Interview of Manu Ittina in The Hindu
All animated about the future –
The Hindu – Sept 14th 2005
Manu Ittina dreams big for a 25-year-old. The animator, who has made his mark in Hollywood, is now dreaming of turning India into a destination for original animation.
You seen Marty the zebra making an announcement on the shell-microphone? Or Alex the lion making faces as he chokes and spits out grass he ate, in the animation film Madagascar? Then think Bangalore boy. It may be a jungle out there in Hollywood’s animation land, but Manu Ittina, at 25, is the Mowgli of this domain.
Young, ambitious, learning and experimenting, this animator is back in his hometown with big plans of setting up an animation school, a studio, and a film production company.
Manu grew up just like all of us, watching Tom and Jerry on TV and worshipping Jungle Book and its characters. But he never really understood what it would take to make such a film. So when the runaway hit Toy Story came along, Manu, who was 17, was totally blown away by the mind-boggling animation. Slogging away at his computer science P.U. course, he decided he won’t ever be able to forgive himself if he didn’t study animation. He must be feeling good now, having worked on superhits such as Madagascar and Shrek-2. MetroPlus catches up with this young Turk over a cuppa at Royal Orchid Central at Manipal Centre.
“As Indians we don’t have much of an animation vocabulary,” says Manu. Even today, though there is a perception that a lot of Indians are tucked away in Hollywood’s studios, he says most of them are in the technical sections. “The community of character animators is still microscopic.”
And it is this thought that brings Manu back from the lucre and lure of Hollywood. “I really love animation and want India to be a destination of original and indigenous animated work, not just outsourcing. Outsourcing is a sign of short-sightedness.”