Despite the implication on Flayrah, Los Angeles is not the only city to have festivals of animation with anthropomorphic stars. On February 28th through March 24th, the 16th Annual New York International Children’s Film Festival will play at seven different locations in NYC. The Festival will screen 100 different films (some live-action), and is expected to draw an attendance of 25,000+. It will present many of the films in the U.S. for the first time, to qualify them for 2013 Oscars.
Among the films are several that have been covered on Flayrah, including the Belgian Ernest & Celestine, about a mouse and a bear who become friends (French with English subtitles; Feb. 28 at Tribeca Cinemas); The Wolf Children (Ame & Yuki, the Wolf Children), about a college student who marries a werewolf who dies, and must raise their two werewolf toddlers alone (Japanese with English subtitles; March 3 at the Asia Society and 16 at SVA); The Day of the Crows, mostly about a feral child raised in the forest, but with some fantasy scenes of anthropomorphic animal-headed forest spirits (French with English subtitles; March 10 at FIAF); Welcome to the Space Show “with an intergalactic cast of thousands” (premiere of the English dub; March 9 at SVA), and Meet the Small Potatoes, for pre-schoolers about a musical group of animated potatoes who rise from small-town beginnings to international rock stardom (March 16 at the IFC Center and March 24 at the DGA Theater).
Animation Xpress #415, January 7, 2013, has the first trailer for Indian studio Green Gold Pictures’ second Chhota Bheem animated CGI children's feature, Chhota Bheem and the Throne of Bali, following the smash success (in India, in Hindi) of last year’s Chhota Bheem and the Curse of Damyaan. As before, the movie is not really anthropomorphic, but it does have Bheem’s talking monkey friend Jaggu (“Jaggu is surprisingly kickass”), and the trailer shows lots of evil Rangda’s anthropomorphized monsters. Out May 3, 2013 in India, in Hindi.
Delhi Safari is a new full-length CGI animated feature from India, directed by Nikhil Advani and animated by Krayon Pictures. It tells the story of a group of rainforest animals in India, who find their forest is being destroyed and paved over by human encroachment and construction. They take it upon themselves to travel to Delhi, with the intention of using a “bilingual” parrot (he speaks both human and non-human languages) to voice their complaints about the destruction of their home. The film has been picked up for international distribution by Fantastic Films, and it recently opened for a limited engagement in North America. Filmed in Hindi, the English version of the film features the voices of Jason Alexander, Cary Elwes, Christopher Lloyd, Jane Lynch, Vanessa Williams, and Brad Garrett. Watch the international trailer on YouTube, or visit the Delhi Safari Facebook page.
So the camel can talk. Can he fly?
Have you ever heard of Kamlu ...Happy Happy, a 3D CGI Hollywood-Bollywood co-production directed by Govind Nihalani that will be released on November 2? In India, anyway, in Hindi. Produced by Krayon Pictures, the same studio that made Delhi Safari, in fact.
This English-language trailer shows it to be a children’s fantasy about a young talking camel who wants to fly, who gets mixed up with a human princess, an enigmatic magician, lots of villains, and so on. Will it play in America? I’m sure the Bollywood producers hope so.
OneIndia Entertainment, “India’s #1 Language Portal”, reports that the long-delayed Hindi-language Koochie Koochie Hota Hai feature, supposedly completed in 2009 or 2010 but release-delayed (because of poor box-offices in India for Indian-made animated features) until December 10, 2012, has been postponed again until July 2013.
The feature, a CGI-animated funny-animal remake of the hugely popular 1998 Hindi live-action Bollywood feature Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, is an anthropomorphic sci-fi (time travel) romantic comedy-drama with lots of singing & dancing. See Flayrah's April story for more details, or watch the English-language trailer.
Animation Xpress, vol. 10 #371 for October 4 reports that Delhi Safari, the CGI animated feature about an angry monkey, a laid-back bear, a scheming parrot, a mother leopard, and her cute cub trekking across India to the human city of Delhi to protest the strip-mining of their forest, will release on around 300 screens across India on October 18. The Hindi-language feature has a strong Bollywood voice cast.
Animation Xpress has a long interview with Krayon Pictures’ Nishith Takia that shows its poster and new promotional art. “Our film has got screened at Annecy International Film Festival and has also won the best Animated Feature Film at FICCI FRAMES in India, has boosted our confidence in the way the film has come out.” The film has a positive School Contact program at over 3,000 schools across India because of its strong pro-ecology message.
Delhi Safari has been dubbed into English with an all-star cast (Jason Alexander, Cary Elwes, Christopher Lloyd, etc.) for an American release sometime during 2013. Its English-language trailer was shown on Flayrah last May.
Animation Xpress #351 for 22 August announces that, “Chennai based HappyCloud Studios working on Talkative Tortoise, 26X11 Animated TV Series”, by Zeenia Boatwala. In the usual news story that looks just like a hyperenthusiastic press release, it is announced that:
With a mission to provide high quality animation content for all mainstream media, including Theatrical, TV, Web & DVD; Chennai based HappyCloud Studios is working on its In-house IP Talkative Tortoise, 26 X 11 CGI.
