Know Our Top Five Animators

Sep, 2017

The Indian Animation industry can be said to have started its flourishing journey in 1956, when Clair Weeks, Animator from Disney Studios was invited to the Films Division of India to establish our first animation studio as part of the American technical co-operation mission. Within 60 years, the industry has leaped into astonishing milestones to stand today as a billion dollar industry.

As we raise our collars feeling pride about the achievements of this industry, it is time to know the leaders of the industry better. Though not all, let’s get to know about five top Indian Animators.


Ram Mohan



The Father of Indian Animation, animator Ram Mohan started his career directly under the guidance of Clair Weeks at Films Division's Cartoon Unit in 1956. Being a graduate of Chemistry, he unexpectedly entered the field of animation, which later crowned him with the best.

He is famous for his work, ‘You Said It’, animated short film; ‘Meena’ (TV Series), animated children's television show by UNICEF and ToonBangla; ‘Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama’, the animated feature and many more.

Top Accolades:

·         Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award from the Government of India in 2014

·         2 National Film Awards for Best Non-Feature Animation Film in 1972 and 1983

·         Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2006 Mumbai International Film Festival


Gayatri Rao



With a Masters Degree in Design, the ‘Queen of Indian Animation’, Gayatri Rao stands successful in the industry for around 25 years now. She started her career at RamMohan Biographics, an establishment of our Father of Indian Animation. She then got a prestigious opportunity for an internship program at Walt Disney Studios, which opened up several new avenues of knowledge in animation techniques. She established ‘Animagic India’ in 1995, which is into different award-winning animation services.

She is famous for her pioneering works in animation commercials and her social messages passed through animation short films. Her most rewarding works include ‘Mahakapi’, a film based on the Jataka tale of the Monkey King; and ‘Raju & I’, a public service message animation film.


Top Accolades:

·         UNESCO Award in 1998

·         National Award for Best Animation Director in 2005


Bhimsain Khurana


Born in a family of artists, Bhimsain had a natural pull towards art which made him pursue Fine Arts. He first started his career at Monolith Films Division as a Background-Painter, where he eventually learned the art of animation film-making. Later in 1971, he founded ‘Climb Media (originally ‘Climb Films)’, a production house of feature/short films and commercials.

His first animation short film ‘The Climb’ (after which he named his company) won him the prestigious ‘Silver Hugo award’ at the Chicago Film Festival. He is also renowned for his ‘Ek Anek Aur Ekta’, an animated education short film; ‘Lok Gatha’, India’s first television series; and many of his feature films like ‘Doooriyan’, ‘Gharoanda’ and many more.


Top Accolades:

·         Silver Hugo award at the Chicago Film Festival

·         16 National Awards

·         Filmfare Critic’s Award for Best Feature

·         Lifetime Acheivement Awards from FICCI–Frames and Arena Aptech

·         Several International Awards


Rajiv Chilaka



The man behind Indian kids’ favorite ‘Chotta Bheem’ and ‘Krishna Cartoon Series’ is originally a Master of Computer Science. His attention towards Animations made him pursue Animation at the Academy of Art University, San Fransisco, leaving behind his Software job in the US. In 2001, Chilaka set up Green Gold Animation Pvt Ltd, which is now one of the largest animation production companies in India that caters to children. 

He is well-known for his ‘Bongo’, an animation series about an alien; ‘Vikram Betal’, 2D animation telecast on the Cartoon Network; and ‘Krishna’ and ‘Chotta Bheem’, animation series that are highly famous in Pogo.

Top Accolades:

·         Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by the Academy of Art University, San Francisco

·         2013 School of Computing and Engineering Alumni Achievement Award at the University of Missouri - Kansas City

·         ABAI Leadership Excellence Award

·         CII Regional Emerging Entrepreneurs Award


Ishu Patel




A highly-rewarded Indian Animation Film Director/Producer, Ishu Patel has completed his Advanced Graphic Design study at Switzerland, after graduation in Fine Arts in India. He has taught in the National Institute of Design during his early days of his career. Later through a scholarship, he went to the National Film Board of Canada (NFBC) to study Animation Film Making, where he stayed producing and directing animation films for the next 25 years. Then after he left NFBC, he conducted student workshops and Master Classes throughout Asia.

He is famous for his award-winning films, The Bead Game, Afterlife, Top Priority, Paradise and more. He is also acclaimed for his TV spots for Nippon Oil of Japan and United Airlines Beijing Olympic Campaign.


Top Accolades:

·         British Academy Award

·         Two Oscar nominations

·         Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival

·         Grand Prix at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival

·         Grand Prix at the Montreal World Film Festival


Apart from the above animators, there are many other leading animators uplifting animation in different sectors, including Dhimant Vyas - a creative director at Zynga games India,  Kireet Khurana – son of Bhimsain Khurana and Ad-Film Director, Manisha Mohan - Senior VP of Tata Interactive Systems and many many more.

Explore more on them to understand their path of success and draw inspiration to walk through the success path of your own.