WHERE THE FUTURE OF ASIA’S
ENTERTAINMENT CONTENT IS SHAPED

How Mighty it’s Been

13 Nov 2018

How Mighty it’s Been

Success upon success; there’s no stopping Green Gold Animation

By Lulu SV Mendoza


We all know by hard that with great power comes great responsibility.

Whether Voltaire or Spiderman, the relationship between ascendancy and obligation is one that Rajiv Chilaka, Founder and CEO of India’s biggest animation success, knows all too well.

“The responsibility to create someone that positively affects the children is not new for us,” said Rajiv. “We have always made an effort to create stories and situations that teach children the values of friendship, family and helping others in need.”

In fact, Green Gold Animation’s beloved Chhota Bheem and his friends are said to have been designed such that they can be an inspiration to someone.

“With the new extended reach, the only added responsibility would be to (find synergies with) the culture of new audiences and provide an offering that cuts across territories,” said Rajiv, seeing how once Mighty Little Bheem starts streaming on Netflix soon, the adorable and affable character will extend its reach to over 190 countries. This, in addition to Chhota Bheem being on air across Southeast Asia for some time now.

“The response of the audiences of Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand has been extremely heart-warming and encouraging,” noted Rajiv.

The Expanding Universe of Chhota Bheem
Despite astounding successes after successes, Rajiv feels that as a studio, Green Gold Animation believes that their journey has only just begun. Indeed, looking at pure numbers, every time Green Gold Animation creates content that is fresh, engaging and at the forefront of technology, it becomes an accomplishment. It is no wonder that Chhota Bheem is very close to the hearts and mind of Rajiv and all those who have had a personal hand in nurturing this delight.

“That said, we have made a conscious effort to balance our efforts between extending the Chhota Bheem universe and the creation of new IPs,” Rajiv offered. “Kalari Kids, currently on Amazon Prime, is something that is a product of this and we are working on many more.

“Even for Bheem, our efforts have been to constantly produce fresh avatars. Mighty Little Bheem, India’s first Netflix original animated show, is a completely new concept, as well as format.

“We also have a new movie,” boasted Rajiv “Chhota Bheem KungFu Dhamaka, with a brand new storyline, improved technology and with a host of new characters, is up for release by the year end.

“Every opportunity to collaborate with creators across the world is a way of bettering ourselves, gaining exposure, creating new IPs and furthering the animation industry,” explained Rajiv. “When Gaston Goreli shared his idea and the character sketches for Escape to India, I immediately fell in love with the project. We felt emotionally connected with the storyline, and more importantly, we loved all the talent involved in Underdogs. It just felt right.”

Escape to India is a 3D animated musical comedy, on which Green Gold Animation will co-produce alongside Gastón Gorali of Argentina’s Mundoloco, who’s producing his first feature. (Underdogs is the 2013 animated feature directed by Mundoloco co-founder Juan José Campanella.)

Green Gold Animation’s honest successes has given them a certain astuteness on animation in Asia today. Another first, Green Gold Animation held its inaugural ATF Animation Pitch last year.

“It was amply visible from the entries during last year’s Animation Pitch that today in India, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea have become an integral part of the animation ecosystem with more and more IPs being created in Asia.

“The Asian animation industry has become decentralized and the studios have moved on to being content creators rather than just being curators. This augurs very well for the Asian industry,” Rajiv observed.

It is more fact than opinion that South and Southeast Asia have been major contributors to the animation industry. Offshore animation projects have helped nurture and grow the industry here and Rajiv has always believed that they hold the capability to create great IPs.

“This belief has been bolstered post ATF 2017, where we were privileged to witness the work of brilliant creators and studios,” remarked Rajiv.

In fact, Rajiv has always believed that Asians are making steady progress. “The want to be a creator is inherent in all of us. We should all believe in our creations and keep striving to better ourselves and contribute to our industry.”

Beyond Mere Numbers
“I am already in love with Mighty Little Bheem, who is all set to walk into the lives of children all over the world very soon on Netflix,” Rajiv declared openly.

So it is not surprising that for this rather low-keyed, deep thinker CEO, Chhota Bheem has never been about the numbers or the scale. “The numbers are just indicative of the love he (Mighty Little Bheem) has managed to garner.

“We do take pride in the fact that Chhota Bheem has won millions of hearts across the country and has been accepted by audiences beyond India as well,” Rajiv affirmed, with Chhota Bheem being an integral part of millions of households in India today.

“The immense love and the acceptance that Chhota Bheem has been showered with from our audience have been humbling. We wanted to create a character that was rooted in its native culture and also be somebody that children could take inspiration from.

“The focus of the our storytelling has always been equally distributed between fun and adventure, while laying emphasis on the values and importance of friendship, family and being a good human being. Those are values that every parent wants their child to learn growing up.”

And the future?

“I believe the next movement in animation will be brought upon by technology. The way we consume content is changing. With new modes of communication, the challenge will lie in adapting to these as effectively as we do now.

“AR and VR are already changing the consumption landscape and this is just the beginning. Animation will have a huge role to play in the adaptation of the next generation of communication in the coming years,” concluded Rajiv.

Check out this year’s ATF Animation Pitch 2018 and catch Rajiv live.
Register now!

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