‘Chintoo’s’ journey, from comic strip to the animation world

Ever wondered how the little mischievous, naughty yet cute and innocent Chintoo, who reached every Maharashtrian household through newspaper comic strip, was created? Charuhas Pandit brought Chintoo to life with his cute, simple yet appealing illustrations. Supporting him was his friend and colleague, Prabhakar Wadekar who wrote the comic strip dialogues. Pandit worked as a freelance cartoonist for Daily Sakal and is also the face behind the adorable illustrations in Balbharti textbooks while Wadekar at that time was working in advertising and circulation department of Indian Express. Both later started working together in Pandit’s advertising agency, and the love for comics created their remarkable journey towards the famous comic strip, Chintoo. The simplified way of putting forward the cartoon was thought of with the limitations in the printing media at that time. Line art was easier to reproduce and that became Chintoo’s style. It also matched the simple content which were communicated to children along with their parents and grandparents, and thus Chintoo made it to every Maharashtrian household through Daily Sakal. With things working out like a dream, the sudden demise of Wadekar shocked Pandit and he stopped putting up the strips in newspaper for months, but with the growing digitalisation and a tribute to his beloved friend, Chintoo made its way to Facebook. “The motivation behind the strips is readers’ expectations as they want something new and funny every day. We pick incidents from daily lives, twist it in a humorous way and present it to our readers,” quoted Pandit. Chintoo paid a tribute to the legendary Marathi writer, P. L. Deshpande at his sad demise. The comic strip was a challenge to be put up in the newspaper, but gained accolades. The comic strip grabbed so much fame that Shrirang Godbole, renowned writer and director approached Pandit with a film proposal. The film was a hit and soon got a sequel. “On the first day of shoot we saw all the characters of Chintoo strip; Chintoo, Mini, Pappu, Baglya, Raju, Sonu in their typical character dresses roaming around. It was great experience and out of the world feeling of having characters created by you, playing around you…live!” Pandit exclaimed. With Wadekar and Pandit’s dreams being fulfilled one by one, Chintoo is firmly rooting in the animation industry with the newly launched series on YouTube. The channel covers more than 40 shorts of approximately a minute each. The video comic seems exactly the same in animation as in the strips, maintaining the simplistic soul of the original cartoon strip.
The many digital platforms and social media help in flourishing the animation series. With a talented team and rigorous team work, Chintoo is brought in action at Pune’s Aroh Media under the guidance of Abhijit Nene and Amit Dhamdhere. Currently the focus is on Maharashtrian audience, and establishing ‘Chintoo’ on Marathi TV channel is the aim, but there sure are plans to go beyond the territories in future and make it available in other languages too. Pandit concludes with an encouraging note to the budding artists, “Do your work with passion and the future is yours!”