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 Brand value drives animation business
 Mumbai March 16, 2003
 Anushree Madan Mohan

"The Disney Brand carries with it around 80 years of heritage. Since the programming does reflect our overall communication, we need to ask ourselves if a product really fits in with the Disney brand. After all, we are the custodians," said Raymund Miranda, VP and Managing Director, Walt Disney Television (International). The session on 'Animation: Network Expectation' was chaired by Ramesh Sharma, CMD, Moving Pictures Company Pvt Ltd, with the key panellists being Margaret Donald, Director, Mallard Media Services, Marc Buhaj, Executive Director, Programming and Acquisitions, Turner Entertainment Networks Asia, in addition to Raymund Miranda.

Speaking on the subject, Miranda said, "Defining your brand is of extreme importance. What are the brand values that are exhibited in the product that you are taking on? What's the story? How is it told? Is the dubbing and voiceover good enough? Are the quality and the editing skills up to the mark? Localisation and relevance are pointers, when it comes to carrying the brand forward."

Ethical considerations and kids programming. These were the two main aspects that
Donald addressed in her presentation. She said, "I have travelled to several countries, just to find companies that share my opinion on what is good enough to be viewed by the children. While parents are out to make money and numerous channels are flooding the scene, I fear that children might be viewing material that is detrimental to their future. Don't producers have a responsibility to the young?"

She asserted that while convincing stories did the trick in the past, the current day is ruled by technology. She stated, "How did 'Pooh the Bear' become a classic even without the technological works? Captivating stories did the task for us in the past, which technology manages to capture today. But having said that, it must also be said that prolific ongoing stories are a must for the future of successful animation."

Moving on, Marc Buhaj, Executive Director, Programming and Acquisitions, Turner Entertainment Networks Asia, said, "In July 1995, Cartoon Network was launched in India. Pogo, on the other hand, was launched on January 1, 2004. We currently have feeds in English, Hindi, Telegu and Tamil and have been at the forefront of localised animation. Our acquisitions in Indian animation include Chotta Birbal, Tenali Raman,
The Legend of Prince Ram, etc."

He goes on, "Kids programming, in reality, is a simple business. Which is reflected by the success as seen by our channels, in an extremely short span."