Singapore and India-based animation company Cosmos-Maya and Irish animation studio Piranha Bar have joined forces to co-develop a feature film based on Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel "Kim". Señal News talked exclusively with Ketan Mehta, MD of Cosmos-Maya about this new animation project.
Cosmos-Maya has adapted Rudyard Kipling's novel "Kim" into a feature animated film. Why did you choose this book?
"The reason for choosing 'Kim' as a feature animated film is two-pronged: The first is Rudyard Kipling, he is among the best-known Victorian storytellers. His children's books like ‘The Jungle Book’ are world classics. His novels, short stories and poems are enlivened by wonderful characters, settings, a brisk narrative, and the fresh energy of the voices that tell his tales. Born and brought up in colonial India, Kipling is most famous for his insightful stories of Indian culture and Anglo-Indian society and his masterly, popular stories for children. His stories have strong cross-over themes, much before the term cross-over came into being. The second reason is Kim, which is a classic tale of east meets west. Kim is the original child spy. The adventures of Kim, an Anglo-Indian orphan growing up on the streets of colonial India in the late 19th century, are truly awe-inspiring. Further, the subject lends itself beautifully to animation. 'Kim' captures the opulence of India's exotic landscape, its noise and heat and color. The themes highlighted in ‘Kim’ remain relevant even after a century. Kim is a soldier of peace, trying to prevent war. Movie watching is about an experience of getting transported to a different era, time zone, or different land, and ‘Kim’ provides exactly that kind of visual spectacle and cinematic adventure."
What differences and similarities will the film have with the novel?
"Even though the basic structure of the film is similar to the novel, certain changes have been made to suit the sensibilities of the contemporary audience. We have further developed the character of the Shaolin monk who is a Kung-Fu master, added a female character and put a stronger focus on the elements of adventure and humor."
Are you working on other animated projects?
"Cosmos-Maya is the largest producer of original Indian animated content. Currently, We are also working on some international co-productions such as 'Leo da Vinci – Season 2', 'Agent 203' and 'Sea Believers'."
As a kids specialist, how could you describe the current children content needs?
"The power to express their opinion and voice out their thoughts is appreciated and encouraged in children today. They have become specific about what and how they want to consume content. The needs of children have moved from entertainment solely to add the educational domain. They want to be inspired and not just entertained."
How would you describe the international positioning of the company?
"Cosmos Maya, the Asian Animation powerhouse recently turned 25 years old. Now, Cosmos Maya -synonymous with constant evolution and innovation - is taking a quantum leap in quality by getting into the international animation feature film markets, aiming to become a global Animation powerhouse."
The needs of children have moved from entertainment solely to add the educational domain. They want to be inspired and not just entertained.” Ketan Mehta MD of Cosmos-Maya