Friday, October 30, 2009

Amitabh Bachchan Priyardarshan join hands with Toonz

Amitabh Bachchan, Priyardarshan join hands with Toonz  

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 30 (IANS) Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, ace director Priyadarshan and animation major Toonz Animation have joined hands to prepare a Rs.20 crore 3D animation film titled "Twinergy".

Addressing reporters on the eve of Technopark-based Toonz celebrating its first decade of operations, its CEO P.Jayakumar said that the pre-production work is over and the production of the film has commenced.

"This is a 90-minute 3D animation film in English. Bachchan cleared this story after hearing seven ideas from us. We had a three-hour discussion with him in Hyderabad where he was assisted by Abhishek and Aishwaraya. At the end of it, he zeroed in on three and finally gave the nod for 'Twinergy' ," said Jayakumar.

The film tells the tale of a royal family, united by love and divided by misunderstanding and how they adopt two twins into their fold.

The funds for this mega project have been arranged by Toonz and Priyadarshan is expected to spend a week here in the Toonz studio and would again join the team when the post-production work begins.

"The post-production part will happen in Mumbai because Bachchan is particular about the quality of post-production. The film would be released hopefully by Diwali next year," said Jayakumar.

Toonz Animation has emerged as the preferred one-stop studio for entertainment majors and its client list includes Walt Disney, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures Corporation, Hallmark Entertainment Productions, Lionsgate Entertainment, Cartoon Network, BBC, Sony Entertainment and Marvel Characters.

Elaborating on their initial years, Jayakumar said that the initial years were tough and they lost a lot of money.

"But now things have changed and our pipeline is full for the next three years. Now we are in a position to select what we wish to do and we have now started to outsource work to Korea, the Philippines and China. We are now making money," he added.

Toonz today employs 350 professionals in the studio here with a good spread of expatriate animators.

They have also set up an academy for training animators and by now they have 11 centres in the country here and their first overseas centre is now opening shortly in Jordan.

Big B makes Aladin a cool family entertainer Movie Review Rating ***1/2

Big B makes 'Aladin' a cool family entertainer (Film Review - Rating: ***1/2) 
By Joginder Tuteja

Film: "Aladin"; Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Riteish Deshmukh, Jacqueline Fernandes, Saahil Khan, Ratna Pathak; Director: Sujoy Ghosh; Rating: ***1/2

"I am still a teenager", says Amitabh Bachchan right at the beginning of "Aladin", setting the mood for the film to follow. Young at heart and fresh in treatment, "Aladin" wouldn't have been possible without him. 

Playing Genius - The Genie could have gone either way since he is expected to be whacky, quirky, a little eccentric, a bit mad and hugely lovable.

The narrative is clearly divided into two sections. If the first half is more children friendly, the second half has a lot going for teenagers and above. 

There is some fun in store for children with a donkey's head replacing Riteish's, his guitar turning into a frog and him being thrown in the air after being turned into a balloon. The funny antics that follow may not have grown ups rolling with laughter, but should surely keep the smiles on.

Amitabh's 'Yo dude' act keeps the fun going. He adopts a completely different body language as the flamboyant genie, who is happy moving on with the times, and could give the younger generation a run for its money. 

Meanwhile, Sanjay Dutt's Ringmaster character makes on and off appearances, though one would have expected to see more of him. 

The entire past about Aladin and the Genius gets a little confusing.

The real fun begins in the second half with the battle between good versus evil. Sanjay becomes more prominent on screen, the past is unearthed, action and thrills take centrestage and the best of VFX is unveiled. 

The visuals belong to the never-seen-before variety, especially the ones where Big B is shown repenting about his misdeeds. The flashback sequence is extremely well done too.

Sujoy Ghosh does well in conjuring the imaginary world of 'Khwaish' that gives the film a visual appeal. This is further enhanced by the presence of newcomer Jacqueline Fernandes. Riteish is likeable as the young man who gets superpowers towards the film's end, hence keeping an option for a sequel.

Sanjay is good but how one wishes that he had at least a couple of dramatic scenes with Amitabh. 

However, the film completely belongs to Amitabh who totally steals the show. Watch him in "Genie Rap" and you'll know why.

The story of "Aladin" is legendary and Genie and Jasmine are known worldwide. This is why it requires courage for a filmmaker to set the film in contemporary times and come up with his own take on a well loved tale. 

Ghosh does exactly that as he lets his imagination go wild and spins a tale that ends up relating the past, present and future of these characters. This VFX filled entertainer is just the right recipe if one is looking for a family entertainer. 

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