'Chhota Bheem' creator receives honorary doctorate

Chennai: Rajeev Chilaka of Green Gold Animation TV Pvt. Ltd., the company behind the widely popular Indian animated series "Chhota Bheem", has been presented with an honorary doctorate from his alma matter, Academy of Art University, California. Commenting on the honour, Chilaka said that he's pleasantly surprised. Launched in 2008, Bheem is the most popular character to come out of the Green Gold stable. Bheem was created because "there weren't many Indian cartoons that catered to the Indian audience below the age of 14 years, so we decided to come up with an ideal character that could teach good values to children," Chilaka told IANS. The lovable character Bheem, watched by 40 million children weekly, appeals to young and old alike, with some of the highest consistent television ratings across India. Chilaka credits his success to his time at Academy of Art University. He was inspired by Walt Disney's success, even visiting the places in Kansas City where Disney used to live and work. With expertise gained at the Academy, Chilaka returned to India in 2000 to realize his dream. Today his studio employs over 400 animators and has created a successful franchise of 25 Green Gold retail stores across India.