Chennai emerges as new Animation Hub

Despite several inequities and challenges, Chennai is emerging as a seedbed for the animation industry with great success stories.

Mr Muralidharan, chief technology officer, Accel Animation Studios, says, "The current scenario is very encouraging with the increasing demand in domestic as well as outsourced service work from leading producers. It indicates the indu-stry is growing at a very fast pace in Chennai."

Accel Animation is currently working on 3D animated episodes for preschool children Raju the Autorickshaw for a Canadian producer Kahani World. The company has just completed a 40 minute visual effect and 3D character animation for a Hindi feature film Friends For Ever which is expected to hit the screens by September 2007.

Mr Muralidharan added that the company is also working on a 3D animated movie South India Fables based on Thirukkural for a global audience. The first one-hour show of 12 hours will be ready for distribution by October 2007.

According to Ms Elizabeth Koshy, CEO, Animation Dimensions, who was in Chennai recently, "Chennai is seen as a serious animation hub." She has plans lined up for a training academy here and in Trivandrum, Kerala for flash animation.

She is currently working on four animated film projects to be released over the next five years. These films include a feature film called Aiyyaiyyo Balle Balle and Mighty Babies, for the Indian market slated for 2008 and 2009 release. The other two films Bombay Dogs and The Sea Prince are targeted for the international audience. The movie projects will cost in the range of $48 miilion.

Sultan: The Warrior is a forthcoming animated Tamil film starring Rajnikanth; the lead animated character is built around him and voiced by him.

The film is slated to be released in 2008. The film is produced by Adlabs (in association with Ocher Studios) and directed by Soundarya Rajnikanth, Rajnikanth's daughter.

This film is the first ever full-length animated Tamil film.

Animation of the film is to be done by a Chennai-based animation studio, alongwith international specialists. The film is set to be released in multiple languages including Telgu, Hindi and English. The soundtrack for the film is being composed by A.R. Rahman.

The film features Rajnikanth as a mythological super hero.


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