Towards the end of the 19th century India’s first animation film was produced. But the idea of animation in India has been cherished over a thousand years.
Storytelling has been a central part of Indian culture with every region having its own style of narration. Whether it is Andhra Pradesh, where the gypsies narrate stories by beating drum or Tamil Nadu where a stringed instrument is used to narrate heroic ballads. Nautanki and puppetry are age-old traditions that visually narrate stories full of magic, fantasy, animals that talk and mythical landscapes. The exaggerated and simplified characters of these ancient modes of entertainment often portrayed complex political socio-cultural and religious ideas.
Thus even though the technology of animation arrived in India much later, we have been animating for a while now!
Creativity flows in every vein of Indian storytellers. We can cook potatoes in three hundred different ways. And we can tell stories in many more. Our films, our literature and our media all have the same richness and diversity as our food. We love entertainment. As there are lots of people so there is lots of fun. The multicultural, multilingual people having unique lifestyles, attire beliefs and traditions, provide for an assortment of audiences that a medium as universal as animation can accommodate.
This resource is an attempt to look at the evolution of Indian animation since its inception in the pre-independence era till the present age of smart phones and tablets. It explores the development of the industry and its potential given the rich cultural history of India.
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