The success of Chota Bheem
Brief history of Indian animation
The year 1974 marks an ecstasy when the Films Division of India released the first piece of animation to awe Indian audiences. An educational video- Ek Anek Aur Ekta, was done in traditional animation to bring out the idea how a country like India remains united despite inherent differences. This cartoon came almost over four decades after Mickey Mouse made its debut. At that point in time, the reason that many felt was that it was very expensive to produce anything in animation and that the best option was to import animation programs from abroad. As time went by, some animators held the view that Indians lacked scripts to make animation and that they were ok if the character didn’t have an Indian feel.
After 1974, there was not much development in making either cartoons or animation movies in India. However in 1986, Ghayab Aya premiered on Doordarshan (India’s s state television channel) as India’s first animation film. [Image link: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/6ZBqkMay0DI/maxresdefault.jpg]. This was directed and animated by the renowned animator Suddhasattwa Basu and each of the televised ten episodes showed the adventures of Ghayab, a friendly ghoul to the audience who were mostly children.
Introduction to Chota Bheem
Till the time Chota Bheem made his presence on April 06, 2008, the only option for cartoons and animations, especially for children, were Disney characters, Tom and Jerry, a few Japanese one’s etc. For those who didn’t have a TV set at home, comics like Amar Chitra Katha, Phantom, Mandrake to cite a few was the only option. The entry of cable TV saw to channels emerging at a furious pace! One such channel Pogo TV launched the first episode of Chota Bheem, a character residing in the city of Dholakpur.
He, along with his friends, were meant to protect their city from miscreants. Bheem in particular was modeled keeping in mind the character of Bheema from the Hindu epic The Mahabharata. The only difference was that this Bheema was a nine year old boy who had friends and enemies alike.
People behind Chhota Bheem
If one person has to be given credit for introducing Chhota Bheem to over 40 million Indian children, it goes to Rajiv Chilakalapudi. Rajiv is the founder and managing director of the Hyderabad based Green Gold animation. He started this company after pursuing an animation course from San Francisco. Initially his company produced TV content. Later it ventured into animated movies and cartoon. It must be said that the character of Chota Bheem was envisaged in 2003 itself. Hundreds of designs were drawn and many were rejected during the process. It was indeed painstaking until the final one that we see today was approved.
To get a better insight, the software’s that were used were Adobe Flash, Toon Boom, Flash Pipeline and Adobe AfterEffects. Apart from Chota Bheem, other characters like Kalia, Dholu-Bholu, Chutki, Raju, King Indravarma, Daku etc were also incorporated into the series. Though Pogo was the first channel to telecast this series, later on Disney and Hungama joined the bandwagon.
Rajiv is lucky to have an excellent team which assists him till this day in the making of Chota Bheem. Some members in the team include Ross Adorable (Animation director), Binayak Das (Assistant Director), Darshana and Teja (Writers), Sandeep (Post Production) and Alka Amarkant Dubey (Voice Direction).These individuals have been instrumental in making the series the most watched animated series in India not just by kids, but also by adults!
Reasons for success of Chota Bheem:
The journey of Chota Bheem to become India’s favourite animated ‘kid’ has not been easy. But Rajiv Chilakalapudi and his team are currently savouring the phenomenal success that this show has brought. The USP lies in showing what kids between the ages of 5 to 10 would love to see. This can be seen in the character design, the colourful costumes and sets that are used in each of the episodes. Apart from these, each story aims to instill moral values in the formative years of the children watching the show. The character of Chota Bheem is an epitome of values like intellect, kindness, bravery and friendliness. Other characters showcase qualities like wit, boldness, being united, sense of humour etc. All these and much more are something that any average child can relate to. Moreover, being set in India along with a catchy storyline has also ensured success of these episodes.
This series that has had over 350 episodes and run into seven seasons enthralled audiences in the Indonesian and middle East market. Due to the latter, Rajiv had directed Chota Bheem and The Throne of Bali which released in 2013. It was a box office success as it earned close to 45mn INR. It was released in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu languages. Let us hope that the upcoming Chota Bheem- Himalayan Adventure which is set at the Himalayan mountains along with a new villain Hidimbak scales new heights in Indian animation industry in days to come!
Chota Bheem has reached the hearts owing to these probable pretexts:
- The Characters– The most popular Indian cartoon characters of the day are Bheem, Chutki, Kalia, Raju, Dolu, Bholu and Jaggu. Chutki is a cute little girl who may be called the heroine of the Chota Bheem- the Hero! Raju is a bald little boy. Jaggu is an adorable monkey and Kalia is the healthy little pehlwan (wrestler), often found spying on Bheem. Dolu and Bholu are the accomplice of Kalia.
- Bheem’s favorite– Chota Bheem has typical inclination towards Laddoos (sweet balls) made by Tuntun mausi- Chutki’s mom. This is also portrayed as an instant energy booster for Bheem.
- Bonding– The characters always portray friendship, amity and unity, ignoring many differences that come across. This is a quite a message conveyed to the children about upholding the value of friends in life.
- Victory of Virtue– Bheem and his friends wins over the evil in every episode. Thus, it may be concluded that all the stories convey a message underneath to the kids that good always wins over the bad, in other words, victory of virtue.
- Moral Lessons– All the stories in Chota Bheem convey moral lessons. Hence, it wins the heart of both the kids and their guardians.
A team of animation students pursuing University degree at Animaster Academy- India’s best animation college located in Bangalore, cumulated data to bring forth this article to the readers.