Indian animation has been riding a high with kids’ broadcasters and OTT platforms taking a shining to domestically-created animated series. And 2017 saw oodles of domestic IPs getting greenlit on various platforms. Hoping to hitch a ride on that gravy train is Delhi-based five year old animation studio PriyaToonz with its new education-based IP Kaun Banega Champion.
Kaun Banega Champion is a 3D animated quiz show played by various interesting cartoon characters, created with the aim to enhance the knowledge level, integrity and other basic facts in a fun-filled manner. Among the characters feature: Ginni, Honey, Cheeku, Debu, Pari and Duggu. The target audience for Kaun Banega Champion is four to 14 years.
Six of the animated quizzers participate in the contest with three quiz masters – Chulbule Sir, Bulbule Sir, Machhi Mukhi – probing them with sharp questions over five levels. Each episode contains a story combined with the journey of the participants to become a quizzing champion. At each level, one participant is dropped, thus the winner from the fifth level becomes the champion of this game.
One perk of the show is the element of localisation. The various levels of the championship include local games like “Rassa Kassi” (Tug of War) and “Posham Pa,” making it more relatable for kids.
Every participant of the show has a few unique characteristics through which the makers will demonstrate how to adjust with these behaviour traits. For example: the problems faced by a sensitive and emotional contestant and how these can be overcome.
“This makes our product good for moral learning for the kids,” says PriyaToonz CEO Indumitra Bhardwaj. “Every level of the show is designed to help kids do their best in today’s competitive times.”
It was year 2015, when the team at PriyaToonz found that most domestic animation is comedy and very little based on storytelling. While the team was conceptualising for an animated show, storytelling emerged as the best choice over slapstick comedy. “Over a period of time, the need was felt for animation not only based on knowledge as well as entertainment but also that helps children face life’s challenges with a positive mindset,” explains PriyaToonz brand manager Mini Sharma.
“For a story to capture the attention of kids, a good number of artists must have creativity and experience,” continues Bhardwaj. Keeping in view the constraints and competition, it was decided to try something new. “Then came the idea of a quiz show by animated characters based on the success of quiz-based live action shows. Overall it was teamwork and continuous improvements that lead to final outcome.”
The choice of questions, creativity in terms of on-screen presentation and blending it with story will be the key factor for the popularity of Kaun Banega Champion.
The first season of Kaun Banega Champion will have 13 episodes of 15 minutes each and the format may be revised after every one or two seasons to maintain a fresh look.
“Kaun Banega Champion is one part of the bigger project called Machhli Public School which will come into light at a later stage to meet our long term objective of developing a 3D animation ecosystem suitable for Indian content creators and content acquirers,” highlights Bhardwaj.
He elaborates: “During this (creative) process, it was found that India does not have an ecosystem where different constituents of animation development help each other make quality animation. On one side there are good and experienced animators, various artists looking for creative work; on the other side studios aren’t able to hire talent as revenue streams are limited and India has very little scope for a theatrical release of an animated feature. So, we decided to make it mission 2022 to develop a 3D animation ecosystem in India and nurture the rich culture of storytelling.”
The script for Kaun Banega Champion is written by Poonam and Swati Bohra with the animation team led by Ajay Kumar. Indumitra Bhardwaj is serving as the director of the show.
The animated IP production company initially plans to make the show available to broadcasters on exclusive license, with the long term objective of developing a 3D animation ecosystem. “The animation bank thus created will be used to attract private equity to meet long-term funding needs,” Bhardwaj shares. Four episodes of the show are ready with few under post-production and rest under production.
The intention of the show has always been to cater to the edutainment needs of children. In spite of the changes in concept, characters, ideas during its development, the heart of the show has always remained in the same place. And that is what makes it most unique!