It’s not very often that we see Indian animated films make it to the big screen, more so those that aren’t adapted from mythology and folklore. That’s exactly why Shilpa Ranade’s GGBB – Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiya is an exciting labor of love. Produced by the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI) in association with Karadi Tales, the Hindi animated musical comedy comes from Satyajit Ray’s Bengali classic Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne.
The beloved tale of Ray’s 1969 film Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne is an adaptation of his grandfather Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury’s story of the same name. The musical adventure revolves around two friends – Goopi and Bagha – who are not-so-gifted musicians. The film joins them on their fantastical travels as they cross paths with the King of Ghosts who gives them three boons. What follows is a fun journey full of surprising plot twists and rib-tickling song lyrics.
Director Shilpa Ranade, who is an illustrator and a professor at the Indian Institute of Technology’s Design Centre, first found herself interested in the tale of Goopi and Bagha through her association with Scholastic Corporation. The company had published poet and lyricist Gulzar’s Hindi re-telling of Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury’s Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne for which Ranade was roped in to illustrate.
“I was really excited – I had seen Satyajit Ray’s movie as a young film buff, and it was amazing that I was getting to illustrate this story,” Ranade recalled. “I went back to the original story, which was very short. But it was an amazing skeleton that allowed you to tell your own story.”
Written by Soumitra Ranade and Rohit Gahlowt, Shilpa Ranade’s adaptation is based on the original story rather than Ray’s movie. The film is packed with tons of musical number composed by the pop group Three Brothers & A Violin, with the band member Narayan Parasuram is also being the co-founder and creative director of Karadi Tales. Along with the great music, the film also promises some truly unique and vibrant animations with its own original visual style from director Ranade.
Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiya actually premiered way back in 2013 at the Toronto International Film Festival. It then made its way across film festivals garnering rave reviews as well as awards. Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiya is now finally ready to hit theaters in India in 2019, which is fitting because it will also mark the 50th anniversary of the release of Satyajit Ray’s beloved screen adaptation.