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Rajnikanth all set to star in new animation film
(Tuesday, 31st January 2006)

31 January 2006

Rajnikanth has been an attraction for kids with
his enduring action and mannerisms. His popularity is widespread around the
globe. Yes, Superstaru yaarunnu kaetta china kolanthaiyum sollum. Keeping this
in mind, Adlabs Films of the Ambani Group has collaborated recently with
Chennai-based Ocher Studios Pvt Ltd to co-produce an animation project featuring
Superstar Rajnikanth. Ever since the partnership was announced it has created
waves both in corporate and film circles.

Since the announcement of Rajini’s under-production Sivaji, there is tough
competition between corporate giants like, Hindustan Lever, Tata Indicom,
Reliance and a few others to grab the advertising space for the film. They are
on very profitable ground, after the stupendous success that Tata Indicom
achieved by sponsoring Chandramukhi. The company reported major additions to its
subscriber base especially in the rural and semi-urban areas, thanks to the
magic of Rajini. It is reported that Tatas have approached AVM Productions, but
they are yet to receive the nod.

The Ambanis who missed the bus last time, do not want to repeat the mistake and
have grabbed the offer of working with Rajini. They gave an immediate
in-principle approval for the animation film on Rajini without spelling out the
details. Adlabs’ foray into animation sector, combined with Ocher studio run by
Soundharya Rajinikanth who is also the creative head, aims to create a popular
image of the superstar for Indian and international audiences. This
transnational project will have leading professionals in the field on board. The
18 months project with the budget of Rs.10 to 12 crores by the Ocher management
will carefully graph an animation of Rajnikanth for a global audience by dubbing
it in various international languages especially Japanese because he has a crazy
fan following in the land of the rising sun. Apart from theatrical proceeds,
Adlabs expects gaming, mobile add-ons and comic strips centred around Rajnikanth
to provide significant revenues.

The project will be led from the front by Soundarya Rajnikanth, who has already
handled the animation and effects work in her father’s Baba and Chandramukhi.
Known to be a smart techie, no wonder she would bring forth her father’s unique
‘ishtyle’ in an entertaining manner especially for the kids. "I am extremely
thrilled to say that an animated full-length feature film, featuring an Indian
icon, which has never been attempted before, has been taken up jointly by us,"
said Soundarya.

Rajini is not new to the technique of animation. Way back in 1988, in one of his
films, Raja Chinna Roja, a small sequence in one of the songs had him and his
band of child companions featured along with animation characters like birds and
animals in the forest. It was the first such attempt in Tamil cinema and
interestingly, it was an AVM film. The producers had made a pioneering attempt
even when technology was not available here. Now, the times have changed
dramatically. AVM is producing Sivaji and tech-savvy Shankar is at the helm.
Therefore, Kollywood is excited with speculations that there could be a
technical blitzkrieg in Sivaji and soon there would be some announcements in
this regard. Watch these columns carefully for developments.

There could be some interesting spin offs from this project. If it turns out to
be commercially successful (we do not have any doubts about it!), then we can
see interviews of Nayantaras or Trishas saying that they would love to be cast
opposite Rajini’s cartoon image. They would also not mind being featured as it
gives them additional spotlight without any effort or call sheet. Can they find
any other way to lure the audience of the 20-something age group?

Also, it could force our other heroes to follow suit. We would then have a whole
lot of animation films with these heroes speaking and going about in the wholly
exaggerated manner of the cartoon format. Imagine Simbu’s deep voice or Vijay’s
dulcet drone being stretched in such films. Producers would jump onto the
bandwagon, although animation films are very expensive to make. But, it would be
hassle-free as they need not haggle over call sheet mix-ups or star tantrums.
Also, it would be a hi-tech affair with designers, animators and graphics
operators racking their brains for true-to-life images. The day is not far off
when we have duets, fights and punch dialogues instead of the usual Tom and
Jerry shows…..Howzzat?

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