The past few years have witnessed the advent of locally produced animated content on Indian television, especially kids' channels. While most local characters till now were drawn from Indian mythology, the classic Indian superhero, Shaktimaan, was recently seen in an animated version on Nick, the kids channel offering of Viacom18. Taking this attempt forward, Turner International has made an effort for the first time to create an animated series around a Bollywood superhero.
Interestingly, a sequel to Krrish (Koi Mil Gaya was a prequel to Krrish) is slated to be released during Diwali. This effort is seen by many as another Bollywood movie's attempt to create buzz on the television space.
Recently, Ek Thi Daayan of Balaji Productions launched a TV series right before the movie release.
The movies on Cartoon Network will feature Krrish as an 11-year old boy (to make him more relatable for children), who can help people by his supernatural powers. The movies will show Rohit (Krrish's father), Krrish's grandmother and the alien, Jaadu, along with other friends around him. The first movie is set to be aired on July, 14.
Toonz Animation, one of the oldest animation production companies in India, will produce the movies for the channel. P Jayakumar, CEO, Toonz Animation India, mentions that close to 10 per cent of the company's total output is for the Indian broadcasters (local productions).
"Though the size of the industry currently stands at about a billion dollars, the Indian animation industry is growing at a fast pace. As for Krrish, the character's popularity has made it a brand. We are ready to exploit it in the upcoming animated series, mainly targeting the 8-12 year olds."
He explains that the costs of production for an Indian animation series is much lower than that of a foreign movie, mainly because of low return prospects. Abroad, millions of dollars are spent on animated movies due to the assured popularity and monetisation streams of the animated content, unlike in India.
When asked about the prospective streams for monetisation of Krrish, Siddharth Jain, managing director, South Asia, Turner International India, says that video-on-demand is not a part of the plan anytime soon. "VOD isn't a great model in the Indian scenario. In addition to the obvious sponsors and advertising deals for the on-air content, we will exploit the existing merchandising network of Turner. Games are being planned around the series, too."
Although the kids' genre has lower ad-slot rates, it must be noted that Turner enjoys an upper hand in the advertising rates in the genre.
Jain explains that the major reason for choosing Krrish is that it is fairly recent. The animated character will look like Hrithik Roshan, who plays Krrish in the movie. "Tastes keep changing and the current generation knows Krrish and identifies with him," he adds. When asked about Shahrukh Khan's Ra.One, he says, "May be next time!"
Toonz plans to launch two major ventures in the next year; while one is the second season of Howzatt, the cricket-based animated show, the other is a comic series based on Kalaripayatu-a South Indian martial art.