Disney’s “Arjun” trailer

Forget John Carter. Arjun: The Warrior Prince is the untold story of India’s greatest hero. Disney has attached this trailer to screenings of The Avengers in India. Opens May 25th there – no word on any U.S. release.

A rough translation of the dialogue in the trailer after the jump.

“Have the mothers of earth stopped giving birth to brave men?”

“Is there an archer (who can accomplish this)? Is there?!”

Drona: “Yudhishtira, what do you see?”

Yudhishtira: “Ten mango trees, three Bo-trees and one Audumbar tree.”

Drona: “Move aside! Arjun…?”

Arjun: “My eye sees only the eye of the bird, teacher.”

Drona: “Then release the arrow!”

“If you have to break the Pandavas, then first attack… Arjun!”

Draupadi: “Give me your word – that you will take vengeance for my humiliation from all the Kauravas!”

“Create the chakravyuha (circular formation)!”

Drona: “Get ready for battle!”

“Forget about victory and defeat – focus on action and you will fear nothing.”

(Thanks, Rohit Iyer)


  • Inkan1969

    Reminds me of “The Prince of Egypt”.

    • Charles Ranier

      my thought exactly. This looks (excuse the pun) epic. Hope Disney does the Studio Ghibli thing with this and release it internationally. Scared of who they’d get for the dub, though…

    • wikichau

      yes beautiful classic style animation…the fire scene in the trailor looks stunning!

  • John A

    Interesting blend of mo-cap and hand drawn(simulated 2-D, anyway)animation. Not exactly my kind of film, but I hope it finds its audience. If we can nail the whole “using the tools to help bring down the costs” problem, maybe we can consentrate on delivering less cliche filled storylines.

    • wever

      Mo-cap? How can you tell?

      • Ergo

        I know. It’s so subtle ;)

      • We Dig Our Own Graves

        John Carter eat your heart out indeed. I guess one dirrect comparison you wouldn’t be able to draw with that film & this is the budget. Needless to say, I hope it does better than JC of M.

      • wever

        Forgive me. I must’ve watched this three times and I STILL can’t see any movement that can’t be done frame by frame under careful work. Any link about the mo-cap?

    • brubis

      What you’re referring to as “mo-cap” looks more like traditional rotoscope to me.

  • http://croovman.deviantart.com/gallery/ Stav Levi (croovman)

    With the smaller gestures and expressions it just doesn’t cut it, but otherwise I’m impressed by the action and general aesthetics, it looks really thought out.
    I will gladly see it if I ever get the chance.

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    As a student of Fortean topics, I’m deeply interested in the saga of the Mahabharata, and so I would really like the chance to watch this film :)

    I even got a brief glimpse of a few vimanas in battle!

  • http://www.infurnation.com Rodso64

    Very pretty, but this fits under my broad definition of “Why is this animated?”. Animation is expensive, scene-by-scene. If all you’re going to have is human characters doing human things, why bother?

    • GW

      In this case I’d agree, but that’s generally a commonly held but unnuanced point of view. What if you can’t find a person who looks the way you want? What if you want to show the interior of a human body in a way that can’t be filmed? What if you want to show a person aging more accurately than can be achieved with real actors?

      • Chris Sobieniak

        That’s a very good point GW.

    • KitKat

      Because caricature is more visually interesting than live action. Think about the first 20 or so minutes of “Up” or most of “The Iron Giant”.

    • Ashr

      Believe me, the story of Arjun and the rest of the Mahabharata provide plenty of opportunities for interesting animation. You don’t really see it in this trailer unfortunately.

      Think Hercules.

      • Face

        Mahabharata is a phenomenally epic tale. Mesmerizing study of humanity. Any intelligent mind will be fascinated by it, if it’s not constrained by religion or region.

        I just hope the script does justice to it. The look is OK. Colors are fighting each other a bit for my taste. Animation, merely passable. But if the script is good then this can be cool watch!

  • Skip

    The Direct to DVD event of the year. Doesn’t look as good as they want you to believe it is. Looks good for the Direct to DVD market, but not up to par for feature animation.

  • Marina

    It annoys me how concave the protagonist’s nose is. Big, convex noses are hot. Stop trying to white-wash yourself, India!

    • Face

      Yes they most certainly are, I’m looking in the mirror. But do visit India sometime, you’ll be amazed by mix of concaveness too in India.

  • http://www.animatorisland.com/ J.K. Riki

    Oh Disney… How far you’ve fallen…

    • wikichau

      this is a disney release. but earlier made by an indian company. do you have any idea what the budgets are there for animation? probably 1/50th of whats in the U.S. This is fabulous given the ridiculous budgets and at par with Prince of egypt kind of classic animation.

  • Jennifer

    Did they outsoruce it to the US? FIRST!!!

    • wever

      Boy wouldn’t THAT be ironic!

      Lead is hot, though.

  • http://www.animationinsider.net/ Aaron B.

    This sounded terribly familiar. And sure enough, digging around, this was one of those long-gestating “I’m sure it’ll get released soon,” uber-ambitious projects from a few years ago. The film has been scheduled for release a few times before, but it looks like things finally wrapped (?). I remember being impressed with the teaser a few years ago, and am still rather satisfied with what we have here.

    Plus, as a trailer, it sells the film quite well. We complain time and again how our (domestic) properties are saturated with unfulfilling previews… so it’s worth pointing out a trailer that delivers what it should.

  • edelillus

    That toon shader is RIGHT out of 2001 :(

  • Zork

    If this had a higher budget this might be a good way for Disney to use CGI while still maintaining their visual style. Unfortunately this looks like a PS2 game.

  • Rohit Iyer

    Just a few clarifications.

    The film was not produced by Disney, but by UTV Animation. Disney is the distributor as it acquired the rights after purchasing UTV motion pictures.

