Cosmos Maya’s Anish Mehta talks Dabangg - The Animated Series
The action-comedy series is out on Cartoon Network and Disney+ Hotstar
Dabangg - The Animated Series reimagines Salman Khan’s Chulbul Pandey as a kid-friendly superhero. An adaptation of the blockbuster franchise, the action-comedy series chronicles the day-to-day life of Police Officer Chulbul, who stands in the face of evil to keep the city safe. He is joined by his younger brother Makkhi, who, new to the force, attempts to emulate Chulbul in every situation.
Streaming on Disney+ Hotstar, the series is produced by animation studio Cosmos-Maya in collaboration with Arbaaz Khan Productions.
Anish Mehta, CEO of Cosmos Maya, took us through the journey of the show’s creation.
Tell us about the challenges of creating the show through the pandemic?
Since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, we have been synergising our production timelines and accommodating cross-functional work processes to suit the home environment. Safety of our artists and employees was paramount, and since our production timelines are predetermined far in advance, we were able to plan out the process to accommodate any minor hiccups.
The principal challenge faced in the production of a series like Dabangg is largely a creative one. While translating an existing franchise and such famous live-action characters into animated form, we have to ensure our rendition does justice to the original brand, and Dabangg rightly does so, and you can see for yourself at Disney+Hotstar and Cartoon Network.
How big was your team and post-production artists?
We have a team of 1300 production artists and animators in Cosmos-Maya, who work in different capacities on more than 5 domestic and international projects at a given point of time. Basis the volume of content we’ve finalized with a partner (for Tv series it’s usually a multiple of 26) we set our production and delivery timelines and allocate the creative workforce. Suhas Kadav, the creative director of the show brings 22 years of his experience managing multiple creative teams simultaneously, the fruits of which will also be seen in the 13th season of Motu Patlu that will release this year.
What is the next project for Cosmos?
We already have a full slate of work lined up for 2021. We have second seasons lined up for multiple shows like Titoo, Gadget Guru Ganesha and Bapu. We are undergoing work for our patriotic kids animated show Captain Bharat which will release in the second half of 2021.
What else you are working on?
We have multiple international co-productions - Putra, a superhero for the local Indonesian market, Galactic Agency, Dogtanian and The Three Muskehounds, and the Incredible Monsta Trucks – to take benefit of avenues in digital OTT partnerships as well as the L&M market. We’re seeing the growth of more content with regional flavour, that will feature stories from various geographies in different languages from across the Indian landscape, taking advantage of the mother tongue factor.
This collective collaborative spirit of the industry has already resulted in some great projects, one such being Eena Meena Deeka, a show that grew out of India and is testament to the universal story-blending possibilities emerging out of the growing collaborative space in the domestic and the global animation industry.