keymonache keymonache

“Keymon Ache”, A Kids-in-School Show Debuts in India

Keymon Ache

Keymon Ache premiered earlier this week on Nickelodeon India. Watch the first episode on Nick India’s website. It’s about an ordinary Indian boy and his magical rapping monkey Keymon Ache.

The series, which is being touted as “India’s first non-mythological contemporary show,” is produced by DQ Entertainment. Why this is important: the show’s entire production, even the creative pre-production elements, were done entirely in India, and the results are almost on a par with Western animated series. There’s a handful of localized touches, such as the boy not wearing shoes in the home, but for the most part it looks and feels like a Western show. The fact that India can now produce an entire Westernized animated series from concept to completion is both an accomplishment and a game-changer for the animation industry.

(Thanks, Rohit Iyer)

  • Jon

    Looks awful! Ugly design! This is on par with the worst the west has to offer. Crap! Game changer? NOT!

    • amid

      Have you ever seen Phineas and Ferb? I didn’t say this was good, just “almost on a par” with Western shows. India’s homegrown content is getting closer to mainstream standards everyday whether you want to participate maturely in a discussion or not.

    • CJ

      You do know an animation company has to start somewhere. The fact that they managed to make their own animation without outside assistance is an achievement in itself. You’re knocking down an industry there that has yet to mature and flourish.

    • snip2354

      Good morning to you too. Here’s some coffee. Please please drink it.

      It’s only a game changer due to all the firsts it’s getting, but I can tell you from experience that firsts don’t amount to a thing unless it starts a trend, and only until years later will you realize if it does or not. I am giving India the due credit and congratulate them on doing something different in their entertainment.

  • Congrats to DQE for pulling it off. Chakravarti may not win everyone over with JUNGLE BOOK, IRON MAN, PETER PAN, LASSIE, and countless other 2D and CG co-productions/ adaptations, but he knows where the money is. There’s some quality CG from that studio in LITTLE NICK and LE PETITE PRINCE, whenever it comes out.

    Chakravarti has said as recently as last autumn, I want to say, that it just wasn’t economically reasonable to go whole hog into producing original IPs for India and south Asia. That said, KEYMON ACHE was announced a little more than a year ago, and something is certainly better than nothing.

  • JG

    “Non-mythological”? Bs. The monkey is friggin’ blue! That clearly has something to do with hindu deities.

    • CJ

      @ JG :

      I think most people here could agree that it’s subtle enough though for no one to really notice too much. When you think about it, a lot of American cartoons incorporate Christian mythology in their shows, some more than others. So as long as the story doesn’t come off as a Sunday cartoon special, then hey – I’ll give it even more kudos.

  • The Gee

    Amid is right. It is good for what it is.
    Believe me, I have seen some pretty crappy stuff from India over the in recent years, especially character design for digital animation. So, this is a step up from the worst stuff.

    Is this show great? Nah. But, it is awfully impressive that so much animation is being produced in so many places around the world.

    From what I could stand of watching that clip, it is nice to know that it is being produced for their local market. For the sake of the kids, let’s hope they aren’t just repeating the bad mistakes of kids-in-school cartoons that have been produced for years. Though, from what little I saw it looks like they are.

    Rapping Mon-key! Rapping Key-mon! For the Win!

  • Got a bit of a shock. I read ‘rapping’ incorrectly. Doesn’t look too bad though the decision to use a heavy outline on the RAPPING monkey and not on the boy is interesting. Btw, is the monkey wearing a hoodie that covers his whole head, including his hat? Tight-fit.

  • AltredEgo

    I understand the snark that this subject will engender on a largely western animation message board. This is our livelihood that we’re seeing slipping through the cracks, so I’d expect few applause from this crowd.

