As reported earlier, Turner International India is bringing the animated version of Krrish-the superhero as a 10-year-old kid. The first of the four tele-movies (about 70 minutes) will be released on the network's flagship channel, Cartoon Network, on October, 2 at 12 pm. Targeted at 8-12 year olds, this will be telecast under the programming bock called Cartoon Network Popcorn.
In an earlier interview with afaqs!, Siddharth Jain, managing director, South Asia, Turner International India, had mentioned that in addition to the obvious sponsors and advertising deals for the on-air content, the network will exploit the existing merchandising network of Turner. Games are being planned around the series, too.
The channel has acquired the franchise of the characters for five years. So, why not a TV series, one wonders. Krishna Desai, senior director and network head, Kids, South Asia, Turner International India states 'stickiness and bank of episodes' as the reason.
Television movies have more stickiness by virtue of the long format, tapping the narrow attention span of kids, he explains. Also, to have a TV series, one needs a bank of at least 50-60 episodes. That's why the channel decided to get a tele-movies series (60-90 minutes) instead of TV series (30 minutes). "TV series is challenging in such a large picture from commercial point of view, and from storyline point of view," Desai adds. He clarifies that if the series receives suitable response, the channel could convert it to a series later.
As a part of the deal, the network gets the franchise of superhero Krrish, his grandmother and Jaadu, the alien. Though the age and time scale is different, the DNA of the characters will be the same. Toonz Animation (the company behind Howzatt and Chhote Hanuman) is weaving Krrish into animation. These tele-movies will be an experiment and based on their performance, the network will decide on how to expand the franchise.
Desai suggests that Krrish as a franchise will earn from the various platforms that it spreads out to. "The master franchise called Krrish has four parts, Koi Mil Gya, Krrish, Krrish3 and Kid Krrish; these will only benefit each other. The timing is such that both Krrish3 and Kid Krrish will have a positive rub-off on each other. That is the central idea of working on a master franchise anyway," explains Desai.
The launch of Kid Krrish is a result of the partnership of Cartoon Network, Toonz Animation and FilmKraft Productions. The third partner in this venture, Rakesh Roshan, director, FilmKraft Productions, says, "It is for the first time that a Bollywood character is set to get an animated version. We believe that Kid Krrish will be the new superhero for a whole new generation of children and a benchmark in animated series of live-action films."