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Charlie Chaplin to be animated star


Charlie Chaplin is to be brought to life as a cartoon character via an Indian-French collaboration that will see the legendary British comedian featured in an animated television series. DQ Entertainment, an animation and special effects firm based in the southern city of Hyderabad, says it is to reproduce the entertainer's slapstick in 3D and computer-generated images for television.

The eight-million-euro (11.5-million-dollar) project is a joint venture with French media groups Method Animation and MK2, according to the companies. Further details were set to be announced by DQ Entertainment at a press conference in Mumbai on Friday. DQ and Method Animation will make a total of 104 six-minute episodes in India and France, Method's chairman Aton Soumache told AFP in Paris last November. The animated shorts -- aimed at children aged six and above -- will not have any dialogue and are set to hit screens from early next year. 'We've been working for more than a year on the graphics concept to find an original way of adapting Chaplin's world,' said Soumache. 'It won't be a realistic portrayal but more like a puppet in an offbeat universe. We'll put him in modern situations but at the same keeping his poetic, child-like view of the world with a retro feel.' The episodes have been inspired by sketches and gags culled from some 70 short films made by Chaplin involving his trademark bowler-hatted vagabond character sporting a toothbrush moustache, ill-fitting suit and twirling cane. But there will also be original content, Soumache added. London-born Chaplin, who died in 1977, is recognised as one of the most influential and recognisable comic actors and directors of the silent film period. His most famous works include 'The Kid' (1921), 'The Gold Rush' (1925), 'City Lights' (1931), 'Modern Times' (1936) and 'The Great Dictator' (1940). Discussions are ongoing to show the series in France from 2011 as well as in Britain and Germany, Soumache said.

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