Zoo Films and Atomic Cartoons Hit the Bollywood Road

A dysfunctional singing-and-dancing Anglo-Indian family is the focus of Bollywood Road, a new animated series to be co-produced by London’s Zoo Films and Toronto-based Atomic Cartoons. Created by Alastair Swinnerton (The Tale of Jack Frost, The Baskervilles), the new toon follows the adventures of the Mumbi family in a fictitious multi-cultural urban community.

‘Although on the surface, the Mumbis share the same daily routines of other London families, at any moment, the walls of the houses or restaurants in their world can burst open to reveal a glittering song and dance routine’with the Taj Mahal, dancers, elephants, the whole works, as the backdrop,’ says Swinnerton.

The father of the family is Paresh, a once-famous Bollywood star who is now a cab-driver and fanatical stage dad. Nisa Mumbi is the ever-suffering mother of the clan, who holds down numerous jobs so that Paresh can chase his wild dreams. The youngesters in the family are eletronic whiz kid Achai, and his sister Paresh, who is pushed by her father to become a Bollywood starlet.

According to the producers, Bollywood Road will be written by an Anglo-Indian team and voiced by well-known Anglo-Indian actors and comedians. The show is under consideration by BBC Children’s in its current commissioning round. Swinnerton will be shopping the property at the MIPTV market in France next week.

Zoo Film is the UK studio headed by Neil Graham and Nic Camecho, which specializes in providing animation services across all media. Graham and Camecho are currently producing the animation for Tronji, Ragdoll’s new series for CBBC & BBC Worldwide. Atomic Cartoons is producing the second season of the global hit series Atomic Betty, as well as the first season of Captain Flamingo. Atomic’s next proprietary project, Black Planet, is in development with Canada’s YTV. Swinnerton’s previous credits as a writer include The Wombles, Amazing Animals and The Baskervilles. He was also the co-creator of LEGO’s Bionicle property. Most recently he wrote, co-produced and co-directed the BAFTA-nominated animated special The Tale of Jack Frost with Zoo Films.