    For those of us who’ve been paying attention to the amount and quality of work coming out of India, Singapore and other places in Asia and South Asia, this will come as no great surprise. Much like Japanese studios that were trained on Western shows, it is inevitable that the kind of rigorous production training and experience that artists receive overseas working on American shows/movies will eventually coalesce into internal productions. It’s certainly the trend in VFX, where more and more responsibilities are getting shifted to overseas VFX shops, how long before movie studios are relying exclusively on overseas studios for their VFX needs, especially considering the pressures Western studios are under to deliver films under increasingly smaller budgets. In Canada, we have profited greatly from the influx of American service work (jobs) over the decades. Yet, for all the work we’ve done, there are few studios here who produce any non-service work of much note. Plus our government subsidizes the industry so that we can stay afloat and make films like Gnomeo and Juliet which received millions in Canadian taxpayer money (G&J actually made money, so the only thing about its production that was bankrupt was its creativity). Yet even in a service-work based industry like ours more and more of our jobs (formerly American jobs) are now being farmed out to places like Singapore. Even Canadian instruction is being offered to what is essentially our competition, so that eventually you will have Western-quality artists that you only have to pay Eastern standard-of-living rates. Coupled with the reality that as improvements in telecommunications makes distance work easier to manage and coordinate, intermediate companies will begin to crop up that specialize in getting Western quality work done in Asia and India, making the process even easier. I could go on and on, but I’ve already made my point and one that has already been made by countless others. It reminds me of that scene from the Matrix (I say “The” Matrix because there was only ONE film, and two forgettable fan-fiction monstrosities but I am digressing…)

    “You hear that Mr. Anderson?… That is the sound of inevitability… It is the sound of your death… Goodbye, Mr. Anderson…”

    The real question before us, is what to do about it?

    • Murray bain

      roll with the punches and get great at pre pro? all Canadian studios did that in the90s(boards design,layout and pose ) when stuff was animated in Korea.
      I’m noticing all money is coming from Asia,India&china,north American producers and networks claim they are “broke”. The Asian studios are fronting the money(local venture capital$) to get the IP, so they get the work,or most of it.
      It seems Tv is dead,as far as service profit margins are concerned, go Interactive!

    • No, there wasn’t EVEN one Matrix film.

  • A lot of lone US freelancers have already “done something about it” by lowering rates enough to siphon off some of the work going overseas. It’s an uncomfortable solution.

  • Dr.Truth

    Amid, I agree with you. This is actually good!
    I love the look and feel of the monkey character. It’s
    a very fun design, in my opinion.
    In this this post Adventure Time world where everyone feels the need to make a “kid and his magical
    companion” show, this feels unique. I can easily see indian kids loving this. More power to them!

  • Vzk

    If you cross your eyes, you can kind of see Nobita and Doraemon.

    • CJ

      Vzk :

      I’m glad someone else also so the Doraemon!

  • Mr. Critic

    I don’t think Amid was saying this show is good but that American television shows are just plain bad with a few exceptions.

    The day Jackie Chan Adventures, Looney Tunes (the new one), Family Guy, and a whole host of other shows are said to have GOOD animation is the day I stop animating because it’s clear viewers have no frigging clue what they’re talking about.

    If those shows are good then where do the original Disney and WB shorts fit in? Where does Miyazaki fit in? Where do CalArts and Les Gobelins students fit in?

    Reserve the word good for those that deserve it. With the budgets they have, expect more from TV.

  • Maddog

    C.J. Bear and Jamal was better.

    • Bud

      No one ever heard of that cartoon, either, though. Looking it up, they are indeed on par.

  • Marc Baker

    I don’t know about you, but that image reminds me of ‘My Gym Partner’s A Monkey’.

  • As someone writing from the so-called third world I must say I’m quite pleased, and amazed, to see this.

    Sure, the premise doesn’t bring anything new to the table and some things could be technically better – but hey, we’re talking about animation done in places where this kind of industry wasn’t even an option until very, very recently. Context is everything here folks.

    Digital technologies and the Internet are making these kind of ventures more affordable than ever… Better take that back; affordable, period. And if more animation developments on India and other similar countries follow suit, it can only get better (more sophisticated) over time. I’m specially pleased to watch new shows and characters outside the usual suspects zone, even if their look and feel ends up being quite Westernized (well, they also entitled to like American pop culture as much as we do, don’t they?)


    i want to play this game