Ponnivala 680

Continuing our series of weekly columns that survey films, television and trends in the Indian animation industry. These stores are mainly culled from the Indian trade journal Animation Xpress - and these (below) represent material for second half of January 2014. 

January 16.  "The Legend of Ponnivala to Air in India on Thanti TV Network."

Most of the news in Animation Xpress is about animation in northwestern India in the Hindi-speaking region.  This features the Tamil-speaking region in India’s southeast.

"Animated series The Legend of Ponnivala, a 26 episode series created by The Sophia Hilton Foundation of Canada and Soft Science Associates, that tells the story of the epic South Indian heroes Ponnar and Shankar is all set to air in Tamilnadu.

This announcement is coming in from the official website of this series, 'The Sophia Hilton Foundation of Canada is very excited to announce that The Legend of Ponnivala will soon be on the air again, this time in Tamilnadu on the Thanthi TV network!'

Adds more 'This is a very exciting announcement, as we have been working hard to have the series come to televisions around the world, and especially in India where the story originates. Thanthi TV will be showing the series on Sundays across their viewing area and in streaming video online.'  

"The Legend of Ponnivala was previously seen only as a feature film in select international settings. One extended excerpt received a nomination for Best Animated Film (Home Video) at the 2012 FICCI BAF Awards in India. Another extract was a featured presentation at the MOSAIC International South Asian Film Festival in Mississauga, Ontario.

"As this news is still very new, we don’t have all the scheduling details worked out. Keep checking your email though, as we’ll make sure you’re the first to know when the series can be seen in your area!' The Team Concludes"

Judging by the trailers on the website of The Legend of Ponnivala, I suspect that, despite what it says about being a conscious choice, animation in the Tamil-speaking southeast is behind the Hindi-speaking northwest.  But it is still of considerable interest.


January 16.  Cartoon Network & POGO To Launch New shows, Movies and Contests.

Turner International India is pulling out all the stops to continue its reign in 2014 in the kids' genre with new content, magnanimous contests and ultimate entertainment on POGO and Cartoon Network! Kids are in for an unbridled dose of humour, adventure and excitement with new and popular characters!

POGO has a new superhero this year who is cute, funny, naughty and haughty. Catch the adventures of Obochama Kun, a brand new series every Monday to Friday at 12pm on POGO.In addition to celebrating Republic Day, POGO is also premiering a new movie called Chhota Bheem - Neeli Pahaadi at 12pm! Kids can also win exciting merchandise by participating in the Republic Day contest from January 20-26 every day from 10am onwards only on POGO. Also tune in to the Chhota Bheem Film Festival on POGO from January 15 to 25every day at 5pm for back-to-back movies.

Chotta Bheem

On the other hand , Cartoon Network,Tune-in to special Roll No. 21 and Oggy and the Cockroaches episodes on Republic Day!  Adding to it, every half an hour kids will get a chance to win exciting prizes on the Republic Day weekend. All they have to do is tune in to Cartoon Network from 12pm onwards on January 25 & 26, 2014 to win the treasured prizes. Be ready to enjoy Fridays like never before with Oggy's Fun Friday. Get a chance to win a fun day out with your friends at the movies, shop till you drop, eat out with your friends and many more prizes including exclusive Cartoon Network merchandise.

All kids have to do is tune-in to Cartoon Network every Friday throughout the month from 1pm onwards and answer the simple game based questions!

"Every year we aim to bring shows and characters that captivate and entertain children. This year as well, we have an exciting blend of new and popular shows, movies and franchises coupled with engaging contests  and online activations that is sure resonate with kids. We are thrilled to be the genre leader in 2013 and will make every stride to ensure the same in 2014." concludes Krishna Desai, Sr. Director & Network Head - Kids, South Asia, Turner International India Pvt. Ltd.

January 17.  Studio Dreamcatcher Creates Animated Signature Film for Small Town Cinema.

Studio Dreamcatcher has created 2D Animated Signature Film for a movie production company titled Small Town Cinema. The short was released with a Malayalam movie named Ezhu Sundara Rathrikal, which is produced by Small Town.

AnimationXpress.com had a conversation with Roshan K, Director of this short to know about the approach that he went with to create the film.

Please tell me more about the studio and the services that Dreamcatcher offers?

