“Deepa & Anoop”: Bringing Bollywood-style kids to smiles

For acclaimed Bollywood animator Munjal Shroff, producing a hit children’s animated series means creating characters and a story that appeal to a group of viewers who are as generous with their fandom as they are with their critics.

“Kids are a brutally honest audience and, at the same time, will be fiercely loyal to the shows they love,” says Shroff, known for his previous children’s animations, Krish Trish and Baltiboy: Face Your Fears. “For me, the opportunity to create a show and characters that kids will fall in love with and shower with all their love and adulation is such a joy and deeply satisfying. I believe kids are the most valuable audience in the world. world and, as creators, it’s a huge responsibility to create engaging, fun, safe and wholesome shows.

These are four words that serve as the basis for Shroff’s new Netflix children’s series, Deepa and Anoopwhich premiered yesterday, August 15. The colorful and musical world of Deepa and Anoop is Mattel Television’s first original series, created by Shroff with dragon tales writer Lisa Goldman and award-winning producer Heather Kenyon, known for producing Doki Adventures.

Shroff’s show follows the adventures of seven-year-old Deepa and her best friend Anoop, a half-ton color-changing baby elephant. The dynamic duo, self-proclaimed “fun concierges,” make everything bigger, grander and more wonderful for guests at Mango Manor, the bed and breakfast run by Deepa’s multi-generational family.

“I think the key aspects that we hope audiences will pick up on are friendship, respecting other people’s feelings, caring for others, being there for your friends when they need you, love your family and appreciate and accept them as they are. says Shroff. “Another important aspect is that through this show, the audience could also learn a bit more about Indian culture, food, traditions, language and colorful festivals.”

With a strong emphasis on the authenticity of Deepa’s Indian heritage and a Bollywood number in every episode, she creates music, mirth and mischief while working with the rambunctious Anoop to solve the toughest problems. simple with the most imaginative solutions. Although the show was released yesterday, Deepa and AnoopThe adventure of began in 2006.

“The late Mr. Ram Mohan, President of Graphiti Studio and my mentor, had invited my dear friend and co-creator of the show, Lisa Goldman, to India to do an animation writing workshop,” Shroff recalled. . “It was Lisa’s first visit to Mumbai. She has just fallen in love with India. She was like a kid in a candy store. She loved the food, the culture, the people and, of course, Bollywood! We then started discussing creating a show together, an idea featuring an Indian girl, her pet, and her fun Indian family. We decided to call this girl Dimple (now her name is Deepa) because she has the sweetest smile with beautiful dimples.

He adds: “One of our first loglines for the show was ‘If you lose your smile, it’s Dimple’s mission to bring it back – Bollywood style! “”

Although the leading lady’s name has changed, the idea of ​​her £200 partner in crime has remained exactly as Shroff imagined 16 years ago.

“When you think of India, elephants definitely come to everyone’s mind,” says Shroff. “Deepa and Anoop have a wonderful, innocent friendship. Anoop always has Deepa’s back no matter what and even though he is often the recipient of Deepa’s overtly enthusiastic schemes that begin with Deepa saying, ‘I know exactly what to do “, Deepa is always the first to apologize and accept her mistake and she always wants to work things out with Anoop because she really cares about him. There are so many sweet moments in the show where you see their special bond.

Along with the tangible tenderness of Deepa and Anoop’s friendship, the show’s visuals are equally captivating, blending 3D/CG graphics with 2D art styles that utilize all shades and hue variants of the game. ‘Rainbow.

“India is a riot of color,” notes Shroff. “I wanted to capture that in our visual style, but I didn’t want the colors to be garish. I wanted the color scheme to be soothing so we went for a pastel look.

And the colors, as well as the patterns, all pay homage to different parts of Indian culture.

“Anoop has beautiful body paint on him, and I was inspired by the Jaipur Elephant Festival,” says Shroff. “And Mango Manor has so many beautiful Indian design elements throughout. I had collected many visual references, including photographs of some boutique hotels in India that exuded a distinct Indian design aesthetic. The dresses our characters wear are also rich, especially when celebrating festivals like Diwali and Holi. It all had to be well balanced while allowing each design element to breathe.

Sweetness is the name of the game for Deepa and Anoop–softness in nature of character and physical build. Along with bright pinks and bright oranges, the bubbly shapes of Deepa, Anoop and their friends and family add to the fun, approachable and, Shroff hopes, memorable nature.

“We wanted to create a cute show featuring two lovable characters and I can’t wait to see the reaction from the kids,” says Shroff. “I hope they enjoy watching the show, that they learn to value friendship and how important it is to accept our friends and love them for who they are, that it will pique their curiosity for Indian culture and that Deepa and Anoop can be part of their wonderful childhood memories.

Creating kids’ shows that stand the test of time isn’t an unfamiliar challenge for Shroff, who recently discovered Krish Trish and Baltiboy‘s lasting effect on viewers five years after its release.

“Just two weeks ago my teenage son Yohann and his friends were talking about their favorite kids shows and one of his friends was talking about his favorite show Krish Trish and Baltiboy and how she absolutely fell in love with the beautiful art and wonderful folk stories of India and how she loved the character of Baltiboy who is a clumsy donkey,” Shroff recalled. “When she was done sharing this, Yohann told her, ‘My dad created the show,’ and she was so thrilled.”

He continues, “I’m sure as adults, even today, we would remember our favorite storybook, comic book or TV show from our childhood. Our creations are an integral part of wonderful childhood memories for millions of children around the world that they savor throughout their lives. Few people have such an opportunity.

The photo of Victoria Davis

Victoria Davis is a full-time freelance journalist and part-time Otaku with an affinity for all things anime. She reported many stories ranging from activist news to entertainment. To learn more about his work, visit victoriadavisdepiction.com.

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