A Zeal for Toonz
As a flagship production house of the Indian animation industry, Kerala-based Toonz Animation India has emerged as one of the biggest players in Southeast Asia over the last 15 years. With a diverse array of animation techniques on offer—from traditional 2D and stop-motion to CG and visual effects—Toonz has attracted major clients from around the world with its development and production services, including Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Sony, BBC, Universal, Paramount, Marvel and Hallmark. “Though we are an Indian company, we operate on a global level with offices in Singapore, Los Angeles, Montreal and London,” notes CEO P. Jayakumar. The studio’s greatest accomplishments since its founding in 1999 by Disney vet G. A. Menon include producing the Indian animation industry’s first series in 2002 and Nicktoon’s global 2D hit Wolverine and the X-Men (2009).
As the pioneering studio pushes forward on a variety of international projects, including HTDT (52 x 11), The Hero of Color City film and Little Kalari Warriors (52 x 11 and feature-length TV movie), it’s the personal touches that set Toonz apart. “We used to gift caricatures drawn by our artists to our very important guests. All of them really enjoy their pictures,” Jayakumar relates. “Once, we goofed up by giving the wrong pictures when two very important international guests visited our studio. The pictures were opened, on our insistence, in front of a large group by giving explanations on the art inside. And when they were opened and shown to the gathering, the pictures were swapped inside the covers—the male guest got the female guest’s caricature, and vice versa. The crowd was silent and the people on the dais were transfixed ‘til the guests laughed out loud.” Once the mix-up was settled, Jayakumar says the guests were very happy with their gifts— much like Toonz clients are happy with the studio’s results. www.toonzanimationindia.com