Bollywood goes for animation

Six months ago, I noted that an animated film about the Hindu god Hanuman — the first full-length cartoon produced in India — was on its way. Today, Reuters reports that Hanuman was “a surprise hit” and a significant milestone in Indian animation; until now, the industry “has grown so far on the back of an explosion in outsourcing of animated computer images,” but now, major figures in the industry are “moving away from outsourcing to claim ownership of their products and share copyrights and profits.” Coming up: titles like Lord Krishna, Bombay Dogs and Kittu, about “a clever monkey” — plus Walt Disney has bought the rights to Hanuman. The question is, compared to other foreign cartoons that Disney has acquired, will this be one of those classy theatrical releases like Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), or will it be one of those crappy straight-to-video deals like The 3 Wise Men (2003)?

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