Indian animation films have mostly re-told stories from mythological events and characters. However,
Ashoka — The Hero
, the first Indian animation film of 2011, has a boy turning into superhero. It has fight sequences picturised on Mumbai’s landmarks such as Bandra-Worli Sea Link, Rajabhai Tower and CST station.
Writer, director and producer Gaurav Jain says, “Being born and brought up in Mumbai, I wanted to tell an urban story picturised around the landmarks of the city.” He adds that the challenge of creating something new and getting people to enjoy and accept it is the reason why he steered away from mythology.
Jain says that the Bandra-Worli Sea Link wasn’t ready when they started shooting. “I have picturised a major action sequence on the sea link. Ashoka has a fight with the villains and the sea link breaks.”
Another scene has Ashoka crashing into the Rajabhai Tower, and a sequence showing CST station. “In this scene an airplane lands in the middle of CST and the municipal corporation office. Being a superhero action flick, there are scenes where you see the city’s landmarks being blown up,” Jain says. He adds that Ashoka is a regular kid who does his homework, drinks milk and walks his dog but also saves the world.
Jain adds, “Our film competes with western animation films such as
. Kids today are exposed to animation from the world over so we wanted to present our story in that fashion while keeping the Indian feel intact.”
Jain has already started pre-production on the sequel, which will have scenes picturised on the Gateway of India. He plans to release it by the summer of 2012.