Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Nickelodeon India's 'Motu Patlu' Becomes a Hit in China

Nickelodeon India's hit CG-animated series Motu Patlu is widely regarded as one of India's favourite cartoon series, and the show is now becoming increasingly popular internationally, including across the border, in China!


"Motu Patlu" was the fourth most searched show on Google in 2018, according to the China Internet Report 2019. The report however does not reveal any details about the viewership of the show in the country.

Motu Patlu gaining popularity in China follows the show being declared as the ninth most searched keyword in India and fourth most searched show in the world in 2018, according to Google Trends 2018.

Motu Patlu is a classic Indian cartoon series on the same lines as Laurel and Hardy. The show follows Motu and Patlu, two best friends who constantly run into trouble, and subsequently chased by a police officer. The show is one of Nickelodeon India's most watched shows, with the series reportedly garnering more than 3 million views on WowKidz, Cosmos Mayas’ and YouTube India in 2018. Interestingly, show is geo-blocked on YouTube.

Anish Mehta, CEO Cosmos Maya, had earlier said that the show is their biggest property and they look forward to more viewership in 2019.

Hit Indian Shows Go Global

Motu Paltu is not the only Indian toon to international. Netflix show Mighty Bheem, based on popular Indian show Chhota Bheem also garnered viewers internationally. In fact, the series' 21 short Youtube videos have grossed 22 million viewers.

And its ‘local’ flavour is the reason for its success. “The content is authentically Indian. The setting is rural India. The stories and characters are local. The more authentically local the show is, the better it travels,” Ted Sarandos chief content officer of Netflix told Business Insider India.

If the trend continues, Indian cartoons might give a tough competition to their Japanese counterparts. For decades, Japanese cartoons and characters like Ninja Hattori, Doraemon, Shin Chan and Pokemon have been capturing the minds of children around the world, telling authentic Asian stories. Now, it could be the time for Indian toons.

From Business Insider India:

EXCLUSIVE: Motu Patlu’s creators eye the big fat Chinese cartoon market with 5 new shows

In an interview with Business Insider India Cosmos Maya said it has five properties under production for China.

Their popular series Motu Patlu is still a hit in India, Indonesia, Pakistan and China. It was also the fourth most search keyword on Google in 2018.

After Chotta Bheem went international, yet another popular Indian animation ‘Motu Patlu’ is heading for greener pastures.

A large number of 90s and 2000s Indian kids were raised on Japanese cartoons. Now, the tables have turned and how. Looks like India is taking up the mantle of net exporter of animation properties. After Chotta Bheem went international, yet another popular Indian animation ‘Motu Patlu’ is heading for greener pastures.

Cosmos Maya, the creators of Motu Patlu are now planning to capture a share of China’s $29 billion animation industry.

“We have 4-5 new shows under production for China. I strongly believe that both India and China have similar culture, family values, and lifestyle,” said Suhas Kadav, Chief Creative Officer, Cosmos Maya to Business Insider India in an interview.

The idea behind the shows is to weave in moral values into the cartoons. This might find takers in China as, like in India, families in both the countries want their children to watch shows under parental supervision. “Hence Chinese people have some inclination towards Indian content,” explains Suhas.

As it's population grows, the Chinese entertainment industry too is expected to overtake the US as the world’s biggest box office in 2020. China has over 800 million internet users, out of which 300 million users consume video actively on various platforms including iQiyim,Youku, and Tencent.

China’s animation industry is expected to swell to $54.3 billion by 2025, according to The “Global and China Animation Industry Report.

“Our series Baapu is an international boom and our youtube channel Wow Kidz has around 12 million subscribers,'' said Suhas Kadav.

The Growth of Motu Patlu

Motu Patlu is a classic Indian series on the same lines as Laurel and Hardy. Two best friends Motu and Patlu constantly run into trouble, and are subsequently chased by a police officer. The show reportedly garnered more than three million views on WowKidz, Cosmos Mayas’ and Youtube India in 2018.

It also has a first mover advantage. “At the time we began our Motu Patlu series, there were hardly any animation studios making Indian content. The only Indian show I remember is Chota Bheem that marked its journey on television in 2008,” said Suhas, who created Motu Patlu in 2011.

He further added, “Motu Patlu has been the top show for more than five years. The shows growth also led to the growth of Nickelodeon in India. When we partnered with Nickelodeon it ranked fifth but it became No. 1 cartoon channel soon after the launch of Motu Patlu.”

Motu Patlu was also the fourth most searched show on Google in 2018, said China Internet Report 2019. Interestingly, the show is geo-blocked on Youtube.

The report however does not reveal any details about the viewership of the show in the country. The show was also declared as the ninth most searched keyword in India and fourth most searched show in the world, in Google Trends 2018.

Anish Mehta, CEO Cosmos Maya, had earlier told The Hindu that the show is their biggest property and they look forward to more viewership in 2019. Cosmos Maya is thinking of venturing into virtual reality soon.

“The business for VR in India is being analysed and the current trends paint a good picture,” he said.

In April 2018, Singapore-based equity investor Emerald Media bought a controlling stake in Cosmos Maya for an undisclosed amount. The studio took three new series outside of India to international marketplace.

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More Nick: Madame Tussauds Delhi Unveils Motu Patlu Waxwork Figures!

Originally published: Monday, July 15, 2019.
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