Animation films in India like The Return of Hanuman, Roadside Romeo, Jumbo, etc, failed to draw audiences to the theatres in spite of the big banners and the Bollywood stars associated with them. Apparently, the superior quality of animation in these films did not make a difference to the ticket-buying public.
While almost as many as 50 animated movies were announced in the past four years (after the success of Hanuman, to be precise), hardly few of them hit the silver screen or even the Home Video circuit. While many producers announced release dates of these films, a lot of these movies are yet to see the light of the day.
Some animation projects are under production, while others have been shelved due to budget constraints or lack of distributors’ interest. As a result, animation filmmakers and production houses are on the verge of shutting shop or are diversifying into other business models.
So if one wants to get into this supposedly lucrative and fascinating business of making animation films, one either needs to have a strong financial back bone or industry godfathers and financers who can help one make and release the film. Or else, one can choose a different model, that of making a ‘quick buck’.
Example of such a film was Icy N Spicy, an animation film which didn’t have its principles of animation in place, neither a story nor any finesse, but it still managed to get a theatrical release. Animation was seen as the sunrise sector a few years back and lots of producers entered the industry with high hopes.
Made under the banner RTM technology, Icy N Spicy was directed by Delhi-based Anil Goyal. The film bombed at the box-office. Even the low cost of production couldn’t help much.
Now, in his latest animation offering, Anil Goyal is all set to release Crackers, which according to the maker is India’s one of the first 3D stereoscopic full length animation feature films with “4D Technology”. One wonders what 4D technology is and what kind of budget such a project would entail…forget the highly skilled man power required in making a 3D stereoscopic full length animation feature. But Anil Goyal explains it all, “4D has an extra layer which gives more depth to the scenes.”
Preferring to keep his budget a secret, Goyal further refuses to disclose the distributor of the film as well. The film is set to release on 20th May 2011 (was earlier scheduled for December ’10 release) and a music launch took place recently at a star-studded evening in Mumbai. Quite confident about the quality of the movie, Goyal adds, “The movie is a result of 70 animators who worked on the project for two years.” Interestingly, the Hollywood Oscar winning film, The Golden Compass, which had quite a bit of visual effects in it, took over a year and hundreds of people working day and night to achieve the level of quality and perfection it did. We wonder if Goyal’s 70 artistes would be able to match even one tenth of that.
As per an official release issued by the company, “USP of the movie are its great music and never seen action sequences in the history of Indian cinema with 4D effects, done at RTM Studio in Delhi.” To witness the effort and talent put in the movie, one can definitely check it out here: Crackers promo
Encashing on the voices of popular singers like Shaan, Hariharan and others, the producer has tried to add an attraction for the audience.
While mediocre animation fare is being released, the irony remains that several well-made animation films are lying in the cans, waiting for a respectable release. Animation filmmakers need to understand that distributors, who have burnt their hands by supporting animation films, will now think twice before venturing the same way. Hence, it is important that the producers and directors of animation films go back to the drawing board and carve engaging stories and characters with universal appeal that will interest the corporates and the distributors. For the benefit of the nascent animation community, it is also necessary that distributors, exhibitors and animation lovers in India support the animation industry and give a fair chance to the movies that deserve a better treatment.