Disney Localizes Film in South Indian Dialect

Category: Language

Roadside_RomeoThe Walt Disney Company is filming a new adventure movie for Indian audiences in the southern dialect of Telugu. The Hollywood entertainment giant will also create a dubbed version in Tamil, another southern dialect, to further broaden its localization efforts, reports the Associated Press.

In 2008, in partnership with Yash Raj Films, Disney released a Hindi animated feature called “Roadside Romeo,” which was a huge success. The film used the voices of national Bollywood stars to increase its appeal to local audiences.

The storylines of the films are also adapted to local tastes: simple stories, mixed with singing, dancing, humor, and the “in your face” emotion typical of Bollywood productions, noted Forbes at the time of production.

The new film (still un-named) is the tale of a young girl with special healing powers who tries to save her homeland from a tyrannical queen, Disney said. It will be directed by Indian filmmaker Prakash Rao Kovelamudi.

Disney has moved forward with similar movie localization initiatives in China, co-producing “The Magic Gourd” in 2007 and “Trail of a Panda” in 2009.

Up next in Asia? Local versions of “High School Musical,” which is rumored to be choosing its cast members via competition, American-Idol style. Hear it from the horse’s mouth (pdf).