Mumbai: ACK Media launched its newest feature length film, Sons of Ram at the Comic Con Mumbai 2011.
The unconventional early presentation included lots of behind-the-scenes art, animation and demo version of one of the film’s songs. Giving a rare sneak-peak into the process and evolution of a quality Indian animated production.
The movie Sons of Ram is inspired by the original ACK comic of the same name by the Late Uncle Pai. The film adaptation written and directed by Kushal Ruia, combines familiar elements of the comic with fresh ideas that help tell the story of Luv & Kush (a perennial favorite from the world of the Ramayana) like never before. This adaptation aims to do what any good adaptation or re-telling should, that is stay true to the heart and spirit of the original while at the same time making it relevant to a contemporary audience.
Sons of Ram is ACK Animation’s first musical. Being a big fan of musical story telling in its purest tradition, the writer/director, Kushal Ruia persevered to find collaborators who understood how to move the plot forward with songs and be storytellers with him. This led to composers Gaurav Issar and Shailu Rao who created beautiful melodies that echo the emotions of the character and the needs of the plot at the given point in time. Ace lyricist Asif Ali Beg, also worked with Kushal to weave the threads of the story into the lyrics of the songs organically. So be it Sunidhi Chauhan ‘s (Sita) soulful lament “Free To Be” or the fun road-trip song with the kids “Going to Ayodhya”, all songs in Sons of Ram move the story forward, if you miss them, you will definitely miss an essential part of the storytelling.
The production of“Sons of Ram is an international effort. Most of the pre-production, like design, story, voices, and art direction was done in-house at ACK Animation, Mumbai. While a studio in Malaysia did majority of the production and post-production work, it was constantly under the supervision of the Director Kushal Ruia and his core team at ACK Animation, Mumbai.
“The casting and recording of these characters was an adventure by itself as we had to cast a huge cast of 15 major characters in this movie ranging from wise old sages to young naughty children. We were lucky to get some fantastic actors from theatre and film to do voices for us and bring these amazing characters to life.Â We have young TV / Theatre actors like Aditya Kapadia (Just Mohabbat) playing Luv and an industry veteran like Sunidhi Chauhan playing Sita and of course, she sings too!” said Kushal Ruia, Director. “The film uses 2D hand drawn animation. The traditional look has an appeal that no other technique offers. Also the story with its larger than life events and mythical creatures lends itself well to the strengths of 2D animation like graphic shapes and stylized animation” he further added
Viewers of Sons of Ram will not only find all of their favorite characters like Luv ,Kush, Sita, Ram and Valmiki amongst others but also new characters that were created specifically for the film by Kushal and his story team. These new characters will bring depth and entertainment and help add a fresh spin on a familiar tale
Kushal Ruia, Creative Head, ACK Media added “ACK Media has already put out successful and critically animated products in the last 2 years. We started with ‘AMAR CHITRA KATHA- the animated series’ a 26 x 22 min series that aired on Cartoon Network (CN) and now is rolling out on DVD. We also premiered our first full-length feature film on CN called ‘Tripura’ (FICCI winner) which was made in conjunction with our friends at Animagic Studios. ‘Sons of Ram’ hopes to build on this tradition and take it to the next level. Over a period of time we would like to redefine the global perception of Indian animation” He also added by saying, “A format/ medium is just a device to reach the audience. As a forward thinking and evolving Media Company, we want to reach our audience in the most relevant formats of today. Film and animation gives us just that. We have never and do not plan to compromise on the kind of stories we tell, the sensibilities with which we tell them and the art we use, be it in print or film. Therein we stay faithful to our roots, as always.”