Cartoon Network goes on a local animation acquisition spree

MUMBAI: Staying true to the localisation promise, Cartoon Network has acquired three new Indian animation productions and is also in the process of acquiring five more Indian animation projects this year.

The first in line is Akbar & Birbal, a 13 part series by Phoebus Creations, Pune that will launch on 15 January. It has also acquired two big theatricals from Pentamedia namely - The Legend of Buddha and Son of Aladdin, which will be aired during the summer vacations.

Cartoon Network India senior programming manager Vishnu Athreya said, "Acquisition is a strong part of our strategy and we are looking at filling in the need gap by providing a platform to Indian animation companies."

Cartoon Network is also in talks with at least six to eight local animation production houses for acquisition of content. The channel is in the pre-production stages for a property produced by Greengold Animation, which is likely to rolled out towards the end of the year.

The addition of the three new Indian animation acquisitions takes the tally of total Indian animation on Cartoon Network to 12.

While Akbar & Birbal and The Legend of Buddha are 2D animation series; Son of Aladdin is a 3D feature.

Akbar & Birbal traces some of the stories and anecdotes of one of the greatest Mughal emperors Akbar and one of his most renowned navratnas (nine gems) Birbal. The series will be aired every Sunday from 10 to 10:30 am.

Athreya said, "Indian animation shows are the cornerstones of Cartoon Network's localisation strategy and I am absolutely delighted that we have procured three more Indian productions. We do hope that along with children, their parents will also enjoy watching these and relive ageless tales."

"We are actively exploring avenues of creative development of Indian animation products where the Network will lend its expertise on what works with Indian kids by collaborating with partner studios from the conceptual stage to the final product. Extending the Network's role beyond just showcasing Indian animation, we hope to leverage our in depth knowledge and understanding of Indian kids and their needs while developing content that works," Athreya added.

However, the channel is not looking at co-producing or commissioning projects to Indian animation company as yet.

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