Pakistan becoming more Animated
With the revival of Pakistani cinema, our Animation Industry is also inching along. Successful Pakistani animators and visual effects artists have already been creating magic in Hollywood.
For movies like Armageddon, Flubber and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Pakistani animator turned academician Muqeem Khan received worldwide respect and recognition. Karachi-born visual effects artist Mir Zafar Ali and his team won three Academy awards for The Golden Compass, Life of Pi and Frozen. Novaira Masood worked on the truly impressive VFX in Maleficent. Laraib Atta, a young VFX artist, daughter of a legendary folk singer Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi has shown her marvelous talent in Godzilla, Gravity, Sweeney Todd and The Chronicles of Narnia.
Back in the days when the animators/VFX artists were undercover and underpaid i.e. pursuing their passion as a part-time job or a hobby, there was a 2D animated television commercial that had a viewership of its own. Dentonic Tooth Powder “cartoon” was everybody’s favorite distraction during a commercial break on old school PTV. It is a fine example of pure animation and entertainment. It shows an animated character advertising Dentonic on a billboard. After a considerably long interval, we saw the Ding Dong Bubble ad. This TV commercial gained instant popularity which was followed by numerous other 2D animations for different brands.
Then came Commander Safeguard in 2005. He was the first 3D animated Pakistani superhero and not only did he prove to be a trendsetter for other 3D animated productions in the country, but the character also successfully became an international inspiration. This resulted in animation talent of Pakistan creating modified versions of Commander Safeguard for Russia, Africa and Arabia whereas China made their own local version.
After the immense success and large fan following of Commander Safeguard, animated shows and films including Bankay Mian, Milkateers, Lifebuoy Germ Busters, Dettol Warriors, Burka Avenger and 3 Bahadur also became noteworthy for their uniqueness and high quality production.
The mega hit Pakistani movie Waar also used VFX in some of its scenes.
“Teri Parchhaiyaan” a song by Ali Azmat, directed by Zeeshan Perwaiz is worth mentioning here for an animation job well done.
Another major step in the right direction is the upcoming Urdu anime The Glassworker. Written and directed by a young and immensely talented Usman Riaz, The Glassworker will be the first hand-animated Pakistani feature film.
Despite the absence of patronage on any level, government or official, the animation industry of Pakistan is on the rise. The animation professionals are working full-time for international and local markets. They are brimming with innovation and creativity. Due to their broader canvas of imagination, highly professional approach, competitive skills and out-of-the-box concepts, their demand in Pakistan and abroad is ever increasing. Regardless of present day challenges, the future of the Animation Industry in Pakistan looks colourful and dazzling!
by: Zanobia Ilyas.