(Posted on 11 June, 04.30 pm)
(Updated on 12 June, 05.00 pm)
MUMBAI: Indian is slowly but steadily waking up to animation films. After the likes of Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, Adlabs Films and Pritish Nandy Communications having announced their intentions of making animation movies, now the Big Daddy of the Indian film industry – Yash Raj Films has ventured into the same.
The company has inked a joint venture with media conglomerate Walt Disney Studios to create a series of original computer-animated feature films. The first of these will be called Roadside Romeo and will have voiceovers by Indian actors namely Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Jaaved Jaaferi.
The film, to be written and directed by Jugal Hansraj and produced by Aditya Chopra, will utilize state-of-the-art computer animation technology done entirely in India by TATA Elxsi (VCL).
Roadside Romeo will have music by Salim-Sulaiman and lyrics by Jaideep Sahni. Each film under this alliance will be creatively overseen by Aditya Chopra and worked on with an array of local talent. The first film to be co-produced in this alliance – Roadside Romeo – will release next year.
The announcement was made by YRF chairman Yash Chopra and The Walt Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook. The collaboration marks the first time for both companies to enter a co-production to produce films in India.
YRF and Walt Disney Studios will work exclusively to co-produce a series of animation films in the Indian language. Both companies will be equal partners in the venture and will contribute creative, technical and financial support to the project.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When YRF decided to venture into the animation space, we felt that an alliance with Disney Studios, the leader in animation, represented the coming together of not just two organizations, but the teaming up of like-minded individuals committed to creating excellent products. Both companies not only have a common quest for excellence but also the same culture and traditions,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Chopra.
Cook added, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Animation is a new and rapidly expanding area in India, and the collaboration between Disney and YRF will bring the very best in story-telling and cutting edge technology together as we make wonderful films that appeal to the entire family.Ã¢â‚¬Â
YRF sprinkled a good dose of animation in their hit film Hum Tum starring Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerji and the same was also seen in their recent flick Ta Ra Rum Pum starring the same lead pair. Interestingly, in Ta Ra Rum Pum the protagonists are shown visiting a Disney store in New York to celebrate their child’s birthday.
As is already known Disney has shown active interest in the Indian media scenario ever since it launched its two television channels – Disney Channel and Toon Disney in India a few years back with Rajat Jain as the managing director. Last year, the company bought out UTV Software Communications’ kids channel Hungama for $30.5 million and also picked up a 14.9 per cent stake in the company for $14 million.