Roshan K, the director of the short, said: 'Previously we were known as Dragonmill Studio, and we started out in Bangalore in 2010. Before that we were just a three member (Kishore, Sinu and I) creative brotherhood known as Libera Artisti. The name change is part of an expansion plan. A six member creative board (of which the three of us are a part) currently head the studio. We have forty-three artists working at Dreamcatcher and execute everything related to 2D Animation, starting from concept generation and pre-production to compositing and final editing for animated films

What is this short all about and how did this project happen?

This 30 seconds animated short was designed as part of their branding for production company Small Town Cinema. This project came to me on my freelancing break with Nirvana Films and kept on hold before I joined Studio Dreamcatcher. It was felt like huge project for me to take up but with the wonderful support from the team, it came out better than how I visualized the movie."

It took about a month to create the 30-second short.  

Can we have a credit run down?

Client: Small Town Cinema

Director: Roshan.k

Line Producer: Ansal Rahiman A A

Animation Director: Abhilash Narayanan

Storyboarding: Anoop Sreeli

Animation Supervisor: Sumesh K

Key Backgrounds: Shajeer S

Layouts: Nikhil C, Sandeep R

Backgrounds: Suneesh S, Sreeshan R S

Animators :Saji V, Sujith P T, Robin R, Biju T K, Binoy V, Subramaniyan P, Sandeep R, Anoop Sreedharan

Compositing and VFX : Praveen Stanley Johnson, Subin T L

Compositors: Priya Sajith, Kiran B

Edit: Ansal Rahiman A A

Sound Design: Nixon George & Rajeesh K R

There is much more, but the short speaks for itself.

January 21.  HopMotion’s Animated Web Show Modern Activity’s Second Teaser Launch (Exclusive).

HopMotion Animation in Mumbai is set to launch its second teaser of their Animated Web Show, Modern Activity.  The very first teaser of the show was launched at the Mumbai Films and Comics Convention.

Written by Anish Patel, Carmen Zainabadi and Aarsh Vora, the web show is set to hit YouTube in the first week of February.

From the interview with Anish Patel on Animation Xpress, Modern Activity is apparently an Internet animated cartoon about four juvenile delinquents who humorously destroy their high school.

What is Modern Activity all about?

Modern Activity is a 1st of its kind web show about the crazy capers of four of the brattiest and the most outlandish fifth standard students you’ll ever find with a simple aim in life, to turn their school "Modern Activity" upside down. Each episode is totally wild and uncensored and has guest appearances by many controversial personalities. At present we are in the production stages of this series.  […]  In all likelihood we’ve all come across each of these in our own school, the black listers, back benchers, the ruffians that were every teacher’s nightmare. Savio Miranda, Burges Gyara, Naim Kajalwalla and Kartik Mehta represent those infamous few. The characters are typically Bombay brats. Savio Miranda is the street smart, motor mouth, prankster from Bandra, Burges Gyara is the bun maska loving a cat bawaji from Mazgaon. There isa clever business minded Gujju Kartik Mehta from Walkeshwar and the numb knuckle Naim Kajalwalla from Dockyard Road. And all of them make up the terror brigade of standard five in a south Mumbai high school called Modern Activity.

Er.  I won’t pretend to know what a "bun maska loving a cat bawaji" is.  This animated web show seems aimed at every highschooler who has dreamed of running amok and destroying his/her high school with rocket launchers, bombs, jackhammers, machetes, and the like.  Check out the two teasers - Animation Xpress has both of them.

And what's next after Modern Activity?

We will be coming out with a new web show every quarter. Next quarter we will be launching our next animated show titled The SoBo Snob. It follows the funny ramblings of a snooty South Bombay dude who looks down upon everything beyond the worli see link. And also we are working towards developing an animated series for Indian television.  Worli see?  Oh, never mind.

January 21.  Square Enix Announces Free 'Spira's Summoner' content with Lighting Returns FINAL FANTASY XIII.

That’s Lightning, not Lighting.  "Starting today, Amazon pre-order customers will receive free Spira's Summoner content for download, uniting two of FINAL FANTASY's leading female characters by equipping Lightning with Yuna’s iconic outfit, staff and victory pose from FINAL FANTASY X.

The Spira's Summoner DLC is available free exclusively via Amazon pre-order and will be available to purchase for other customers later this year.

LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII will be available for the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, for digital download on the PlayStation Network, and on the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft on February 11, 2014.