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Green Gold, Amazon Prime put Kerala martial art on the map

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MUMBAI: Green Gold Animation is rediscovering Kalaripayattu, a lost martial art form of Kerala. With the purpose to educate through entertainment, the animation studio is making an exclusive series for Amazon Prime titled Kalari Kids. The series will be launched around Christmas with 20 episodes of 11 minutes each in season one.

Recently, the animation house also inked a deal with Netflix to digitally broadcast Mighty Little Bheem—a spinoff of its popular character Chhota Bheem.

Talking about the new series, Green Gold Animation CEO Rajiv Chilaka said, “The IP rights of Kalari Kids will be with Green Gold but we may have co-producers as partners. Amazon Prime will hold the OTT rights and programming license. This is a multi-season deal between us. The first season will take a year of production to complete.”

The show will be telecast on television later as one episode per week. Currently, the deal is under process to give television rights to the broadcaster. The production cost of Kalari Kids is higher than Chhota Bheem but lower than Mighty Little Bheem. Green Gold is making a total of 60 episodes for Amazon over three seasons with a dedicated team of 100. Twelve episodes are already in the bank.

According to Green Gold Animation vice president (content sales) Bharath Laxmipati, Kalaripayattu is a dying art and not many kids are aware of it. “We have never made any show on Indian martial art form, so for us, it is an opportunity to entertain kids with a purpose. Therefore, through our show, we want to teach martial arts and talk about courage & bravery because a sport like Kalari builds strength and character in children,” he said.

The marketing and promotions of the show will be done by the Amazon Prime team with heavy focus on digital. According to Laxmipati, Amazon is leaving no stone unturned to market the show. 

The animation or graphic style of the show is reminiscent of the beauty, sophistication and stylisation of the traditional Kerala paintings. The animation company has taken the best artists and culturally highlighted the beautiful creations of India.

Kalari Kids is based on Kalaripayattu martial art form that has three variants, Arappa Kay, Pilla Thangi and Vatta Thiripp, which are distinguished by their attacking and defensive patterns. Surprisingly, this lesser-known martial arts form was developed in the 6th century BC. Let’s see how Amazon and Green Gold Animation bring Kalaripayattu back to life.

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