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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Disney goes Telugu

Film Flam Flummox

While Hollywood studios dabbling in Indian film production has become a far from unusual thing in recent years, leave it to Disney to go the extra mile. While most studios have been pursuing the more widely seen "Bollywood" (read: Hindi language) dollar, starting with Sony Pictures' Saawariya in 2007 and subsequently followed by Disney themselves (2008's Roadside Romeo), then Warner Bros. (2009's Chandni Chowk to China), and then most successfully last year with Fox's My Name Is Khan, leave it to Mouse to leave no stone unturned and no potential market untapped by having a hand in a regional Indian production in the southern language of Telugu: the fantasy adventure Anaganaga O Dheerudu (Once Upon a Warrior), opening worldwide (including in North America) this Friday. I was told by the friendly folks at L.A. Telugu that this weekend's initial release in the States will not be English subtitled (those prints apparently will be released next weekend), but if the lavish trailer (that is subtitled) below is any indication, it looks to be a visual extravaganza of Hollywood-level polish that speaks a universal tongue of cinematic sensory splendor that transcends spoken language.

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