Saturday, March 15, 2008

Disney Plans A Japanese “Lilo and Stitch” Program

By Heather Chin

(previously published at on March 6, 2008)

“Lilo and Stitch” TV program just one of several new endeavors by Disney to provide entertainment that accommodates the culture it inhabits.

The Walt Disney Company has announced plans to create a Japanese version of its hit film, “Lilo and Stitch.” Reuters reports that the U.S.-based entertainment and media giant will work with Madhouse Ltd., a Japanese animation company, to create a TV program for the Disney Channel. The program is set to air on Japanese satellite and cable TV, said a Walt Disney Co. Japan spokeswoman to Reuters.

Disney also plans to collaborate with Asia’s huge Toei Animation Co. Ltd. to create a robot adventure computer graphics cartoon to air later this year.

Taken in a broader context, these joint projects are examples of Disney’s innovative global effort, announced to Reuters by Disney Channel Worldwide’s entertainment president, Gary Marsh, to create local teams in Asia to provide local content that would, in turn, be released to a global audience.

Elsewhere in the world, Disney has already transplanted and localized TV programs from one country to another country’s market. This was done with an Italian series that now airs also in Britain, the U.S., and Australia, and inroads are being made with Indian TV.

The story of Lilo and Stitch is about the self-affirming relationship and misadventures of a young Hawaiian girl and the pet dog named Stitch who is really an escaped alien refugee who attracts his own entourage of comedic acquaintances. It opened in the U.S. in 2002, won 8 film awards and was nominated for 20 more.

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