    All of the character work is keyframe animation, with A LOT of video referencing. The bulk of the animation was done by UTV and Tata Elxsi.

    The look is, as someone mentioned, to bring down costs and yet to maintain a consistent aesthetic feel. It might look a bit dated, because it’s been in the can for a few years.

    Either way, it marks a step forward from most Indian animated features, both in terms of quality and tone.

    Looking forward to it.

    • JWLane

      Thank you for the clarifications. I think, for work coming from the sub-continent, it is a decent step forward in consistency and art direction. Surely their are some good arguments that can be made against this next statement but, there are some similarities with the first Appleseed feature from Japan. That was definitely watchable.

      Given what it sometimes takes to finish a project, we should not be too critical of ‘that rendering style looking so five years ago’. I’ve been in theatres with people who couldn’t get over the bad chroma key in a Hollywood blockbuster. If the story and pacing is good, I sometimes don’t even notice.

    • Ugly

      This movie looks god awful. TOon shading, and poor design, along with sub par motion *never* look good in 3D. If thats your desired result, why not just do it in 2D and avoid the fuss?

      if this is the best India has to offer, I’m not too worried about US outsourcing anymore.

      • http://dapoonrai.blogspot.com Dapoon

        “if this is the best India has to offer, I’m not too worried about US outsourcing anymore.”

        In that case, hold on tight, there are a lot more coming up

        Delh Safari http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3_jDtwC6jc

        Return of the Jungle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEuhYEjO2b0

        (Both of them made on considerably modest budgets btw!)

      • Sandesh

        the story of Delhi safari is predictable, but Return of the Jungle looks something different. so looking forward to it.

  • d. harry

    looks like early Dreamworks.

    • Ugly

      If by that, you mean “Joseph King of Dreams”….I might agree with you.

  • Sandesh Jadhav

    I remember when I saw its first look a couple of years ago.
    And I was so amazed to see this quality of Animation in Indian Animation. Hopefully it brings some life into Indian Animation industry.

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    Not only did I too think “Prince of Egypt” while watching this, but also “Sita Sings The Blues” where Rama is depicted as both an avatar of goodness and a crappy husband. At the risk of possibly uncovering a spoiler, I wonder if the film will include Arjuna’s dialogue with Krishna from the “Bhagavad Gita,” one of the great locker room pep talks of world literature.

    • JWLane

      I think this is like night and day, compared to the intent of Sita Sings the Blues. I do like the ‘pep talk’ equation.

  • Max

    http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3gioqXe7L1qlirmko1_1280.png
    That is some pretty strong gore for an animated film released by Disney…

  • DonaldC

    Great models, but they could stand to have a better framerate.
    Very stylish. I wish more studios would try cell shading for film.

  • Manu R

    Colour me impressed. The animation looks a bit stiff, but is still far better than most cel shaded attempts I’ve seen before. UTV is one to keep an eye out for.

  • sam

    Looks like made with Adobe Flash. Someone brings up Prince of Egypt? oh please, not even close. This looks like dirt comparing to Prince of Egypt.

    • DonaldC

      I think they mean the general style.

  • CCS

    The contrast between characters and backgrounds is really ridiculous and off-putting. Traditionally animating things like fire effects and doing more cartoony backgrounds would have made this look so much better.

    That fight scene at the end is especially dopey looking in parts.

  • Mic

    I think it’s absolutely awesome.

  • Ritesh

    we all are waiting for this movie from a long long time.I have worked on this film for almost 3 years and it was quite challenging for all of us to do a film with a huge scale like this,ppl will compare it with all the other international CGI films,but with kind of budgets we get in India specially for animation i think we all have done a wonderful job.Keeping my fingers crossed.i hope we will see a new sunrise in Indian animation after the success of this film …

    • Sandesh

      I can understand. agreed

  • http://dapoonrai.blogspot.com Dapoon

    As far as the look and feel of Arjuna is concerned, it’s definitely a style. And more than that, it’s the case of ‘if you can’t have the best, make the best of what you have’. In India, we’re still much further behind compared to US standards in terms of budget. But I believe this is a decent start. If this movie does well, the Indian animation industry will finally have arrived and more movies (hopefully good ones) would be made and readily find a market.

    Slowly we’ll grow and one day the world will sit up and take notice!

  • Ace

    Was this rotoscoped? It looks stylized after Prince of Egypt but like it was directed by Ralph Bakshi… who loved rotoscoping. And watching this trailer, I was very much reminded of that LOTR cartoon (which is not a good thing)

  • http://www.bramhaa.com Mahesh

    Indian animated films have ruined Mahabharata and Ramayana so many times ..using poor storytelling weak characters, bad designs.. what bothers me most is both epic tales are filled with magical spells and magical creatures ..uncanny powers ..and multidimensional characters..
    This trailer is so sad ..and worst is voice acting and dialouges…

    When you read novels like Mrutyanjay or Radheya .
    .. it brings out tears ..even though it Karna’s story . Can you Imagine how epic it can be Arjuna ..

    this is so diasappointing trailer

  • SKent.

    I hate cell-shading.

  • B-dog

    It was a shoestring budget. They shot everything on a stage with live actors and roto-scoped the animation on 2′s.

    Yes it’s not on par with the US features but it is a great step for India.

  • Silence Dogood

    Looks fun. Wish it could be more finished (but don’t we all).
    Still loads better than what you can get on most Middle Eastern/European television.

  • wikichau

    This looks fabulous! definitely reminds of prince of eqypt classic style animation. Havent seen this level of animation coming from India. Looking forward to the release on May 25th, 2012!

  • http://pavanillus.com pavan

    Well said ritesh,
    a huge leap for Indian animation …a work of heart