Television

Disney India goes brave with 'Vir: The Robot Boy'

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MUMBAI: Riding on the immense popularity of Chota Bheem and Motlu Patlu comes one more animation series with the ‘made in India’ tag.

Launching on Hungama TV on 9 November and created by Maya Digital Studio, Vir: The Robot Boy, is a sci-fi animation that promises to tickle the kids’ funny bone while teaching them a lesson or two about life.

With Vir, we intend to build further on the weekend slot by bringing engaging and relevant shows on Saturday as well exults Prabhu

Waxing eloquent about ‘India’s first animated fiction show’, Maya Digital Studio managing director and chairman Ketan Mehta says: “It has been made on a big scale. It has multiple characters and a well-developed storyline revolving around the central character, Vir, a young boy who is a robot with all human emotions instilled in him.”

Hungama, which has recently had a makeover, wanted to introduce fresh new programming that embodies its mischievous, youthful spirit. And what better than the weekend to bring in the new series!

“Currently, we have Ninja Warriors on Sunday, which is performing exceedingly well and is a favourite among kids. With Vir, we intend to build further on the weekend slot by bringing engaging and relevant shows on Saturday as well,” exults Disney UTV director, programming, Kids Network, Devika Prabhu.

Vir: The Robot Boy is set in the heart of Delhi and takes viewers through the wonderful journey of Vir, the robot, created by brilliant scientist Dr Prem Sahay. The extremely intelligent, extra emotional and fearlessly funny Vir manages to stay out of harm’s way, but not without some hilarious moments and a lot of help from his two sidekicks.

About the collaboration with Maya Digital, Prabhu says: “Creativity and innovation is at the heart of what we do and we are always looking for partners with whom we can collaborate to create compelling content for our audiences. We were really happy to associate with Maya Digital on this series - Vir: The Robot Boy and we are confident that kids will love the local narrative, humour and situations that Vir and his friends - Chulbul, Tiklu and Sajjani, find themselves in.”

Hungama believes in letting children experience stories first-hand by creating engagement opportunities beyond television. This time too, the channel is confident about its new series and plans to engage with its viewers in interesting new ways, like it did with “Shinchan Parivaar Iss Ravivaar”.

According to Mehta, times are changing for the Indian animation industry. “We already have Indian animated shows like Chota Bheem and Motlu Patlu that have become immensely popular. With Vir, we are expanding more. The channels, till now, were basically thriving on recycling of American or Japanese shows. But slowly, they are opening up to the idea of home-grown shows. To penetrate the Indian market, it is important to come up with Indian content that is relatable to the audience,” he says.

Mehta feels the indigenous animation industry has finally come of age and is finally ready to produce content, which is at par with countries leading the genre.

“We are now doing a wide variety of shows in the animation sector. Our animation industry is just a decade old. Now, I feel there’s enough manpower for the industry to grow rapidly,” he says and hopes Indian audiences will soon be open to adult animation series such as The Simpsons.

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