Disney does Bollywood

Perhaps hoping to recapture some of that famous Disney magic now better found at DreamWorks, the Walt Disney Company is turning to … Bollywood. Disney is teaming up with India’s Yash Raj Films, a top Bollywood production company, to co-produce a series of animated features for the Indian market. The new team aims to put ...

601207_070613_disnet_05.jpg
601207_070613_disnet_05.jpg

Perhaps hoping to recapture some of that famous Disney magic now better found at DreamWorks, the Walt Disney Company is turning to ... Bollywood.

Disney is teaming up with India's Yash Raj Films, a top Bollywood production company, to co-produce a series of animated features for the Indian market. The new team aims to put out at least one movie every year, with the first already in production and set to be released in summer 2008.

This could be huge. Yash Raj Films expects the animation market in India to grow from its current $40 million to three times that size by 2011. This is probably not an unreasonable estimation. The first Disney-Yash Raj Films animation feature, "Roadside Romeo," showcases some of the biggest names in Bollywood. Written and directed by Bollywood actor Jugal Hansraj, the film will feature the voices of Bollywood superstars Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Javed Jaffrey as the lead characters, speaking in Hindi.

Perhaps hoping to recapture some of that famous Disney magic now better found at DreamWorks, the Walt Disney Company is turning to … Bollywood.

Disney is teaming up with India’s Yash Raj Films, a top Bollywood production company, to co-produce a series of animated features for the Indian market. The new team aims to put out at least one movie every year, with the first already in production and set to be released in summer 2008.

This could be huge. Yash Raj Films expects the animation market in India to grow from its current $40 million to three times that size by 2011. This is probably not an unreasonable estimation. The first Disney-Yash Raj Films animation feature, “Roadside Romeo,” showcases some of the biggest names in Bollywood. Written and directed by Bollywood actor Jugal Hansraj, the film will feature the voices of Bollywood superstars Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Javed Jaffrey as the lead characters, speaking in Hindi.

“Roadside Romeo” will follow the journey of a “rich cool spoilt brat of a dog” who is abandoned on the streets of Mumbai. Yash Chopra (the founder of Yash Raj Films) assures us, “The film will have the typical characteristics of a Yash Raj Film with songs, dance, drame, comedy and romance.” I’m picturing a chorus of animated dogs and cats prancing around on their hind legs, waving their paws like mad. It’s going to be awesome.

Prerna Mankad is a researcher at Foreign Policy.

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