When many people associate movies by Disney, they think of the American conglomerate which produces some of the biggest and most famous movies, from America. However, what is not as well known is that Disney puts its name on several Indian movies, released exclusively for India, including at least one animated movie. Here are some Indian movies that carry the Disney production banner.
The first live action movie produced and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures for India was a Hindi film called Do Dooni Chaar (English Translation: Two Twos are Four). The film starred Rishi Kapoor and his wife Neetu Kapoor, who were popular stars in the 1970s and early 1980s. Rishi stars as a poor but passionate teacher who is dealing with his wife, his son and teenage daughter. A wedding invitation suddenly spurs on the poor family to dream big; including Rishi’s desire for a car (he only owns a scooter). But with the big dreaming comes moral dilemmas he never expected… Do Donni Chaar was released October 8, 2010.
The next live action movie produced and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures for India was Telugu fantasy-adventure film called Anaganaga O Dheerudu (Once Upon A Warrior). The story follows Priya (Shruti Haasan), a young gypsy, and Yodha (Siddharth), a traveling swordsman, who must battle the soul of Irendri (played by Lakshmi Manchu, who plays sorceress who is also Priya’s great grandmother) and Sudigundam (Ravi Babu), a man who is terrorizing the local gypsy villages, and save an young girl with divine powers. The movie was released on January 14, 2011.
Walt Disney Pictures then produced Zokkomon, a Hindi superhero action movie. In Zokkomon, Kunal (Darsheel Safary) plays a young boy whose parents have just died. He is sent to live with his uncle Deshraj (Anupam Kher) and his family. The only problem is, Deshraj has fallen into financial trouble and the only way to access Kunal’s family money for Kunal to be dead. So Deshraj abandoned Kunal far from home and says he is dead. Kunal returns, and with the help of scientist Dr. Vivek Roy (also played by Kher), transforms himself into the superhero Zokkomon to battle his uncle. The movie was released April 22, 2011.
In 2012, Walt Disney produced the animated Hindi production of Arjun: The Warrior Prince. The Warrior Prince was actually given a limited run in the US to qualify for the Academy Awards. However, it did not receive a nomination. Based loosely on the Indian epic Mahabharata, the story follows Arjun, a young man from the royal family of the Pandavas, who is the best student of Drona in all the land. Duryodhana and the Kaurvas brothers, cousins to the Pandavas brothers, hate the Kurvas. In a betting scheme, the Pandavas are exiled and the Kaurvas brothers flee to Viratnagar. But Duryodhana finds out and launches an attack on Viratnagar… The movie was released on May 22, 2012.
Walt Disney’s next Indian production was Khoobstrat (Beautiful), a Hindi Comedy-Drama. In this movie, Dr. Miralini “Mili” Chakravati is a physical therapist who works for the Indian Premier League or Indian royalty. Clumsy and enthusiastic, she is in stark contrast to the more reserved Premier League. Mili’s completely different outlook on life slowly changes everyone in the family, from the young daughter to the prince, to the Queen mother and the King, and Mili even falls in love with the prince. The movie was released on September 19, 2014.
The movie ABCD 2 (or Anybody Can Dance 2) is the only independent film in India (so far) that was distributed but not produced by the Walt Disney Company. A sequel to Anybody Can Dance, ABCD 2 follows two aspiring dancers Suru (Varun Dhawan) and Vinnie (Shraddha Kapoor), who are initially found to be cheating in a dance completion. They are seeking to redeem themselves in a hip hop completion in Las Vegas. Prabhu Deva reprises his role as the choreographer Vishnu from the first movie. ABCD 2 was released on June 19, 2015.
Finally, Dangal (which means Wrestling Competition) is a Hindi biographical sports drama. Dangal follows the story of Mahavir Singh Phogat (Aamir Khan) and his two daughters. Mahavir, who gave up amateur wrestling, is disappointed that he has only four daughters, who he think cannot wrestle because they are girls. However, once he finds out two of his daughters, Geeta and Babita beat up two boys because of disparaging comments made toward the girls; he realizes that he can teach his daughters wrestling. What follows next is the journey Geeta and Babita to train to win gold and silver respectively at the Commonwealth games. Dangal was released on December 23, 2016, in India (and December 21, 2016, in the U.S.)
Disney’s Indian productions are as varied as the American productions, running the gamut from Fantasy Adventure to Romantic Comedy to Animated Adventure to Sports Biopic. Check out these Disney Produced or Distributed Indian movies.