Tepatuli – the contemporary bangla rhymes playlist
Often times, when a toddler watches cartoon on television or YouTube, you'd find them surfing through different international channels, from which they eventually pick up their language, lifestyle, and culture. Samir Asran Rahman, who loved cartoons and comics from a very young age, wanted to see Bangladesh having its own popular cartoon characters and heroes like every other country have. Gradually, he started working on his thoughts and ideas with a handful of creative people, and launched Mighty Punch Studios, an illustration and animation studio in 2013.
Since its inception, Mighty Punch Studios has been bringing comics featuring colourful superhero characters such as Shabash, Ms. Shabash, Captain Kathal, and Lathial. In 2019, they released Captain Kathal -- an animated short film. This year, they released Tepatuli, a series consisting of animated Bangla nursery rhymes for kids. Tepatuli, which is targeted towards children who are between two-six years old, has been receiving a massive response. With the idea of creating a contemporary art style, inspired by our traditional arts and crafts, Tepauli was designed with brilliant illustrations, high production values, and great music.
To bring the aesthetics of the local culture, Samir wanted to build characters based on our local tepa putul (mud dolls). Thus with his team, the animated version of Tai Tai Tai featuring the Tepa kids -- Toop, Taap and Teep, was finally made. Zohad Chowdhury (from Nemesis) has been a part of the team in making the best music composition and vocals for the videos. Initially, when the production started growing, Ameena Ahmed from The Meena Trust recognized the valuable contents made by the production and reached out to sponsor the rest of the animations.
Samir wants to draw attention to the essential individuals who have been working relentlessly behind the screen to make what Tepatuli is today:
Asifur Rahman, who is the production and character designer, captured the very essence of what Samir wanted, and made it even better. He’s the one who created the delightful aesthetic and he also created all the storyboards for the different rhymes. Aiding him on the preproduction side of things were Mosharraf Hussain and Romel Barua, who worked diligently on backgrounds, props, and other elements.
On the animation side, they had some very talented animators such as Shahin Shajib Siddique, Sudipto Barman, and Nabidur Rahman working on the lead animation. They were supported by other animators like Wahid Xaman, Faridul Islam, Naziat Aurthy, Mreethmandir Kumar Roy, and Shah Abesh Rahman.
For the voiceover: Zohad Chowdhury (of Nemesis fame) composed and provided the vocals for Tai Tai Tai; Jhor Elo, Elo Jhor; and Tatir Bari Benger Basha (he was joined by Farhan Samad from Cryptic Fate on the latter). Palash Noor (of Warfaze fame) composed and provided vocals for Amader Choto Nodi and Kathbirali, Kathbirali (with Piash Haque doing the sound engineering). Zohad even helped in improving the lyrics in Tai Tai Tai, as the team felt that the depiction of the Mami in the original lines was too disturbing. Recently, Abida Sultana, who is a music composer for Duronto TV, composed the music for their version of Ai Ai Chand Mama and provided the lovely vocals for it.
Shedding a broader light on each video content
The founder and creative director, Samir Asran Rahman tells us how the team got the chance to creatively experiment with each video.
• For Amader Choto Nodi, which is a Tagore poem, they decided to go with a style inspired by our traditional Nakshi Kantha as it made sense to depict the pastoral scenery in that way.
• For Jhor Elo, Elo Jhor, they wanted to capture the excitement of that first storm of the season and the mad scramble to pick mangoes that have fallen from the trees.
• Kathbirali, Kathbirali (based on Kazi Nazrul Islam’s poem Khuki O Kathbirali) was a more comedic and slapstick kind of animation where all these squirrels are up to mischief.
• Tatir Bari Benger Basha was like a fantastical Alice in Wonderland type of scenario as the Tepa kids enter into the realm of weaver frogs who walk on hind legs.
• Ai Ai Chand Mama has a magical feel to it as the kids go to find Chand Mama, and on the way, see some cloud animals who are desperately trying to put their kids to sleep.
• Tai Tai Tai was about family bonding and showing the rural countryside in its beautiful glory.
In hopes of making more beautiful, fun and imaginative animation, Mighty Punch Studio aspires to make more animations for Tepatuli.
Watch a compilation of the Tepatuli rhymes at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZEvp8K6MDY