Despite the recent economic slump, the animation industry in India has put up a resilient front by showing a 20% growth over the past one year. NASSCOM has estimated that it will grow at a CAGR of 49% by 2012. Intensive globalization has resulted in a heightened awareness of the vast reach of animation in this country. Animation in India has garnered the interest and investment of many global players who have tapped into the country's reserve of talented service providers.
In order to keep pace with animation around the world, companies are beginning to concentrate on introducing new business models, improving quality, and tackling current challenges like piracy and ineffective distribution. Technology is one of the main factors underlying the success of this industry, and it plays an influential role in India’s domestic media and entertainment industry.
With low production costs and a huge pool of skilled labor, India boasts of many leading animation companies responsible for generating creative and good quality content. With adequate backing from the government, there is vast potential for the entry of many more animations companies that can engage in the offshore delivery of services.
Here is an overview of the 10 leading animation companies in India.
Small screen wonders like “The Adventures of Tenali Rama” and “Return of Hanuman” have been models of inspiration for animation artists over the world. The group behind these animated acts is none other than Toonz Animation India. Based in Thiruvanthapuram and backed by more than 600 artists, this animation company is leading the way in India’s animation scene. Established in 1999, Toonz is proclaimed as South Asia’s largest animation studio, with a clientele including bigwigs like Disney, Paramount and Hallmark.
Creativity is the common thread that binds all the employees of Pentamedia Graphics. By churning out inspiring animated movies like “Pandavas: The Five Warriors” and Oscar-nominated “Gulliver’s Travels,” this Chennai-based animation company has maintained a constant rank at number two. It has production houses in Manila and Singapore, which—like its headquarters—offers an array of services such as 2D animation, 3D animation, Visual Effects, film making and post production services.
Maya Entertainment Ltd. (MEL) was founded in 1996 with the aim of developing and providing services in content production, animation, visual effects and 3D animation education. Its headquarters are in Mumbai, but it has training centers in Asia and the Middle East. Their projects involve global clients like Sony, Google, BBC and Rainbow. MEL has two verticals: Studio Vertical (MEL studio) and Education Vertical (MAAC). With full-fledged support from about 400 employees across all facilities and a professional and stable organizational structure, MEL generates revenues exceeding INR 1 billion.
UTV Toonz, the animation division of UTV Software Communications Ltd., is one of the top animation outsourcing destinations in India. UTV made a foray into the animation space in 2000 and has since then established its presence in markets globally across all platforms of animation. Based in Mumbai, Toonz’s clientele includes noteworthy companies from Asia, Europe and North America.
Jadooworks Pvt. Ltd. is a leading animation company in India with its head office in Bangalore. It aims at cashing in on the mythological and folkloric richness of the country’s past and present. Indian animation companies prove to be more adept at hand-drawing of characters and color digital painting; hence, many international animation studios look to outsource their work to companies like Jadooworks, who has acquired experience in this lucrative business for a while now.
Heart Entertainment Limited is based in Hyderabad and has a state-of-the-art 2D studio. Its projects include Walt Disney for whom Heart Entertainment made an 86-minute cartoon film “The Hercules.” For the purpose of meeting production requirements, Heart Entertainment launched its own training academy—Heart Animation Academy—which trains students in the art of filmmaking. Other works of Heart Entertainment include Warner Brother’s “Histeria” and Tommy Nelson’s “Crippled Lamb.”
Nipuna Services Ltd., a BPO subsidiary of Satyam Computer Services, entered into a partnership with UK-based 4K Animation Limited. Nipuna provides VFX, 3D and 2D animation services from its head office in Chennai.
A subsidiary of the iconic Zee Telefilms, Padmalaya Telefilms has carved a niche in the South Asian entertainment industry. Providing quality entertainment using the latest technology is the aim of this company which acts as a one stop source for entertainment. It has entered into a technical tie-up with the Film Club of Los Angeles, USA, as a co-producer of 2D and 3D software. Padmalaya is internationally renowned for its superiority in television software development, animation and feature film production.
Crest Animation Studios Ltd. was set up in 1990 and formerly known as Crest Communications. It is considered as one of the first players in the Asian subcontinent to offer services to the US and UK entertainment industry. Having produced animation content for various international TV shows like “Jakers” and “Pet Alien,” Crest is responsible for generating more than 150 half hours of television and home video titles. Crest Animation Studio is based in Mumbai, while Crest Animation production is located in California.
Silvertoon Studio is a leading animation company in India, which is engaged in contract work for US, UK and French studios. One of the most popular and rewarding works of Silvertoon is its 135-minute long “Hanuman.” It also prides itself on “The Adventures of from the Book of Virtues” which was telecast on American television.
Notwithstanding the fact that India is home to the largest live action film industry in the world, its animation, most animation work is given to Indian companies by successful leading studios in the USA and Europe. With no dearth of active imagination and a rich reserve of mythology and culture, Indian animation industry can propel forward in the $16 billion global entertainment market.
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