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Yash Raj, Disney in animation films tie-up

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai 

Bollywood film house Films and The Walt Disney Studios, the US-based picture company, will co-produce a series of animated feature films for the Indian audience.
The studios will be equal partners in the initiative and plan to churn one computer-animated movie each year. Apart from jointly producing films, the studios also plan to launch merchandising and enter new media such as gaming based on the movies they spin together.
"We have been eyeing the space for a while now and realised we needed a partner. Since Films has never in the past joined hands with any company for any of its initiatives, we decided to come together with the best in the animation industry. Therefore, The Walt Disney Studios," Yash Chopra, chairman, Films, said at the press conference on Tuesday.
The alliance is the first of its kind for the foreign studio. has never in the past co-produced animation movies in any country. "India is strategic market for our studio. With this alliance, we hope to develop animation in India, where animation is still at a nascent stage," said Richard Cook, chairman,
The first movie under this alliance, 'Roadside Romeo', based on a dog's life on Mumbai streets, will hit the screens next year during the summer. The movie, primarily being for the Indian audience, will release in Hindi and later in other Indian languages. Bollywood actors Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor will lend their voice for the film.
"We hope to understand the Indian audiences better through this partnership and we are hopeful that this collaboration will go beyond producing animation movies," said Mark Zoradi, president, Motion Picture (marketing & distribution). Like another Bollywood flick under the banner, this movie too will include songs.
"While songs will be developed by Yash Raj Films, the movie's merchandising will be developed by Disney. We are considering marketing the movie via new media such as gaming, but have not yet finalised on the company that will develop the same," added Zoradi.
The global animation industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.6 per cent in the next four years, according to a PwC report. At present, the domestic animation industry comprises around 300 studios.

First Published: Wed, June 13 2007. 00:00 IST