Rajeev Chilaka Awarded Honorary Doctorate from Academy of Art University

 

 Academy of Art University building, South of Market neighborhood, San Francisco. Photo by Caroline Culler
Academy of Art University building, South of Market neighborhood, San Francisco. Photo by Caroline Culler.

Rajeev Chilaka, founder of Animation TV Pvt. Ltd., was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Chilaka said he was pleased with the honor, and described the success he has achieved which led to the recognition bestowed by the Academy of Art University.

Chilaka explained that, “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.”

That character is of course “Chhota Bheem,” who was launched in 2008 and has become one of the most popular animated series in India. It is watched by 40 million children every week, but its appeal includes adults as well. The series receives among the highest consistent television ratings throughout India.

Chilaka says that he owes much of his success to the education he received at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He adds that Walt Disney was an inspiration for him. Chilaka even traveled to Kansas City, Missouri, where Disney used to work and live.

After graduating from the Academy of Art University, Chilaka returned to India in the year 2000 to follow his dream of working in animation. Currently his studio has over 400 animators and a franchise business consisting of 25 Green Gold retail stores all over India.