Disney has partnered with a south Indian production company for ‘Anaganaga O Dheerudu‘ or ‘Once Upon a Warrior’. Directed by Prakash Kovelamudi, the story revolves around a fictional island ruled by an evil queen, and the only hope for salvation is a 9-year-old girl and her swordsman protector.
This is Disney’s second foray into Bollywood, and it’s first live-action attempt. I’m not America’s biggest Bollywood fan, I do tire of the dancing after a while, but stunning visuals, beautiful actors and exotic locations are always welcome, and Bollywood offers this in spades. I’m fuzzy on release here in the states other than 2011, but I would suspect a video release if nothing else.
Now, Disney knows how to jump on a trend. And beat it to death. Anyone who follows Hollywood knows of the Indian influence now. But I think a Disney/Bollywood partnership could work out for the best. Indian culture has a remarkable and beautiful mythology, full of romance, adventure, fantastic gods and goddesses, heros and every people attempting supernatural feats. Sounds like any Disney movie in the past 30 years already. Plus, Bollywood is ripe with strong female characters, which Disney could always use more of.
My two favorite Disney flicks, Mulan and Lilo and Stitch, both introduce us to a cast of strong young women doing whatever it takes to save their families and loved ones. Mulan becoming a warrior and Lilo doing only what a young child can do, standing up for the one thing in the world she loves. Maybe in a few years, Disney can explore the mythos of Indian culture and expose us to a new generation of heros.