Viacom18 bets big on Motu Patlu property

Banking on the popularity of its cartoon series on Motu Patlu from the Nickelodeon channel, Viacom18 has now come out with a 3D animation movie on the two cartoon characters – titled ‘Motu Patlu King of Kings’. This is Viacom18 Motion Pictures’ first venture in the 3D stereoscopic animation space. ‘Motu Patlu King of Kings’ is set for theatrical release on October 14, 2016.

Commenting on the Motu Patlu 3D movie, Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18, said, “Motu Patlu has had an interesting journey. We started with television then moved to digital while capitalising on their growing brand value and now I feel proud to announce the the movie.”

Ajit Andhare, COO, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, noted that normally animated movies have to compete with big movies, but since October 14 will be a pre-Diwali period, there would be not big Bollywood releases to compete with. Moreover, kids would have their Diwali vacations during this period.

The story of ‘Motu Patlu King of Kings’ revolves around the best friends Motu and Patlu, who reside in a small town in India’s heartland, called Furfuri Nagariya. Entrapped in a plot with a runaway circus lion, a lion king trying to protect his kingdom and a greedy poacher who wants to ruin the jungle life – the film features high standards of VFX and animation quality and has an interesting storyline.

On what to expect from the movie, Nina Jaipuria, Business Head, Kids Cluster at Viacom18, said, “There are beautiful visuals in the movie and we have worked on every single detail. Even the choreography has come out really well. And that makes a lot of difference.”

Promotion Plans

Viacom18 plans to leave no stone unturned to create buzz and excitement around the film. ‘Motu Patlu King of Kings’ will be promoted across all channels of the Viacom18 network, including in reality shows like ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’ on Colors. The movie will be released in over 700 screens across the country.

Spilling more details about the promotional plans, Nina Jaipuria said, “We will also be creating buzz on digital platforms as well. We also have plans for print, radio and outdoor campaigns, mall activations, retail partnerships, merchandising, etc. Merchandising plays an important role. Core insight is when kids are watching such movies, they also want the characters to come out of the screen. With this, we will also be associating with a few brands for the movie.”

The movie will also be aired on Nickelodeon and Viacom18’s digital platform Voot post the theatrical release.

Despite the immense popularity and demand, animated films form a minuscule part of the films released. Earlier animated movies such as Bal Ganesh, Jumbo, and Hanuman received tremendous response from the audiences and so did the 3D stereoscopic animation movie, ‘Delhi Safari’.

Ketan Mehta, the man behind films like ‘Manjhi’, ‘Mangal Pandey’, ‘Rang Rasiya’ and many more, felt that animation is still in its infancy in India. He remarked, “We have a long way to go. And with the release of this film, I hope that there will be a change in the animation industry as well as this is a big step for the animation industry at large. Children love animated movies and force their parents to watch the film with them. This will drive the animation movies in India.”

According to Ajit Andhare, “The success depends on the character, animation, ability of the distribution house to take risks. Hollywood animated movies target not just children and youth but grown-ups as well.”

He further said, “People are already familiar with the characters of Motu and Patlu. But we had to deliver the animation experience and a storyline that will work with our audience, that is, the kids and then market it the right way.”

Sushant Singh Rajput, who was present for the cross promotion of his upcoming movie, ‘MS Dhoni – The Untold Story’, expressed his love for comic books as a kid. He further said, “You need to be very careful while communicating with kids. I really want to see the film.”

Talking further about being a part of the trailer launch, he said “The enigmatic MS Dhoni is an icon for the youth and has a huge fan following and I hear the awesome twosome, Motu Patlu, have an equally large fan following among the kids of the country. It is a pleasure to be a part of the announcement of the big screen debut of these much loved characters who have a significant influence on children.”


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