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Animation: 'Chhota Bheem' comes to the U.S.

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'Chhota Bheem and the Throne of Bali' poster On January 18, the 130-minute Indian animated feature Chhota Bheem and the Throne of Bali came to five Big Cinemas theaters in the U.S.:

  • Peachtree Theatre, 6135 Peachtree Parkway, Norcross, Georgia 30092 (Atlanta)
  • Golf Glen Stadium, 9180 West Niles Road, Niles, Illinois 60714 (Chicago)
  • Dos Lagos Stadium, 2710 Lakeshore Drive, Corona, California 92883 (Los Angeles-San Diego)
  • Movie City 8, 1655 Oak Tree Road, Edison, New Jersey 08820 (NYC)
  • Big Cinemas Fremont 7, 39160 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont, California 94538 (San Francisco)

The notice does not say how long it is playing at each, but probably for one week, so you should have time to see it if you hurry. The news also does not say whether it is dubbed or subtitled in English; it was dubbed in Hindi for its Indian theatrical release last year.

Chhota Bheem, produced by Green Gold Studios in Hyderabad, was created in 2009, and has become tremendously popular with preadolescent children throughout India (especially in the Hindi-speaking northwest) in comic books, a TV animated program and TV movies (in limited Flash animation), and two Summer theatrical features in full animation, Chhota Bheem and the Curse of Damyaan in 2012, and Chhota Bheem and the Throne of Bali on May 3, 2013. The Green Gold online store has DVDs of both features and over 120 TV cartoons; the TV cartoons are in both English and Hindi at ₹ 149 each, and the two theatrical features are in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu at ₹ 199 each. (International shipping probably not included. The Indian rupee was at 89 to the U.S. dollar the last time that I looked.)

Bheem (‘chhota’ means ‘brave’ in Hindi) is a super-strong 9-year-old boy in the fictional rural city of Dholakpur who has magical adventures with his playmates (both friends and bullies). One of his friends is Jaggu, a talking monkey, and Throne of Bali features numerous anthropomorphic monsters (watch the trailer); so the movie definitely qualifies for Flayrah.

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Update: So it's still playing. The Indian animation newsletter "Animation Xpress" has an interview in its January 29, 2014 issue with Bharath Laxmipati, Vice President – Distribution & International Sales at Green Gold Studio. “[AX] How many screens have you managed to capture?

[BL] Initially, Big Cinemas gave us about 6 screens for the release. But due an unprecedented release of regional Indian movie during Pongal festival, we now have 4 screens for the 1st week. We will be playing at major cities Fremont, CA , Norcross, GA, Niles, IL and Edison, NJ where the Indian Diaspora gather in large numbers. We are positive that our screens will increase in the 2nd week.

[AX] Please inform about the past box office collections of Chhota Bheem movies?

[BL] Chhota Bheem is doing phenomenal, as a theatrical animated movie. In 2012, the collection of 'Chhota Bheem and the Curse of Damyaan' was of about 55% of the complete cinema box office collection of all animated movies released that year. 'Chhota Bheem and the Throne of Bali' also made a similar collection at the box office [in 2013].”

Laxmipati also says that, “Our online store sells a lot of products to citizens in USA. For this release, we have teamed up with Reliance Big Cinemas to be reach theatres where Indians living in USA go for watching movies.” Apparently there is a larger Indian diaspora in the U.S. than I had realized.

Fred Patten

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About the author

Fred (Fred Patten)read storiescontact (login required)

a retired former librarian from North Hollywood, California, interested in general anthropomorphics