The Walt Disney Company India
IndustryMedia conglomerate
FoundedAugust 1993; 29 years ago (1993-08) (as a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and Modi Enterprises)
Area served
Key people
  • K Madhavan (President, The Walt Disney Company India and Disney Star)
Kevin Vaz (CEO) Regional Entertainment, Infotainment and Kids
ParentDisney International Content & Operations
  • Disney India Consumer Products
  • Disney India Interactive
SubsidiariesDisney Star

The Walt Disney Company India Private Limited, known simply as Disney India, is the Indian subsidiary of the Indo Pacific region of the American media and entertainment conglomerate The Walt Disney Company and headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

In March 2019, after the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney, which included Indian TV giant Star India, Disney India became India's biggest television broadcaster.[1]


Joint venture

Walt Disney India was formed in August 1993 with a licensing agreement as a joint venture partnership between The Walt Disney Company and Modi Enterprises. Disney filed in October 2001 with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board to create a wholly owned subsidiary company to launch the Disney Channel in India. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion granted Disney an initial approval for the subsidiary but with Modi protesting because of similarities to their joint venture. When the 10 year licensing agreement ended, Modi and Disney could not come to a new agreement, thus ending the joint venture agreement in August 2003.[2]

Walt Disney Television International (Asia Pacific) took over distribution of content in September 2003 via Star Movies, AXN and HBO plus 29 hours of children's programmes per week via DD Metro, Eenadu, SET, Star Plus and Star World.[3]

Wholly owned subsidiary

The Walt Disney Company (India) Private Limited started operations in July 2004 based in Mumbai.[4] On 17 December 2004, Walt Disney Television International India launched the Disney Channel and Toon Disney channel with five language feeds (English, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu and Tamil languages). The channels were to be distributed by the Star Group.[5][6][7] Disney India planned to focus initially on its channel operations before expanding in to other areas. In the long term, a Disney theme park in India is possible as land has been reportedly found on the outskirts of Delhi.[8] Also in December, with Indiagames as a partner, the Walt Disney Internet Group released Disney games, wallpapers and ringtones in the market which is also available on AirTel. In 2005, Disney Consumer Products (DCP) began working with various Indian retail outlets to establish Disney Corners within the outlets to sell licensed merchandise.[9] In August, Funskool India and Disney entered in a contract for Funskool to sell Disney Princess products in India.[10]

Disney India and Yash Raj Films agreed to co-produce and co-finance a yearly animated film for the India market in January 2007. Both companies would also work together on merchandising and games for the films.[11]

In July 2006, Disney India acquired a controlling stake in Hungama TV from UTV Software Communications Limited while also taking a 14.9% share in UTV.[12] In 2008, the company took an additional 17.5% share in UTV.[13]

On 26 September 2006, the Disney Jeans brand was launched under license to Indus Clothing, which planned to open 30 Disney Jean stores by the end of 2007.[14] In October, DCP franchised to Ravi Jaipuria Corporation the rights for five years to set up 150 Disney Artist brand stores and wholesale under the Disney Artist brand Disney character branded greeting cards, stationery, arts, crafts and party products in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Maldives.[15]

Disney Publishing Worldwide, a division of Walt Disney India, announced a licensing agreement in April 2009 with local publisher Junior Diamond to publish Disney comic books, in both English and Hindi.[16] Jetix/Toon Disney was switched over in India to Disney XD on 14 November.[7]

In May 2011, Disney and UTV agreed to co-produce Disney branded family films with both handling creative function and UTV producing, marketing and distributing the films.[4] Walt Disney Company (South East Asia) Pvt Ltd. in July 2011 offered to purchase the public shareholders' stakes with approval given by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for them to increase their ownership. In February 2012, Disney announced the completion of the acquisition of UTV with UTV Chief Executive Officer Ronnie Screwvala becoming Managing Director of TWDC India[17] replacing Mahesh Samat, who joined the company in 2007 from Johnson & Johnson.[18]

