With his impish pranks and innocent retorts, Unnikkuttan, the cartoon character of Toms, has been a source of delight to both children and elders alike for years now. The cartoon strip narrates the mischievous antics of the six-year-old, a desi Dennis the Menace, who constantly puts his parents and teachers in a spot of trouble. It is unbelievable to think that the cartoon, which became a craze, and inspired several others in its genre, has completed 25 years.
The cartoonist, Toms shared his happiness at its success while attending the silver jubilee celebration of Unnikkuttan, held at Children’s Park Hall on Tuesday. Kerala Cartoon Academy in association with Orthic Creative Center and Toms Comics held the event.
“Unnikkuttan is my best-loved cartoon character. Though, over the years, I have created many characters, Unnikkuttan has remained the most endearing of them all,” says the cartoonist, revealing that idea for the character came from his elder daughter Molly’s son whose nickname is Unnikkuttan.
“My grandson was a prankster, who used to threaten his mother that he would divorce her if she scolded him,” recollects the veteran cartoonist fondly. He adds that the ‘original’ Unnikkuttan is now all grown up and likes the cartoon character immensely.
As a token of appreciation to the cartoonist who made the character a household name, animated video CDs of Unnikkuttan were also launched on the occasion. The multilingual CDs by Toms Comics, available in Malayalam, English, Hindi, Telugu and Kannada languages, narrates a humorous episode when Unnikkuttan gets kidnapped. The English version of the collection was also launched during the ocassion.
The veteran cartoonist whose cartoon strips appeared in the back pages of weeklies like Malayala Manorama and Kerala Kaumudi, has given birth to several popular characters like Boban and Molly, Kunchukurup, Hippi, lawyer, panchayat president Chettan and many others.
Through the characters, the cartoonist had sarcastically mocked the frills and foibles of the upper class, the corrupt authorities and other governing bodies. Toms says that he is content with the characters he has created so far, and won’t be coming up with any more.
The jubilee celebration was inaugurated by renowned cartoonist Daryl Cagle and Minister for Agriculture K P Mohanan. Speaking on the occasion, Daryl Cagle said it was an honour for him to felicitate the ace artist.
Chairman of Kerala Cartoon Academy Prasannan Anikkad, secretary B Sajeev, Orthic Creative Center director Kaladharan, programme coordinator Sudheernath also attended the function.