'Billu Gamer': Unfortunately the tiger and elephant don't sing and dance
Okay, here’s another stealth movie.
Billu Gamer, a 90 plus minute live-action/animated Hindi comedy-fantasy feature from director/producer/writer Pankaj Sharma at Astute Media Vision, coming in India in May 2016. Sharma says that it’s slightly over half VFX and 3D animation.
Patty is a live-action teenage boy at a school where a lot of Bollywood-style singing and dancing goes on. When he’s depressed from being bullied, the animated Billu from his favorite video game comes to life to be his best friend. Everything seems great, until the video-game villains follow Billu into the real world. Patty and Billu have to team up in the video world to win. The first half of the trailer is live-action; then the animated Billu and some dog-headed humans appear, and there are an animated tiger and an angry elephant. There’s more information at The Hans India.
Billu Gamer hasn’t even been released yet, and it has already gotten criticisms for the poor quality of its animation compared to other Indian animated features. That’s a far cry from ten years ago, when Roadside Romeo did so poorly at the box office that no distributor released another Indian animated feature for several years. Now they’re common. Another complaint seen in Indian animation-industry circles today is when will India try to create an animated superstar like America’s Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Buzz Lightyear, Shrek or the Minions? India has just one animated star, Chhota Bheem, and he’s a superstrong 8-year-old strictly for the little-kid market. Will other Indian animated characters appear? Specifically some anthropomorphic ones?
About the authorFred Patten — read stories — contact (login required)
a retired former librarian from North Hollywood, California, interested in general anthropomorphics
If you're going to link to "Roadside Romeo", you can get the entire movie on YouTube.
Holy shit this looks honestly awful. If it were my child I would disavow it.
You obviously have not seen the Hindi 1987 2-hour ripoff of the Christopher Reeve “Superman” movie with a child actor as a 5-year-old Clark Kent super-breakdancing (at 11’42”).
Well he does better breakdance than me *chuckles*
I do have to admit that VFX in Hindi movies have gotten better in the last three decades.
I missed noticing that in addition to Pankaj Sharma's being the producer/director/writer of "Billu Gamer", he's also the voice actor for Billu. Has anyone else in the history of animated theatrical features been that involved?
It may not quite count, but I'm reminded of the credits for the Kaze: Ghost Warrior short.
The director of Madagascar voiced Skipper the penguin (though it was more of a case of "well, this is temporary" until it wasn't); he went on to voice the character in both sequels and the spin-off, which he didn't even direct, as well as multiple shorts and a television show.
Actually it's not unusual to have a primarily non-voice member of the crew voicing a bit part. It happened with a couple of the minor characters in Zootopia. The explanation given was since the main voice actors are often busy with other projects and can't always be close by to record new lines, it's common to have other crew such as the directors or other crew do temporary guide versions of the parts so the animators have something to work off of until the real actors are available. They do likewise when they have a bit part they haven't decided whether to use and will decide later who to cast as the voice actor. In the latter cases, sometimes the crew member who does the guide track nails it so perfectly that any voice actor they don't think any voice actor they could get would work as well, so they go with it.
Yeah, but the producer, the director, and the writer -- or the lead writer -- don't usually end up as the voice of a lead animated character. Especially when the producer, the director, and the writer are the same person.
Oh, wait! Maybe when the producer, the director, and the writer are the same person, it is more usual to have him be the lead voice actor as well. But how often does that happen?
I don't know so much about in animation, but playing the leading role/directing/producing/writing isn't that unusual, though it's usually an actor-turned-director, rather than a director casting himself.
If anyone wants to see the entire movie, it’s online today – in Hindi. Hey, the credits are in English, and who cares what language the Bollywood dances and songs are in?
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