Sudha Murty Netflix

Sony Pictures Networks targets India’s ‘new-age kid’ with upcoming shows

EXCLUSIVE: The company reveals four projects in the works at its production division, with plans for book adaptations and girl-skewing stories, says business head Leena Lele Dutta.
July 22, 2022

After dipping its toe into content production with 2D-animated series Sudha Murty’s Stories of Wit and Magic (pictured), which launched on Netflix earlier this year, Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) India has unveiled a batch of new animated series in development.

The production division launched in 2019, representing the network’s first move into creating content for its linear kids channel Sony YAY! and other third-party platforms. Now it’s looking to diversify kids TV offerings in India and fill a gap in the animation industry with projects aimed at young girls, which is an underserved market in the country, says Leena Lele Dutta, head of SPN India’s kids business.

SPN India is developing four upcoming series, tentatively titled Maya’s Magic Makeup Box, Basics of Flying, Tuckbuck Tales and Karna The Guardian, and more are in the works.

Maya’s Magic Makeup Box (13 x 20 minutes) stars a 14-year-old girl who struggles with self-confidence issues until she stumbles upon a magical makeup box. But instead of changing her appearance, the box changes the world around her. The 2D-animated show is aimed at tweens and tackles the rollercoaster ride of adolescence with a blend of comedy and drama.

Basics of Flying (10 x 10 to 15 minutes) is a CG-animated aviation series seeking to educate kids about the science of flying. Every episode focuses on a different aviation topic, such as takeoff/landing, functions of flight instruments and visual flight rules.

Swashbuckling animated series Karna The Guardian (12 x 22 minutes) will present a modern reinterpretation of Mahabharat, an Indian folk tale about the battle for power between two groups of cousins, the Pandavas and Kauravas. The story will focus on the character Karna in a mix of science, mythology and Bollywood highlights.

Meanwhile, preschool series Tuckbuck Tales (26 x seven to eight minutes) centers on a family of horses living in a small town. Unfolding from the point of view of a five-year-old girl and her younger brother, the series is focused on developing social intelligence and empathy in young viewers.

Looking beyond these projects and fuelled by the success Sudha Murty, the network is interested in adapting fiction novels for the screen, says Dutta.

“We are in conversations with Indian authors who have a vast pool of fiction novels that we’re looking at adapting in the animation space,” she says.  “We are also engaging with a lot of budding writers to [create] stories for the new-age kid in India today,” she adds.

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