Disney Steps Into South India With ONCE UPON A WARRIOR

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Disney Steps Into South India With ONCE UPON A WARRIOR
The House of Mouse has been poking its tail into various international markets for years now, but only very recently has India become a place of interest.  In 2008, Disney co-produced Yash Raj's computer animated Hindi film Roadside Romeo, which was not a tremendous hit, but proved to be the best that Indian animation had produced until that point.  Earlier this year, Disney tried out the Hindi market again with Do Dooni Chaar starring 70's Bollywood legend Rishi Kapoor and his wife Neetu.  The film was well received by critics, however, it too died a quiet death at the box office.  Earlier this year we previewed yet another Hindi film, the child superhero film Zokkomon, which was due to release in May, but has completely disappeared off of the radar, and all I can find is that it was still shooting back in June.  So far, Disney are 0 for 3, but I think this next one has a chance.

The three films mentioned above were all created with the Hindi film market in mind.  This is what is commonly referred to as Bollywood, but Disney hadn't ever tried to broach the regional film markets in India's south.  Once Upon a Warrior (Anaganaga O Dheerudu) is the first Disney co-production with a south Indian market in mind, in this case, the Telugu film market, also known as Tollywood. 

I've had my eye on this film for several months and there really hasn't been much to report until today, but the first teaser was released yesterday, and it is a doozy!  Telugu film has never seen production value like this, the animation looks to be top notch and the colors absolutely burst from the screen, even more than usual.  It is obviously a fantasy/epic style of film, but I don't know much more than that.  The ever trustworthy Wikipedia has this to say:
The fantasy adventure film is set in the fictitious teardrop shaped land of Sangarashtra and explores the inseparable bond between man and the myths that remain relevant even today. The story focuses on the journey of a nine year old girl with special healing powers and her quest to save Sangarashtra from the tyranny of an evil Queen, played by Lakshmi Manchu. The girl portrayed by Hrishitha is protected by a blind swordsman played by Siddharth who faces great adversity and helps the girl on her epic journey. Shruti Haasan plays a gypsy woman whose destiny is tied into that of the swordsman and plays his love interest.
So take that with a grain of salt.

This film stars Tollywood heartthrob Siddharth and Shurthi Hassan.  Hassan has been on quite a roll lately.  She sang a song for the Mallika Sherawat disaster Hisss, and she's also currently filming A.R. Murugadoss' mystery circus/medical thriller 7aam Arivu, which I'm also watching closely.  Once Upon a Warrior marks her first attempt at a Telugu film role.  Her father, South Asian film legend Kamal Hassan has moved back and forth among all three of India's major film industries with ease over the last 50 years, and Shruthi looks poised to do the same. 

I've got to be honest, I've never seen SFX of this quality in an Indian film and this really looks like it could be a breakthrough film for Disney in South Asia.  I'm really looking forward to it. 

Once Upon a Warrior allegedly is set to release in January.

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Prakash RaoRahul KodaRajasimhaR. SamalaSiddharthShruti HaasanLakshmi ManchuHarshithaAdventureFamilyFantasy

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