Talkative Tortoise is a humorous show which orbits around a talkative tortoise that always talks about the environment and educates about global warming.
Animation Xpress for 24 July reports that the four The Jungle Gang films are out, starring Bo, the bar-headed goose; Kuttu, the Slender Loris; and Bhoora, the blackbuck.
The Jungle Gang is the first Indian wildlife film series that has been made exclusively for children and young adults. The series has been created by Earthcare Films of Krishnendu Bose and financially supported by WWF-India.
“Jungle Gang is a fusion of CGI and live action wildlife footage shot in some of the most iconic National Parks of India.” The films are 15 minute each. “Bo is portrayed as a Ms. Know-it-all, Kuttu as a witty joker and Bhoora as a wide-eyed kid and foodie.”
Anthropomorphic? Noooo … But how can you not like an animated TV movie about “‘Swami Ayyappan’, based on the life story of a boy ‘Manikandan’ who became one with God worshipped by millions”?
That is on Indian TV, of course. Animation Xpress for 2 July reports that,
Swami Ayyappan is slated to premier on national TV channels and subsequently distributed as DVDs during the upcoming Sabarimala season in various languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu & Kannada. [What, no Hindi?]
Sabarimala is a place of pilgrimage that welcomes devotees irrespective of religion, caste or creed. [Not many Christians, I’ll bet.]
What exactly is a “cinema novel”? Animation Xpress #317 (26 June 2012), reports that Hyderabad-based BTales (the B is for Bharavi) will publish Maharaja in July, the “first ever cinema novel in English”, for “worldwide release”. Maharaja is:
[a 175-page] authentic screenplay written by Bhargava, who is also famous as the creator of Kittu, an animation feature film made in Telugu. Till date (sic.), Bhargava has produced five feature films under his banner Bhargava Pictures.
The story circles around the adventures of a young dynamic, bold, helpful, intelligent, honest & smart monkey, Nandu, who dreams to become king of the jungle by changing the forest laws. Nandu stands up for the new generation and hints that its time to change the rules and take charge.
There are two articles of Indian anthropomorphic animation interest in Friday's Animation Xpress (#305). One reports on the Hindi-language CGI animated feature, Delhi Safari, previewed at the Annecy Film Festival. Delhi Safari will be released in India later this year; an English dub with celebrity-actor voices will be released in the USA in 2013.
The other covers an Indian Jungle Book CGI television series picked up by Disney XD for U.S. distribution, which debuts 11 June.
Gods, yes. Dragons, yes. Monsters, yes. Giants, yes. Anthropomorphic animals, … eh. You might still be interested in this 2+-minute 3D stereo trailer for the Krishna aur Kans animated feature, slated for release on August 3, a week before this year’s Janmashtani (a major Hindu religious holiday to celebrate the birthday and youthful adventures of Krishna, an avatar of the god Vishnu).
Directed by Vikram Veturi, the movie chronicles Lord Krishna’s early years, from his birth as the nemesis of his tyrannical uncle Kans, to his combat against demons at the age of 10.
Today’s feature in Mumbai-published Animation Xpress, a daily newsletter on all things animated in India, is about a new video game called Smell Raiser starring Spiffy, an anthro young skunk. (Also Tap Tap Sushi, for gamers who are also gluttons for sushi, but there is nothing anthro about that one.)
The official launch trailer for Smell Raiser was posted on YouTube on May 11.
Founded by industry veterans Ninad Chhaya and Chirag Desai, Mumbai based Playcaso has thrown its hat in the ring with the release of two games Tap Tap Sushi available on the iOS and Smell Raiser available on iOS [$0.99] and Android [free] platforms.
Smell Raiser is a side-scrolling, adventure game having Spiffy- a swift and energetic skunk on a mission. He wants to explore the lands of the unknown and travel as far as he possibly can. Using simple jump combination controls, help Spiffy collect stars, activate combinations and evade the creatures of the exotic. The game includes three exotic colorful environments with full retina graphics. It is a simple but skillful ‘one-touch’ control, endless game.
Well, it’s got Jaggu, a talking monkey in it. In Hindi, of course. “In theaters near you” – not very near.
I don’t know about India’s most beloved character, but the TV cartoons (available on DVD) and the comic book are about ten years old now.
See more: Watch the trailer
Spare Me (intro), a CGI short film by Morph Information Technologies of New Delhi, India, has been selected for the 2012 Annecy International Animation Film Festival on 4-9 June 2012. The story/press release, in Animation Xpress (Mumbai), 30 April 2012, reads:
Save the Tiger Spare Me short film by Morph Information Technologies Incorporating Gecko Academy of Digital Arts is selected at the 2012 Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France. The story revolves around the tigers who are portrayed as emotional, sad, lovable animals appealing directly to the audiences. Pleading with humans to spare them and stop killing them for carpets and medicines. Such a majestic animal – humiliated and stripped of all dignity – should stir emotions in the hearts of the viewers and inspire them to take action and stop this unwanted slaughter of one of God’s beautiful creatures. The film employs a Monologue – like structure, presenting a series of interviews with tigers about their lives and homes.