Well-known actors giving voice-overs to animals in movies is quite common in Hollywood and Bollywood now. But the makers of Naanu Matthu Gunda have taken it up to the next level. The film, starring Shivaraj KR Pete and Samyukta Hornad, also features two dogs -- Gunda, and the older dog, Simba. Both the animals have dubbed for the film in their own voices. “This is a first-of-its-kind attempt, to have dogs entering the recording studio to dub in their voice,” says Raghu Hassan, who has written the screenplay and produced the film directed by Srinivas Thimmaiah.
Simba and the younger dog underwent rehearsals and took two days to dub their portions. “Simba, who has earlier played a role in the Malayalam film, Bangalore Days, is featured as the parallel lead in Naanu Matthu Gunda. Dogs lending their voice for their scenes is, in my knowledge, the first-of-its-kind instance in Indian film history. I have read or heard of Hollywood films having attempted to have a lion and a couple of dogs record in their voices, but I have not come across this anywhere in Indian films,” says Raghu Hassan, adding that they tried to use stock voices for dubbing, but it didn’t work. “So finally, we decided to have Simba’s original voice for the film,” he says.
Simba underwent special training by Shivaswami, after which the dog was sent to the recording studio. According to Raghu Haasan, the experience was extraordinary. “The process of dubbing was a task, but Simba and the little dog, which we have christened Gunda, supported us very well. Dubbing for the murmuring sound, which emotes the feeling, was simply amazing. We also wanted to get a deep breath, for which we made Simba run for half a kilometre, and captured the sound. To get the snoring sound, we had to wait for him to sleep for 2-3 hours. The owner also provoked him to get a harsh bark from Simba. All this is something unique that the audience can watch in Naanu Matthu Gunda,” explains Raghu Hassan. The younger version of Simba is played by a little labrador puppy. Since it wasn’t given a name by the owner, the team decided to name it Gunda.
The film also comprises Rockline Sudhakar, Govinda Gowda of Comedy Khiladigalu fame, bodybuilder, A V Ravi, and mostly consists of theatre artistes. They have also shot in an unexplored location of Haasan. The film’s story has been written by Vivekananda Tanjarayar, while cinematography has been handled by Chidanand HK and music is by Karthik Sharma. KM Prakash is on board as the editor. Naanu Matthu Gunda, made under the banner of Poem Pictures Production, is based on animal-human bonding. It is set to be released on January 24.