The Walt Disney Company India

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The Walt Disney Company (India) Private Limited
Industry Media conglomerate
Founded August 1993; 24 years ago (1993-08)
Headquarters Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Area served
Key people
Mahesh Samat (MD)[1]
Parent The Walt Disney Company[1]

The Walt Disney Company (India) Private Limited (or simply Disney India) is the Indian subsidiary of American media conglomerate The Walt Disney Company, and is a premier entertainment company in India, which develops and produces motion pictures and videos for children. The company is based in Mumbai, India and operates as a subsidiary of Walt Disney Company.


Walt Disney India was formed in August 1993 with licensing agreement as a joint venture partnership between The Walt Disney Company and Modi Enterprises. Disney filed in October 2001 with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board to create a wholly owned subsidiary company to launch the Disney Channel in India. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion granted Disney an initial approval for the subsidiary but with Modi protesting due to similarities to their joint venture. When the 10 year licensing agreement ended, Modi and Disney could not come to a new agreement, thus ending the joint venture agreement in August 2003.[2]

Walt Disney Television International (Asia Pacific) took over distribution of content in September 2003 to STAR Movies, AXN and HBO plus 29 hours of children's programs per week to DD Metro, Eenadu, SET, Star Plus and StarWorld.[3]


The Walt Disney Company (India) Private Limited (WDCI) started operations in July 2004 based in Mumbai.[4] On 17 December, Walt Disney Television International India launched the Disney Channel and Toon Disney channel with three language feeds (English, Tamil and Telugu). The channels are to be distributed by the Star Group.[5][6][7] WDCI planned to initially focus on its channel operations before expanding in to other areas. In the long term, a Disney theme park in India is possible as land has been reportedly found on the outskirts of Delhi.[8] Also in December and partnered with Indiagames, the Walt Disney Internet Group released Disney games, wallpapers and ringtones in the market which is also available on AirTel. In 2005, Disney Consumer Products (DCP) has begun working with various Indian retail outlets to establish Disney Corners within the outlets to sell licensed merchandise.[9] In August, Funskool India and Disney entered in a contract for Funskool to sell Disney Princess products in India.[10]

In July 2006, Disney India acquired a controlling stake in Hungama TV from UTV Software Communications Limited while also taking a 14.9% share in UTV.[11] In 2008, the company took an additional 17.5% share in UTV.[12]

On 26 September 2006, the Disney Jeans brand was launched under license to Indus Clothing, who planned to open 30 Disney Jean stores by the end of 2007.[13] In October, DCP franchised to Ravi Jaipuria Corporation the rights for five years to set up 150 Disney Artist brand stores and wholesale under the Disney Artist brand Disney character branded greeting cards, stationary, arts, crafts and party product in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Maldives.[14]

Disney Publishing Worldwide (India), a division of Walt Disney India, announced a licensing agreement in April 2009 with local publisher Junior Diamond to publish Disney comic books, in both English and Hindi.[15] Jetix/Toon Disney switch over in India to Disney XD on 14 November.[7]

In May 2011, Disney and UTV agreed to co-produce Disney branded family films with both handling creative function and UTV producing, marketing and distributing the films.[4] Walt Disney Company (South East Asia) Pvt Ltd. in July 2011 offered to purchase the public shareholders' stakes with approval given by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for them to increase their ownership. In February 2012, Disney announced the completion of the acquisition of UTV with UTV Chief Executive Officer Ronnie Screwvala becoming Managing Director of TWDC India[16] replacing Mahesh Samat, who joined the company in 2007 from Johnson & Johnson.[1]

In October 2012, Disney launched Disney Junior India, an ad-free channel for preschool kids. Earlier it was a one and a half hour programming block on Disney Channel India.[17]

Disney India launched its Live Entertainment operations in 2015 with the production of Beauty and the Beast musical to be shown from October to December in Mumbai and Delhi.[18] The staff on the show include Vikranth Pawar (director), Lesle Lewis (music director), and Terence Lewis (choreography).[19]

