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Cartoon Network Japan buys Chhota Bheem

BS Reporter  |  Chennai/ Hyderabad 

Cartoon Network Japan has acquired 13 episodes (season three) of Chhota Bheem, an animated television series developed by Hyderabad-based Green Gold Animation Private Limited. The Chhota Bheem series, currently on air on Pogo, is claimed to be India's first animated TV series to be co-produced with Turner International.

“CN Japan has also initiated talks with us to buy the season one and season two series (each comprising 13 episodes) of Chhota Bheem and the deal may come through soon. The channel will telecast the season three series from August 2009,” Rajiv Chilaka, founder and managing director of Green Gold, told mediapersons on the sidelines of Nasscom’s two-day Animation and Gaming India 2008 conference, which began here on Thursday.

Chhota Bheem, the 2D cartoon series, is based in the mythical land of Dholakpur, a kingdom in India. The story revolves around the hero of the village — Bheem — a nine-year-old brave and intelligent boy and his friend Chutki, Raju and Jaggu. The rival Kalia and his sidekicks Dholu and Bholu are always seen involved in weaving plots that are designed to defeat Bheem, but in vain.

Chilaka said the company was currently developing a 13-episode new series on Krishna, which will go on air on Cartoon Network India from August next year. “We currently have an employee strength of 100 developing around 16 episodes per year. We will be trebling our workforce next year, after which we will be able to produce 39 episodes a year,” he added.

Green Gold is planning to make available its television cartoon series in the print format. From next year, it will release comic books based on its series library, merchandising products including activity books (colouring books), room makeover kits, t-shirts, ceramic mugs and school bags besides selling DVDs and home videos.

“We are already in talks with major retail chains including Odyssey, Crossword and Planet M for the same,” Chilaka said.

The seven-year-old animation studio expects to close the current year with revenues of $1.5 million (Rs 7.2 crore) and projects a 30 per cent growth next year.

First Published: Fri, November 07 2008. 00:00 IST