Animation is the buzz word at Ficci-FRAMES 2004. Everyone is discussing about it and all those who matter in the animation business are participating.

Walt Disney, which is in the final leg of finishing its groundwork for launching its satellite television channel in India, sees a ‘very big’ potential in the Indian market.

The channel should be available in India as early as mid-2005.

Throwing light on the company’s plan of launching the channel, Andy Bird, president Walt Disney International, said: “We see the Indian animation industry growing at 30 per cent per annum. Currently, it is worth $1 billion but this will grow very fast.”

The company’s senior official, including its president, is on a fact-finding mission to India. “Our thrust is on studying the nuances of India’s rich culture and traditions because localisation holds the key to our success globally,” commented Bird.

At the moment, Disney Channel is available on pay in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan amongst other countries.

Currently, Disney’s programming in India is for 29 hours a week. The animation-based shows are shown on Doordarshan, Eenadu and several other regional networks.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Disney’s branded programmes are broadcast on local free-to-air networks in 12 countries reaching over 300 million viewers. The shows in India, like elsewhere, will be targeted at the kids and family audience.