Disney India indicated in August 2016 that it was shutting down UTV Pictures, its Hindi film production unit, and focusing only on distribution of its Hollywood films. Disney India managing director Siddharth Roy Kapur also indicated he would let his contract lapse on 1 January 2017.[20] On 28 November 2016, Mahesh Samat was to return as managing director four year after he left the company.[1]

Disney Channel India[edit]

Disney Channel India has adopted a 360 degree blanket approach for marketing and promoting its new property amongst its target groups.[21] In 2006, the channel launched its first locally produced series called Vicky & Vetaal.[22] Since then, the network's programming consisted of even more local productions such as Agadam Bagdam Tigdam, Dhoom Machaao Dhoom[23], Break Time Masti Time, Kya Mast Hai Life[24], and Ishaan.[25] Disney Channel (India) also acquired content from Star India such as Akkad Bakkad Bambey Bo, Shararat and Son Pari to draw in a larger audience. They also acquired rights of TV Movie Feluda: The Kathmandu Caper[26] which premiered on 1 January 2011 and a companion 13 episodes series Mysteries and Feluda which aired on Disney XD India in 2011.[27]

After the success of American series like Hannah Montana and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Disney India started producing Indian versions on international TV series like Best of Luck Nikki (adaptation of Good Luck Charlie)[28], The Suite Life of Karan & Kabir (adaptation of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody)[29], Disney Q Family Mastermind (adaptation of Mastermind)[30], Shake It Up (adaptation of Shake It Up)[31], Oye Jassie (adaptation of Jessie)[32] and Palak Pe Jhalak (adaptation of That's So Raven)[33] which helped them in building a brand in india.

Luck Luck Ki Baat channel's first locally produced Television film premiered on 30 September 2012[34]. Another TV Movie Apna Bhai Gaju Bhai, an animated movie based on Disney Channel's TV series "Gaju Bhai" premiered on 3 July 2016.[35]

Currently, the channel airs Homegrown animated series like Arjun the Prince of Bali(Green Gold Animation)[36], Astra Force(Graphic India)[37], Gaju Bhai (Toonz Animation)[38], V 4 Virat (Toonz Animation) and Yom (Graphiti Multimedia)[39].


The following films were produced by Walt Disney Pictures(India)

Year Film Director Producer(s) Notes Ref.
2008 Roadside Romeo Jugal Hansraj Aditya Chopra Animated Film
Co-produced with Yash Raj Films and Disney World Cinema
National Film Award for Best Animated Film[40]
Nominated- Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture[41]
[42] [43]
2010 Do Dooni Chaar Habib Faisal Arindam Chaudhuri Co-produced with Planman Motion Pictures and Disney World Cinema
National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi[44]
2011 Feluda: The Kathmandu Caper Tapaas Chakravarti DQ Entertainment International Animated TV Movie
distribution only; produced by DQ Entertainment International
Anaganaga O Dheerudu Prakash Kovelamudi Prasad Devineni
Prakash Kovelamudi
Telugu Film
Co-produced with A Bellyful of Dreams Entertainment, Arka Media Works and Disney World Cinema
Zokkomon Satyajit Bhatkal Walt Disney Pictures [47]
2012 Arjun: The Warrior Prince Arnab Chaudhuri Ronnie Screwvala
Siddharth Roy Kapur
Animated Film
Co-produced with Disney World Cinema and UTV Motion Pictures
Nominated - Grand Prix at 2013 Annecy International Animated Film Festival[48]
Luck Luck Ki Baat Iqbal Khan Disney Channel India Television film
Remake of 2001 Disney Channel Original Movie The Luck of the Irish
Co-produced with SOL Productions
2014 Khoobsurat Shashanka Ghosh Anil Kapoor
Rhea Kapoor
Siddharth Roy Kapoor
Co-produced with UTV Motion Pictures and Anil Kapoor Film Company [50]
2015 ABCD 2 Remo D'Souza Siddharth Roy Kapoor Sequel to the 2013 film ABCD: Any Body Can Dance.
Co-produced with UTV Motion Pictures
2016 Apna Bhai Gaju Bhai Sandeep Patil and Aarsh Vohra Disney Channel India Animated TV Movie
based on Disney Channel's Animated TV series Gaju Bhai
Co-produced with Toonz Animation
Dangal Nitesh Tiwari Aamir Khan
Kiran Rao
Siddharth Roy Kapur
Co-produced with Aamir Khan Productions and UTV Motion Pictures [52]
2017 Jagga Jasoos Anurag Basu Anurag Basu
Ranbir Kapoor
Siddharth Roy Kapur
Co-produced with PictureShuru Entertainment, UTV Motion Pictures and Ishana Movies [53]

