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The kids are all right

BUDHADITYA BHATTACHARYA
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CATCH ‘EM YOUNGVijay Subramaniam
CATCH ‘EM YOUNGVijay Subramaniam

Disney UTV recently launched Disney Junior, a 24-hour channel dedicated to age-appropriate entertainment for kids from the ages two to seven in India. The channel, the 29th among Disney Junior channels, will air popular Disney serials like “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”, “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”, “Little Einsteins” and “Minnie’s Bowtoons”, among others. Vijay Subramaniam, executive editor, kids network, Disney UTV, shared details about the channel’s plans.

How is the channel different from other kids’ channels?

While there are other channels, they don’t focus on pre-schoolers specifically. The focus on other channels is just entertainment, but for pre-schoolers there is a strong need to combine entertainment with imagination so that while the child is being entertained he is picking up cognitive and other skills that will help him later in his life.

What is the nature of the content?

The content at Disney Junior comes from a rich repository of Disney stories. The channel derives from all the strengths of Disney, such as high-quality storytelling and wonderful characters. We have come up with content that is anchored in entertainment but also stimulating to the imagination. The appeal of these stories is universal.

Given the fact that kids tend to have shorter attention spans, has the form and length of content been designed accordingly?

The content at Disney Junior is essentially a mix of short-form and long-form programmes. While short-form programmes are up to five minutes long, the long-form programmes are 25 minutes long, which is the standard length. But even the long-form programmes are divided into segments that are seven to eight minutes long.

What has the build-up to the launch consisted of?

We have engaged in extensive consultations with parents and worked very hard to generate content that is safe and has parental approval. In our interactions, we also found that they place a lot of emphasis on English and so our programming is in line with their expectations. While the characters are drawn from a global repertoire, there has been an attempt to localise the content as much as possible as well.

How is the channel being marketed?

Since the channel launched just last month, the initial effort will be just to get the word out there. We will continue to speak to parents on a one-to-one basis and will be travelling to 10 cities in the next six months to seek their feedback.

BUDHADITYA BHATTACHARYA

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