Netflix OKs ‘Ghee Happy’ in latest bid to grow globally
Hindu deities Ganesha, Saraswati and Kali are about to get their own animated series for preschoolers on Netflix.
The new series, “Ghee Happy,” is created by animator Sanjay Patel. The show will follow the Hindu deities as youngsters discovering their powers in day care.
The effort comes as Netflix is seeking to grow its subscriber base abroad, especially in places like India. The Los Gatos, Calif., streaming giant is filling its library with original content that appeals to global audiences. Earlier this year, Netflix had a breakout hit with a preschool series, “Mighty Little Bheem,” that stars a baby with superpowers. The series, created by Indian animation studio Green Gold Animation, was the second most popular original kids’ program to launch on Netflix after DreamWorks Animation’s “The Boss Baby: Back in Business.”
Patel is a critically acclaimed animator. He directed “,” which was nominated for an Oscar for best animated short film, and has worked on Pixar films including “Monsters, Inc.” and “Cars.”
Patel said Netflix has been supportive of “Ghee Happy,” letting him travel to India to do research. The series will be produced at Netflix’s animation studio in Hollywood and will likely appear on the streaming service in a couple of years.
“They have really lived up to everything that they have promised,” Patel said in an interview. The series features Hindu deities which some Western studios may have been hesitant to address because it has to do with religion, he said.
Part of the inspiration of the show was to provide an outlet for kids to learn more about Indian culture. Patel is a father of two boys, 6 and 2 years old. He wanted them to learn more about their Indian heritage. He said at best, maybe his child might get one day in class that covers India.
“For me, that’s not enough,” Patel said.
Dominique Bazay, director of kids and family at Netflix, praised Patel’s art as vibrant and magical.
“He has introduced his culture to his own kids through this show and now — thanks to the power of Netflix — kids and families everywhere will get to share in these inspiring and accessible stories,” Bazay said in a statement.
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