Disney is gearing up to conjure up the magic of its live shows quite often in India from now on. The world famous corporate, which is at present touring the country with some of its famed characters, is looking at unveiling a couple of shows yearly to begin with which should be scaled up to around three a year in time.
“Everyone knows that India is an emerging market and its economic climate is the driving force. You would be missing out a lot if you don't tap this market. We are definitelly planning to put up 2 live shows in the country from '06 which, in all likelihood, will climb to three every year gradually,” Mr Tom Vazzana told ET. Mr Vazzana is show director with the Disney group and is now based in Hong Kong.
Five classic characters - Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Chip n'Dale - are staging shows across India at the moment. Taking off from this, Disney is in the midst of thrashing out plans to field more characters from the Disney Channel in future.
According to Mr Vazzana, these names could embrace iconic characters like Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. In step, characters from TV serials like Bear In The Big Blue House, Stanley and Jojo's Circus are tipped to arrive in India to give kids that never-before live experience.
“The pre-production phase of a show is lengthy and an elaborate affair. It could well spread over around 6 months. This revolves around recording of the music, development of the show, assembling the production team and marketing the whole event among other things,” Mr Vazzana said.
“Programmes like these create brand awareness with children who view Disney characters like rock stars. “The benefit is inverted. We experience your culture and the childrem meet their stars. It's a meet and greet opportunity for the kids.”
Mr K. Seshasaye, head of public relations, Walt Disney TV International (India) said that unfurling live shows in the country is a corporate strategy for the company now. “It helps building franchise for every character. There are various ways of doing it. We have Disney toys and clothes. But, there were never live shows before this,” he said.
Disney, as a company, was working on three focus areas: creativity, technology and innovation and international expansion. Mr Seshasaye reiterated that India is on top of Disney's agenda. “India is prime market Disney's international foray,” he said. “The Disney and Toon Disney channels were already reaching 25 million homes.”
Together with characters mentioned by Vazzana, other Disney Channel characters from TV programmes like That's So Raven, Kim Possible and Winnie The Pooh and Toon Disney's Power Rangers are also likely to perform in live shows in future,” Mr Seshasaye said.