Home Entertainment[edit]

The following Indian films were released under Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment banner

Home Entertainment Release date Film International Title Original Theatrical Release date Production Company Notes Ref.
12 January 2010 Taare Zameen Par Like Stars on Earth 21 December 2007 Aamir Khan Productions and PVR Pictures [54]
26 July 2011 Anaganaga O Dheerudu Once Upon a Warrior 14 January 2011 Disney India, A Bellyful of Dreams Entertainment, Arka Media Works and Disney World Cinema Part of Disney World Cinema series [55]
Do Dooni Chaar Two Twos Are Four 8 October 2010 Disney India, Planman Motion Pictures and Disney World Cinema
Zokkomon Zokkomon 22 April 2011 Disney India and Disney World Cinema



  • Disney Consumer Products
  • Disney Publishing Worldwide
  • Disney Interactive
  • Indiagames
  • Disney Media Networks
  • UTV Software Communications
  • UTV Toons
  • Disney Live Entertainment
  • Disney Studios

TV Channels[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Laghate, Gaurav (26 October 2016). "Mahesh Samat returns to Disney India as Managing Director after four years". The Economic Times. 
  2. ^ Ghaswalla, Amrita Nair (15 August 2003). "Disney, Modi end India JV". Economic Times. TNN. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Walt Disney to open local sales office in India". Economic Times. 3 September 2003. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY INDIA & UTV JOIN CREATIVE FORCES" (Press release). Bangalore, INDIA: The Walt Disney Company (India). Bloomberg. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "After Tamil & Telegu, Toon Disney goes Hindi from 1 September". Indian Television. 22 August 2005. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Walt Disney channels to be distributed by STAR". Economic Times. 25 November 2004. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Jetix rebrands to Disney XD in India". 12 November 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  8. ^ Bhattacharjee, Manisha (20 April 2005). "Walt Disney's Eisner coming to India". Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  9. ^ Bhattacharjee, Manisha (25 April 2005). "Disney's Eisner, Iger in India; to meet PM & President". Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  10. ^ Adesara, Hetal (15 October 2005). "Disney gives merchandising heavy push with 'Princess' range". Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  11. ^ Leahy, Joe; Sundeep Tucker (13 September 2006). "Disney switches on to Hindi market". Financial Times. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  12. ^ Sinha, Ashish (18 June 2008). "'UTV investment is long-term play'". Business Standard. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "Disney Jeans launched, plans 30 stores". Business Standard. 26 September 2006. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "Disney to set up 150 stores in India". The Times of India. TNN. 12 October 2006. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  15. ^ "Disney launches comic books in India". 15 April 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  16. ^ "Walt Disney to acquire controlling stake in UTV". Business Standard. New Delhi. Press Trust of India. 1 February 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Disney Junior to find biz model in digital India". 21 November 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  18. ^ Malvania, Urvi (12 August 2015). "Disney launches its theatrical brand with Beauty and the Beast". Business Standard. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  19. ^ "Disney to create the magic of Broadway in India". Adgully. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2017. 
  20. ^ Laghate, Gaurav (26 August 2016). "Disney India to exit from Hindi film production business". The Economic Times. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. Retrieved 15 December 2016. 
  21. ^ > Kidology > Disney extends local content; launches new show on 27 April
  22. ^ Shilpa Bharatan Iyer (29 September 2006). "Disney launches first Indian TV series". Variety Asia Online. Retrieved 15 May 2007. 
