There have been several attempts before to create a brand of super hit film and then leverage through other mediums like books, memorabilia etc. Unfortunately, very few attempts have seen successful. However, the super success of Baahubali franchise has encouraged the makers (S. S. Rajamouli and K. V. Vijayendra Prasad) to try out an animated series of the same (Graphic India and Arka Mediaworks). Baahubali novel and comics are already out in the market.
To begin with, Amazon Prime (the OTT Platform) will be uploading 13 episodes (six are also ready) of Baahubali: The Lost Legends, the animated format. Later, they plan to telecast it on a broadcasting platform as well.
We must admit that the sheer success of both part one and part two of the movie franchise made the job easier for we already identify with the characters (Baahubali, Kattapa etc). Also the animation at offer is top class. The sketch of the characters finds a semblance and looks similar to real life movie avatars. The backdrop of the Mahishmati royal family palace complete with elephants is overwhelmingly visually appealing aptly carrying forward the Baahubali legacy.
The makers have also ticked one more important box by etching out interesting stories about the growing up and youth years of both the above prince.
We especially like underplaying of the evil Bhalla Dev. The voiceovers of all characters are perfect.
We really liked the episodes when the daughter of the neighboring king plots to kill her brother and Baahubali comes to known about it, yet is unable to do anything due to state craft. Kids will learn the essentials of ruling which are always not pleasant.
One other thing which we noticed was that unlike the films, which were full of blood, gore and macho patriotism, the animation feature also dwells on the other side of war. The creatives depict how even victorious armies can be decimated in numbers. The scenes of injured tired soldiers should give war mongers food for thought.
What really gives the film a chance to succeed is that there are enough sub plots in the film which can be explored as standalone episodic stories e.g. back stories of Mahaguru and Katappa. The background score is good and meshes with the overall storyline.
Here, we must credit the smartness of the makers… had they planned a live action show it would have come out really expensive, animation though quite cumbersome is still much more economical. Also as the brand is quite fresh it should interest even the 16+ audience apart from the staple kids genre.
Ideally, we should have seen Prabhas and other actors (Rana Daggubati and Anushka Shetty etc) come out much more aggressively to promote the show which we are not seen yet.
Success or otherwise would obviously decide whether the second season gets commissioned or not. Also, the fact the broadcast might come later gives credence to the thought process that as of now the audiences of both digital and TV are as different as chalk and cheese.
The most interesting thing is that the makers have first launched this show on a digital platform that too on a paid model, which testifies he faith and potential in the platform.
Ratings: 3.5 out of 5 stars