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Another superhero

Await an endearing animation series on Garuda that clubs mythology with fiction



Made in IndiaGaruda takes flight and gets a new friend

Stories culled from Indian mythology, tweaked with a good dose of creative, fictional storytelling is the recipe for good TRPs. A series like “Chotta Bheem”, created by Hyderabad-based Green Gold Animation, has proved that.

Another Hyderabad firm is positive of capturing children's attention with a forthcoming series on Garuda. Currently being developed by Rudra Matsa Entertainment, the series will present the life of Garuda from childhood, when he breaks the egg shell to enter the world, discovering how and why he is ‘different'.

The series will show Garuda as a child coming to terms with his uniqueness, trying to decipher if he is one among the birds and his first attempt to take flight that ends in a crash landing. The story of Garuda, not often elaborated in comic books, is being developed as a full-fledged cartoon animation series.

The twist in the tale comes with the addition of a new character, a tiger cub that befriends baby Garuda and stands by him through thick and thin. The animation process adopts the popular Japanese ‘anime' technique, explains Rudra Matsa, CEO, RME Pvt Ltd., as against the American style of animation. “Children these days reject content that is not appealing, intelligent and engaging. Anime style attracts kids much better, for example the ‘Pokemon' series, and suits action-based storylines. The anime process enables the characters to express emotions better,” he adds. The script-to-screen process is handled by the organisation's offices in Hyderabad and Manila.

“The animation industry in India has come a long way in the past decade. From being a 100 per cent service driven industry handling outsourced projects, it's a 60:40 equation now with at least 40 per cent of development of IP (intellectual property),” says Rudra. He cites that many firms earlier refrained from developing their own creative content since the returns were slow. “Today, more organisations make an attempt. Not having dedicated indigenous television channels or online networks for Indian content is also a deterrent. International channels telecast here take their work seriously. It is important for Indian content providers and channels also to realise that a lot of thought has to go into creating content for children. In addition, we don't have the video on demand facility through the Internet in India whereby people can view the episodes by paying a fee,” he adds.

It took the RME team four months to develop the prototype for Garuda. An intensive storyboard process, sketching, colouring and animation process followed.

“The idea is to explore the story at three levels — Garuda as a child which will appeal to young children, Garuda as an eight-year-old learning his background and discovering the world, and Garuda as a young adult and his interaction with Lord Vishnu in heaven. The last stage will lend itself to a lot of creative animation possibilities,” explains Rudra. The firm is in the process of inking a deal with a leading cartoon channel to telecast the series.

SANGEETHA DEVI DUNDOO

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