Ronnie Screwvala, CEO, UTV said, “This last year has been one of consolidation as well as establishing India as an animation destination. It is not to be viewed as a place for competition or cheap outsourcing, but more a place for high quality product with greater and improving creative inputs. The next three years will see incremental growth, primarily because lead players will need to establish good price benchmarks. India will also evolve as a local animation base which will allow us to originate content.”
Animation enjoys a high level of universal acceptance and the industry in India is witnessing a revolution that will steal away the thunder from visual mediums such as popular TV serials and films. Though animation in popular films was earlier limited to few clips in movies such as ‘Hum Tum’ and ‘Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon’, movies like ‘Bhaggmati - The Queen of Fortunes’ and ‘Hanuman’ have revolutionised animation in India. Though animation was not considered profitable in India, the medium has witnessed growing acceptance since the late 90s. One of the prime factors of animation’s growth is the demand from overseas market as India is a cheap production alternative. However, many feel that this factor is a deterrent to animation’s development as people are focusing on providing content for international markets and neglecting India.
Sushil Kumar Agrawal, MD and CEO, Ultra Group, said, “India being an outsourcing hub for animation is a problem as there is not enough content being produced for the local market. However, some players are now developing content for India.”
Production houses are realising the importance of aggressive marketing to promote animated content. Factors such as merchandising and producing music videos are conducive to animation’s development. Mattel’s movie ‘Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus’ is the 6th Barbie Princess fairytale. Launched on October 9, 2005, it is the first Barbie blockbuster to have special 3D sections in the DVD. Nanette D’Sa, VP-Marketing, Mattel Toys India Pvt Ltd said, “This is an endeavour to offer an international quality product to promote the movie ‘Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus’. The lyrics have been written in Hindi in a manner that will connect with every little Barbie fan across the country. The song is beautifully written with a catchy tune, something you will find all girls humming.”
Ultra Movie Channel Ltd. and Percept Picture Company heavily marketed Benjamin, the friendly elephant and Hanuman respectively through multiple revenue streams such as merchandising and other innovative marketing strategies. Ultra has merchandising rights for all Benjamin characters for India and plans to market products like stationery, toys, games, consumer durables, ceramics, apparels, furnishings, gifting items, greeting cards, and party products.