Monday, February 04, 2008

Animation in India: Dearth of ideas

"Bee Movie" is latest animation movie from the Dreamworks team. Backed by a reasonably good storyline, it's about bees vs humans, treated in a typical American style. Well, I'm not blogging about the good or bad aspects of the movie since that's not my motive here.
Watching most of these animation films makes me wonder - why is it that in India we don't produce and direct such creative animation films? Why do we always animate the mythological characters and 'cartoonize' the familiar to make it comical? How under-utilized is this medium in a country that is second to none in art, creativity and film making. This can't be due to dearth of talent in the department of creative thinking or visualizing. Can't be true because we score well in related genres like advertizing (another area where creative mind is challenged). Or is it because the returns are low and this doesn't make a good business proposition.
What exactly could be the reason? It can't be the lack of financial backing either. Are we happy just being the technical backoffice for these animation studios in Hollywood. We seem to have a very limited perception of the potential of animation; we interpret it as just another medium to add some humour to the already established stories but not as something for which we can create new characters, give them life and weave stories around them. Is it because we don't take animation films seriously, so what if it's primarily targeted at children? It's time we moved beyond characters like 'Bal Ganesh', 'Krishna' and 'Hanuman' and took up the challenge offered by this medium more seriously. We are nowhere close to making a mark in this field by exploiting the unlimited possibilities for creative visualization of any kind of content.