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Mickey on the move

Leslie D'Monte & Aminah Sheikh  |  Mumbai 

ANIMATION: Walt Disney finds another platform for its cartoons - your mobile.
The Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG), a division of Walt Disney, is all set to woo Indian mobile users with comic strips and full-length stories on mobile phones.
Christened "Disney Mobics", Reliance Communications users will be able to download the comic strips for just Rs 3, while Airtel and Hutch subscribers may download the entire story for around Rs 50. T N Prabhu, director of WDIG, says, "India is a priority market for our company. This is a new initative that we have developed for the India market."
Disney is making the mobile comics available in two categories "" daily comic strips and entire comic stories. In the daily comic category, one can download "Mickey" and "Winnie the Pooh", while "Pirates of the Caribbean" will be the first book available for download by the end of this week.
Going forward, the company plans to introduce one character each week and hopes to make at least 35-40 comic characters available for mobile reading by the year end.
Essentially developed for smart and higher-end phones, customised versions have ensured the comics can be downloaded by over 300 handsets across all brands of phones. The service is being customised for different mobiles depending on their features.
The carrier (RCom, Airtel or Hutch) will be able to recognise the phone from which the download request is sent and deliver the content accordingly.
For instance, a large screen mobile user will be able to read the comics at a pre-determined speed while users having a smaller screen mobile will be able to read the comic as a flip book. Mobile users with GPRS capability can download the comics from http://wap.disney.in.
"WDIG was launched in India with a strong focus on consumers and innovative content," says Prabhu. The Internet group has been bullish in the space and has been well received by the masses.
For instance, in the gaming category, the company developed games around the popular show Power Rangers, which witnessed around two million downloads in just two months.
Also, a localised game called "Mickey rickshaw rush" has recorded over 70,000 downloads in its first month. In the gaming space, the company plans to introduce more localised games. "Donald ganga kinaare" is one such game in the offing.
Also, recently, WDIG launched the Interactive Voice Response Service (IVRS), which serves as a contest platform and also as an interactive consumer base for the Disney Channel, Hungama TV and Jetix viewers. To maintain a high degree of interactivity, IVRS is equipped with voice-recognition feature.

First Published: Fri, July 20 2007. 00:00 IST
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