Malayalam folklore ghouls – Eenam pechi, Arucola, Kuttichaathan, Aana Maruta, Neet arukola and Tendan come to life in an animated short film Malayalam, Kandittund (Seen It!) By Eeksaurus released on YouTube.
From the tales of Pajumadatil Narayana Paniker – Keshav Paniker, we “learn” that Eenam pechi leaves at exactly 2.30 in the morning, Aana Maruta one and a half feet elephant-like creature, Arucola a faceless shadow that touches neither the sky nor the earth, Tendan has “protruding eyes”, similar to areca nuts … The alarmist “saw” most of them, except Arucolathat you can’t look at and Kuttichaathan, whom he “saw” only as idols. Tendan, he saw only once.
This short film is an ode to Studio Eeksaurus founder and animator father Suresh Eriyat, PNK Panicker’s ornate story, and an archive of Kerala’s urban legends.
“There are some exaggerations in my dad’s stories that make them unique and bizarre. He makes the stories of ghosts and ghouls believable, there is a reason for that. ” Narrators – Eriyat and his father, video was taken four years ago during a family vacation in Maharashtra. It was put by the newcomer Aditi Krishnadas.
“I tried to develop it in various ways, with my father in the frame. Aditi suggested “creating” my father as an animated avatar as the narrator, ”says Eriyat. Each story, there are six of them, is entertaining, the film begins with Eriyat telling how, according to his father, the ghosts migrated due to the arrival of electricity, since many of them were electrocuted.
Instead of working with live footage, Aditi invited them to work with animation to portray Eriyat’s father. “I haven’t met him in person, but after looking at the footage I found that he has subtle, interesting manners. While the actual footage has its own charm, I felt we could turn him into an animated character by exaggerating his mannerisms and placing the film in a wild setting. ” There are few similarities between the character in the film and the real PNK Panicker. “I used my imagination. As for the other “characters”, I didn’t do that much research, it was all out of imagination. Not all ghosts are detailed. ” From storyboarding to drawings, Aditi participated in all aspects with the help of other team members.
Rather than using color, the film sticks to a black and white palette that heightens the mood of the ghosts and otherworldly presence. It looks like a graphic novel. Eriyat says: “To make it black and white was a deliberate decision: it was a difficult choice. The creatures are nocturnal figments of the imagination. Fear mingles with darkness, blending naturally with the narrative. It conveys a richness of the environment and a sense of space, making these spaces believable and giving them a unique look. “
- The film won six awards – Outstanding Achievement Award and Special Mention at the Accolade Global Film Competition, Best Animation at Short to the Point, Gold at the Fantasia Film Festival and Digicon6 Asia, Satoshi Kon Award for Excellence in Animation, Best Animation in Kolkata … International Short Film Festival and winner of the Swedish International Film Festival.
The intricate details of the drawings combined with the Alarmiker’s narrative give life to the ghouls. The film was created for a year and a half due to the large number of drawings. “There are 30 drawings per second, multiply that by 12 minutes. This is a lot of drawings, multi-layered, which took time. At some point, a team of 20 was working on this, ”he says.
Eriyat says the film is not nostalgic, but provides a cultural context for nostalgia. “Stories and legends have been preserved, the next generation can learn them.”
His ninety-year-old father felt the thrill of watching the movie, “because we did something on it. He’s a government employee, not famous. Here we do it by celebrating his imagination and storytelling. He feels aroused, ”says Eriyat. He plans to release it as a graphic book.
And more ghosts are coming?
“Oh yes! There are ghosts waiting, funny and bizarre!” Eriyat signs.