The first stop-motion film was made by Dadasheb Phalke in the silent era. The first animated films from India were produced in the 1930s.
In 1956, Disney Studios animator Clair Weeks, who had worked on Bambi, was invited to Films Division of India in Mumbai to establish and train the country's first animation studio as part of the American Technical Co-Operation mission. He trained a core group of Indian animators, whose first production was a film called The Banyan Deer (1957). Veteran animator Ram Mohan started his career at Films Division's Cartoon Unit.
Another landmark animated film from Films Division is "Ek Anek Aur Ekta", a short traditionally animated short educational film released in 1974. The film is presented as a fable meant to teach children the value of unity, and was frequently broadcast on India's state-run television station, Doordarshan.
The first Indian animated television series is Ghayab Aaya, aired in 1986 and directed by Suddhasattwa Basu.
The first Indian 3D and VFX was done for television series Captain Vyom by Animation.
The first Indian 3D animated film was Roadside Romeo, which was a joint venture between Yash Raj Films and the Indian division of the Walt Disney Company. It was written and directed by Jugal Hansraj.
The Indian animation industry was estimated at $354 million in 2006 and was forecast to reach $869 million by 2010. Animation in India is currently riding on two key factors – a large base of highly skilled labour, and low cost of production. While the industry is gaining prominence steadily, several important factors such as the government's role in supporting the animation industry, and producing original content locally.
In 2009, the state of the animation industry in India, was growing at a CAGR of 30%, is estimated to reach US$ 1.5 billion by 2015.
Some of the other estimates of the NASSCOM report on animation indicate the following:
The global entertainment market will generate a demand for animation production services of the order of US$ 37 billion by 2003
In the non-entertainment segment the demand for animation production services will touch US$ 14.7 billion by 2015
The global film/TV program production market will create a US $ 17.5 billion revenue opportunity for animation production houses
The Indian gaming industry was estimated at nearly $48 million in 2006 and is expected to cross $424 million by 2010.
Pune, is competing with Hyderabad and Mumbai to be the country's animation hub. With the sector facing severe human resources shortage, more and more studios are increasingly venturing into animation training. Chetan Deshmukh, an animator and special effects expert, recently shifted his base to Pune from US. He has worked on Hollywood movies like Chicago and Shanghai Knights. The Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA), a premier body of industries in and around Pune region has launched a programme to catapult Pune as a global hub for animation and gaming. It has recently formed a group of professionals, training institutes and celebrities to implement the initiative, with filmmaker Amol Palekar as their brand ambassador. Comparison with the global scenario
The total global animation production figures, according to the NASSCOM Animation report, range between US$16–31.5 billion for the year 2000. Statistics for 2001 stand anywhere between US$ 25 billion and US$ 38 billion. Analysts estimate that the global animation production rose to about US$ 45 billion in 2002.