Discovery Kids' head Uttam Pal Singh Chawla shares his animated journey

Dhadaam te Dhadoom! From a child who drew flipbooks under the table to heading one of India’s top infotainment television channel – Discovery Kids, Uttam Pal Singh Chawla is the famed creative person who gave us insanely quirky Santa Banta that is frequently telecast on Channel V. At the India Design Confluence, the NID alumnus shared his animated journey of animation to inspire the attendees.

The three-day design affair at United World Institute of Design, Karnavati University, invited various delegates from the creative industry to talk, perform, inspire and participate at the India Design Confluence. Opened on November 23, 2018, an initiative of Anar Patel’s Craftroots, the design fiesta hosted luminary creators of India and abroad, including scenographer and art curator Rajeev Sethi, lead designer of Bentley Motors Ltd Rajesh Kutty, singer-songwriter Lucky Ali and Belgian product designer and lensman Alain Monnens. Artist and founder of The Art Kommune Amitabh Shrivastav and head of Discovery Kids Uttam Pal Singh Chawla were also amongst the invited dignitaries.

We got an opportunity to interact with several mindful pillars of society who came to speak at the confluence, and one of them was Uttam Pal Singh Chawla. Hailing from a small town called Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, the seeds of animation were sown at a pretty early age in Singh, as he loved playing with his flipbook under the table with a torch, which he drew while studying in class 5. The design enthusiast, after completing his architecture studies, joined the National Institute of Design to learn more about filmmaking, animation and design and that’s where his aesthetical journey began formally.

Singh, during his graduation, worked with the Father of Indian Animation — Padma Shri Ram Mohan — to create little masala-packed animation films like Bheeru No 1. Later, he created animated videos for Channel V with characters Santa (Clause) and Banta. The creative being, during his conversation with Creative Yatra, revealed the insight he had shared with the participants. “Out in the creative industry it’s not your degree or background, but your work, style or how distinct your ideas are, which helps you get the next job,” he said.

Singh constructed, directed, scripted, animated and conducted 90% of the tasks single handedly in his early stage. But we were curious to know how he manages and works with a larger team at Discovery Kids channel, where about 600 creative professionals work on more than 20 projects simultaneously. The fun-loving animator dotingly said, ” In a scenario, where you have to create multiple shows, and you are leading a team with strict deadlines, you trust people. You work differently than what you did before. You let go, and allow others to grow as strong as you are.”

Uttam Pal Singh Chawla in conversation with Creative Yatra correspondent Himanshu Nainani

Singh has also lent his creative touch to reputed animation television channels like Pogo & Cartoon Network, and has designed well-liked promos, advertisements and videos with his unparalleled animation ability combined with a dash of humour. To peep into his video directory, log on to his channel UPSC (not the Service Commission) on YouTube or directly switch on your television sets and start watching the Discovery Kids Network.

Dhadaam te Dhadoom!


Yatra Archives Why Netflix clicks with audiences and filmmakers alike

Streaming platforms like Netflix have enabled new cinema to emerge in exciting ways and these often turn out to be great alternatives to mainstream cinema. What makes this phenomenon possible? We explore. I’m 10 minutes into watching Nanette on Netflix… Heritage homes in Ahmedabad host Airbnb guests

Check out some highly rated heritage Airbnb properties in Ahmedabad that are more than a century old but don’t cost a fortune!  Enjoy the basic amenities of a hotel while you revel in the local cuisine, colour and hospitality. The… Shubigi Rao selected to curate the fifth edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale in 2020

Let’s know Shubigi Rao, who has recently been selected as the curator for the 2020 Kochi Muziris Biennale, for her “exceptional acumen and inventive sensibilities” The format of the art biennale to showcase contemporary visual art, across the world is modeled on… The call of the mountains: orthopaedic Dr Yatin Desai’s advice on trekking

In this piece 64 year old Dr Yatin Desai, shares with CY his inspiring story of how to scale towering mountains with utmost ease and how this life adventure activity can shape human character and health. Chances are high that…