Review: ‘Chhota Bheem: Kung Fu Dhamaka’ raises the bar of Indian Animation

Created by Green Gold Animation founder and CEO Rajiv Chilaka, Chhota Bheem, has ruled the hearts of kids since its inception in 2008. Turning 11 this May, the animated character, still holds a special place in the hearts of the audience with its simplicity, charm, storytelling and local flavour. The phenomenon that Chhota Bheem has become, is sure to go a notch higher, given its latest 3D stereoscopic version- Chhota Bheem: Kung Fu Dhamaka is a sheer delight on screen which has set the bar of Indian animation at a higher level, from now. Kung Fu Dhamaka finds Bheem donning a new avatar with some killer Kung Fu moves, to fight against the evil Zuhu to rescue Kia, daughter of the emperor of China. It is the first native 3D stereoscopic theatrical feature that is filled with instances of the rich Indian culture and moral values. Produced by Green Gold Animation and distributed by Yash Raj Films across the country today, the film is undoubtedly at par with international projects in terms of animation, CG works and VFX. The entire 3D animation, look and feel for the movie, including the final coloured CGI output, has been generated using Autodesk’s flagship software Maya. Green Gold’s animation wing in Mumbai, Golden Robot Animation, has done a fantastic job with the animation techniques, characters, fight and chase sequences, setting the mood of the film and various shots representing different geographies and landscapes, which has taken the finesse of storytelling to the next level. Technology blended with expertise of the entire creative team has helped in infusing excitement, adrenaline rush and adventure into the fans of Bheem and animation admirers, providing a base for the various action scenes. The software has helped the makers to match global standards of animation where the directors were able to achieve the required effects of depth even at a greyscale animation level. Apart from the stunning animation and VFX, the character sketches and character developments are also given equal emphasis. There are quite a number of sequences that deserve attention and appreciation. For instance, Bheem’s introspection while he travels into the woods alone to find answers to some crucial questions. Even his friends’ character evolution is prominent and each of them has their own unique understanding and contribution to the entire journey. The quest motif also parallels with one’s spiritual journey from innocence to experience and attaining victory by overcoming the obstacles on the way. The fight sequences deserve special and separate mention, as such scenes are a rare sight in the canvas of Indian animation executed with such brilliance. Bheem is at his best when it comes to maintaining friendship, indomitable spirit and pursuing knowledge. The message Kung Fu Dhamaka spreads in the end is important, for it urges kids (the movie’s primary target audience) to do good without expecting a reward. The music is peppy and will appeal to kids with good sound effects and background score. The second half seems a little stretched  Indian Animation is making its presence felt with amazing work created in the arena by setting the standard/expectations high for the coming days and Kung Fu Dhamaka surely will have a role to play in this contribution.