Television

Disney Channel to use movies as programming tent pole

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MUMBAI: Disney Channel will bank on movies to drive family-viewing audiences. "We will be telecasting 60 movies a month. We have already dubbed 130 movies. The movie slot will be at 12 pm and 7 pm," says Walt Disney Television International (India) managing director Rajat Jain.

Disney Channel will feature popular movies like The Lion King, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, Flubber and Aladdin.

Aiming at kids as the entry point for the family channel, Disney will also be introducing a four-hour pre-schooler block Playhouse Disney. A special feature of this block will be locally produced pre-school content, besides having international fare like JoJo's Circus, Stanley and New Adventures of Winnie The Pooh. The pre-schooler band will be from 8-12 pm.

Regarding Playhouse Disney, what this also means is that for the near term at least there Disney will be concentrating on consolidating the two channels and not looking at any other channels. The general industry assumption thus far has been that Playhouse Disney would be launching some months down the line once Disney Channel and Toon Disney had stabilised.

Walt Disney Television International (India), which today announced the launch of its two channels on 17 December at a well attended media briefing, has dubbed 3000 hours of multi-genre content into multiple languages in India, as part of its localisation drive.

And it is introducing a series of short animated series carrying popular tales from the Asia-Pacific region in the Disney Channel. This block, called Legends Of The Ring Of Fire, will debut with How The Nightingale Became King of The Birds, based on a story from India.

Disney Channel's programming schedule will include almost 400 episodes of local production, making it the single largest localisation drive by any international broadcaster.

The 2-7 pm band will have animated shows aimed at younger kids while the channel will feature at 5 pm a show aimed at kids empowerment.

The post-9 pm band is for the entire family. On weekends, the channel will air live action shows.

Toon Disney, aimed at younger kids in the age group of 4-14, will will showcase animations from Disney and the recently acquired Saban Library. The Toon channel will feature popular series such as Kim Possible, Dave the Barbarian, Lilo & Stitch, amongst others.

As already reported on indiantelevision.com, Toon Disney will be available in Tamil and Telegu languages while Disney Channel will be a 24-hour Hindi service. Both the channels will also provide an optional English language feed.

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