Thursday, April 02, 2009

Lagging Indian Animation

Here might be one more reason that the Indian 'toon biz, despite a growing infrastructure and lower labor costs, isn't taking over the world:

... The bull run in the domestic animation industry appears to have lost steam mid-way. While 2009 has an impressive line-up of releases, industry sources confirm that some of these projects were being delayed by 2-3 months ...

The reason for the sluggishness, perhaps, is what happened last year. The animated industry made significant progress in the year 2008 with five major animated theatrical releases, but none was a box-office hit. All movies under major banners failed to impress the audience including Walt Disney and Yash Raj films’ Roadside Romeo, Elecom Fiesta’s Cheenti Cheenti Bang Bang, Shemaroo’s Ghatotkach, Phoebus’ Dashavtar or the celebrity-backed film Jumbo.

These films were backed by huge marketing budgets. It was reported that Jumbo had a marketing budget of Rs 4.5 crore. Roadside Romeo was backed by Disney, which added to its marketing blitz. Visual Effect Society had nominated Tata Elxsi for animation work in Roadside Romeo along with movies like Wall-E, Kung Fu Panda and Waltz with Bashir and Bolt. ...

“The Indian market is not fully-matured for animated products. Disney, Sony and Cartoon Network are committed towards building the animated market in India, however till the content does not meet high-quality standards it will continue to remain a challenge. Multiple small studios which do not have sustainable business models are beginning to feel the heat” said AK Madhavan, Chief Executive Officer, Crest Animation Studios.

"Not fully-matured for animated products." That's executive-speak for "The audience stayed away in droves, but don't blame us!"

Enthusiasm by conglomerates to shift everything overseas always gets damped down when box office returns are anemic.

To use an analogy from the U.S. film industry circa 1940: "If cost were the only factor, then Republic Pictures would rule the world."

It's not enough to do them cheap. You must also have them make money.


Vincent Gorman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vincent Gorman said...

Interesting, I wonder what "sustainable business models" they are referring to.

Anonymous said...

I checked out clips of each of the movies you mentioned above...
Jumbo seems to be the only animated feature film from an Indian studio in 2008 that might be watchable.
The clips from the other releases hurt my eyes AND my ears.
Tom Ruegger

Anonymous said...
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