Motu Patlu, one of India’s top-viewed kids animated series, completed 1000 episodes and 23 TV movies by the end of 2020, and has now been renewed for a 13th season. The show is the brainchild of Indian kids’ animation veteran and Chief Creative Officer of the production studio Cosmos-Maya. His latest show Lambu-G Tingu-G launched on WarnerMedia’s Pogo in India on 3rd May 2021 and has recorded a stellar opening performance, making it to the top-performing shows on Pogo in its first 2 weeks.
Motu Patlu was the first animated show Cosmos-Maya produced for Indian television with Viacom-owned Nickelodeon coming on board as the digital and broadcast partner, and Suhas was the creative director who oversaw the transition of the characters of Furfuri Nagar to the TV screen from their original home in Lotpot magazine. Suhas deep-dived into the mannerisms, idiosyncrasies, and dialects of central Indian adults and what they do that makes kids laugh. He continuously derives from this in his creative process to create bestselling shows like Vir The Robot Boy, Bapu, and Guddu – all available on pay-TV and all major OTT platforms in India. Each show has its own creative style and its characters range from bumbling adults to inspirational historical figures to action heroes to anthropomorphic animals.
A trained creative artist from the JJ School of Arts in Mumbai, Suhas’s career has sprawled over 16 years within the animation sector, and his creative process finds him noting the tiniest nuances of character development and behavior, and how they must borrow from and accurately represent local Indian elements and flavors. His eye for detail can especially be seen in the way the color schemes adapt basis his characters’ locations in the world – how an Indian locality is shown bright and sunny while the Mediterranean locations Motu, Patlu, and their gang cross during their travels are more mellow and would use comparatively cooler palettes.
Motu Patlu gained success especially as a family entertainer, partly owing to the familiarity from the comic books and partly because of the desi sitcom structure it employs, and how it maintains a bank of characters and situations for the movies which is independent of those used in the TV series (besides the primary set of characters). In spite of nearly over a decade that has passed since the original launch of the show, Suhas and his creative team have managed to maintain the show’s longevity by updating the character’s look and style to keep up with the times.
With Lambu-G Tingu-G, Suhas brings an all-new buddy comedy, with crisp and quick-paced 2D animation giving it a more mature look. The series is set in the fictional Buddy Badi Valley, moving from the small-town backdrop of Motu Patlu to the city. Suhas stated, “With LGTG we had the benefit of novelty. While with Motu Patlu, there was a source material we had to adhere to and do justice to, we didn’t have such constraints for LGTG, where we got to create an absolutely new set of characters and have complete control over how their story veered. We get to create a new look for the show with the elements typical of the Indian source code, in literally larger scale and size and a visual style commensurate with international standards.”
Upcoming soon in 2021, Cosmos-Maya’s new show Dabangg will have Suhas entering absolutely new content territory by providing an animated spin to the eponymous movie series. The show will air on Cartoon Network and stream on Disney+Hotstar. Talking about the show, Suhas comments, “Dabangg allows us to be experimental in an absolutely new way, where we get to translate a live-action franchise to the animated format in a completely original way giving our own style and aesthetic to a well-known character. It poses a challenge as well – how to reproduce a loved live-action character into a cartoon that commands instant recognition by the viewers. Plus, working with a title like Dabangg will open space for us to work with projects of similar or larger creative scalability and even more diverse audiences.”