His tongue is his greatest weapon, spinning a web of words that confounds the bad guys. One final move – the infallible ‘Jumpy Chumpy’ – and the villains don’t stand a chance. The brave and supercool Simmba defeats the bad guys and leaves his mark – literally! – goes the synopsis.
Sony YAY! :
The Sony Pictures Networks owned kids channel experienced a 20 per cent surge in viewership during lockdown majorly owing to new episodes of feline slapstick comedy, Honey Bunny Ka Jholmaal (from Wackytoon Studio) and ghost comedy Paap-O-Meter. Apart from this, the channel launched another animated comedy, Pyaar Mohabbat Happy Lucky.
It also forayed into the mythological narrative by launching a new animated show, Krishna Balram. This was added by 15 tele movies on/around Honey Bunny and a few on/around Paap-O-Meter.
Pyaar Mohabbat Happy Lucky is a hilarious chase comedy that offers kids an epic mischief-filled ride with the lead characters Happy and Lucky. Happy and Lucky have impeccable comic timing and witty comebacks. The neighbours who believe in giving each other a taste of their own medicine, through their daily mischief against each other, leaving the audience in splits.
Along with the mischievous duo, kids also witness the funny banter with their friends – Bunty, the Bull and Pappu, who live with them in the countryside. Together they have an engaging comedy of errors.
Krishna Balram depicts enchanting narratives of friendship between Krishna and his elder brother Balram, bringing endearing tales of Lord Krishna, depicting his life and journey through – Krishna the Birth, Krishna Makhan Chor, Krishna in Vrindavan and Krishna Kansa Vadh.
Disney India :
Disney India brought in 100 hours of curated content to entertain homebound kids during the pandemic. The line-up consisted of new stories in addition to their existing favourites across all the channels, including Disney Channel, Hungama TV and others.
Disney acquired three homegrown animated shows – Guddu, Bapu and Gadget Guru Ganesha from Cosmos Maya. All three shows presently air on Disney Channel. The company also took up Supa Strikas from Moonbug, which launched on Hungama on 21 December 2020.
Guddu is a 3D animated show that’s centered around a circus lion and his adventures with his friends. It is high on drama and stands true to his catch phrase – “Guddu hain mera naam…Entertainment hain mera kaam.” With dramatic and hilarious dialogues and songs and dance, Guddu has a bollywood essence in it.
Bapu is based on Mahatma Gandhi and his principles in the contemporary time, created for kids to understand and realise the father of the nation’s teachings and contributions. The show has been very successful and is scheduled for a second season.
Gadget Guru Ganesha on the other hand is a slice of life buddy comedy set in a quintessential Indian family and beautifully encapsulates the nuances of Indian culture in an entertaining format. It features a soft toy Ganesha and his innovative gadgets. It is a slice-of-life series full of fun and adventures of kids, friends and family with their Gadget Guru.
Following the success of the existing series, Supa Strikas is now available on Indian television. With a narrative that follows a leading football team as they journey across the globe and outer space, the series will take the young viewers through the behind the scenes at the world’s greatest soccer club who are on a quest to win the prized Super League trophy.