  23. ^ "Disney to launch second local product 'Dhoom Machaao Dhoom'". 20 December 2006. Retrieved 20 May 2017. 
  24. ^ Disney Channel to launch Kya Mast Hai Life on 27 April | News
  25. ^ Disney Channel To Presents A New Tween Musical Drama,Ishaan – Sapno Ko Awaaz De
  26. ^ a b "Disney brings Satyajit Ray’s detective Feluda to the small screen". 30 December 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2017. 
  27. ^ "Kids channels hunt for growth, local talent". 14 July 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2017. 
  28. ^ "Disney Channel to launch weekly sitcom on 3 April". 
  29. ^ "Disney channel launches all new family sitcom". 5 April 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2017. 
  30. ^ "Benjamin Gilani to host Disney Q - The Family Mastermind on Disney Channel". 19 February 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2017. 
  31. ^ "Disney launches a dance driven series "Shake it up"". Retrieved 20 May 2017. 
  32. ^ "Family fun". The Hindu. 12 October 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2017. 
  33. ^ "Disney Channel Coming up with New Show, Palak pe Jhalak:Takes You on a Futuristic Ride of ‘Bhavisyavaani’s’". 21 September 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2017. 
  34. ^ a b "Disney India's first ever MADE FOR TELEVISION Film to premiere on 30 Sep.". 28 September 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  35. ^ a b "When Jollywood’s Superstar meets Bollywood’s superstar!". The Times of India. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  36. ^ "Disney set to launch Green Gold Animation’s ‘Arjun, Prince of Bali’". 31 May 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2017. 
  37. ^ "Amitabh Bachchan’s superhero series Astra Force unveiled on his 74th birthday". The Indian Express. 11 October 2016. Archived from the original on 15 October 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  38. ^ "Disney India launches 'Gaju Bhai'". 18 April 2016. 
  39. ^ "Graphiti to produce local animated series 'Yom' for Disney channel india". 15 December 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2017. 
  40. ^ "56th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  41. ^ "7th VES Awards". Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  42. ^ "Yash Raj, Disney in animation films tie-up". 13 June 2007. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  43. ^ "Disney releases Bollywood animation 'Roadside Romeo'". Telegraph Media Group. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  44. ^ "58th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  45. ^ "Walt Disney releases first live action Hindi feature Do Dooni Chaar". Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  46. ^ "Walt Disney picks Shruti, Siddharth!". Times of India. 17 March 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2010. 
  47. ^ "Walt Disney's Zokkomon to Release on 22nd April 2011". Bollywood Trade. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  48. ^ "Arjun: The Warrior Prince Nominated for Annecy Cristal Award 2013". Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  49. ^ "Disney’s “Arjun” opens in Hollywood". Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  50. ^ "Disney India to co-produce Khubsoorat remake with Kapoors – NDTV". Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  51. ^ "Disney India creates its first local franchise with ‘ABCD 2’". Indian Express Limited. 22 April 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  52. ^ "DANGAL is an extremely special film for Disney, says Disney India Studios VP". 10 January 2017. 
  53. ^ "Jagga Jasoos new poster out; Ranbir Kapoor-Katrina Kaif starrer to release on 14 July". 24 May 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017. 
  54. ^ "Disney releasing ‘Taare Zameen Par’ on DVD in US". The Hindu. 18 December 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  55. ^ "Disney Releasing 3 Indian Films in North America". Deccan Herald. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  56. ^ Beauty and the Beast Musical Trailer

External links[edit]