In October 2012, Disney launched Disney Junior India, an ad-free channel for preschool kids. Earlier it was a one and a half hour programming block on Disney Channel India.[19] Disney India launched its Live Entertainment operations in 2015 with the production of a Beauty and the Beast musical to be shown from October to December in Mumbai and Delhi.[20]

Disney India indicated in August 2016 that it was shutting down UTV Pictures, its Hindi film production unit, and focusing only on distribution of its Hollywood films. Disney India managing director Siddharth Roy Kapur also indicated he would let his contract lapse on 1 January 2017.[21] On 28 November 2016, Mahesh Samat was to return as managing director, four years after he left the company.[18]

On 12 September 2017, Walt Disney International announced a restructuring of its business in Asia, and that Mahesh Samat is to lead the new Disney South Asia division, combining India, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.[22]

On 5 October 2017, The Walt Disney Company India officially announced the launch of Disney International HD on 29 October 2017. The channel was to be the exclusive home to live action Disney Channel original content.[23] The channel will not have any animation content, and will be replacing Bindass Play.[24]

Disney launched its second HD channel UTV HD on 21 October 2018, showing Bollywood and Hollywood films in Hindi. It premieres a new movie every Friday.[25]

On 7 November 2017, Disney announced the promotion of Abhishek Maheshwari as country head for India. He was to report to Mahesh Samat, Walt Disney International South Asia managing director.[26] On 14 December 2017, The Walt Disney Company announced the acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which includes Star India.[27]

Consumers Products licensed DLF Brands for Disney & Me stores that opened in April 2018.[28] The Live Entertainment divisions' second musical, Aladdin, premiered on 20 April 2018.[29]

On 13 December 2018, Disney announced Uday Shankar, who serves as president of Fox Asia and chairman of the Star India, will lead Disney's Asian Pacific region and chairman of Disney India after the acquisition of 21st Century Fox, including Star India closes.[30] On 1 April 2019, Uday Shankar, president Disney Asia Pacific, announced the restructuring of the complete entity of Star India and Disney. Sanjay Gupta will lead the Indian businesses and head the Disney Studios India, Fox Star Studios and UTV Motion Pictures in India, directly reporting to Uday Shankar who is also Chairman of Star and Disney India.[31] Gupta resigned as country head in November 2019.[32]

Disney XD was replaced with Marvel HQ channel on 20 January 2019 at noon.[33] Star India networks took over distribution of Disney channels in July 2019. Disney Channel, Hungama TV, Marvel HQ and Disney Junior became part of Disney Kids Pack while Bindass and Disney International HD became part of Star Value Pack.[34]

On 30 December 2020, Disney announced that the Star branding will be replaced with Utsav from 1 February in Netherlands.[35]

On 26 January 2022, Tata Sky was rebranded into Tata Play.[36]

Marvel HQ was replaced with Super Hungama channel on 1 March 2022.[37]

On 14 April 2022, Star India was rebranded into Disney Star.[38]


Current Units

Store Licence Start Date Closed Date
Disney Corners Departments April 2005[9]
Disney Jeans Indus Clothing 26 September 2006[14]
Disney Artist Ravi Jaipuria Corporation 10 October 2006[15]
Disney & Me DLF Brands April 2018[28]
shopDisney 23 November 2020[39]

Former Units

Walt Disney Pictures India

Year Film Director Producer(s) Co-production Co. Notes Ref.
2008 Roadside Romeo Jugal Hansraj Aditya Chopra Animated Film
National Film Award for Best Animated Film[42]
Nominated- Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture[43]
2010 Do Dooni Chaar Habib Faisal Arindam Chaudhuri Planman Motion Pictures National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi[45] [46]
2011 Feluda: The Kathmandu Caper Tapaas Chakravarti distribution only
DQ Entertainment International
Animated TV Movie [47]
Anaganaga O Dheerudu Prakash Kovelamudi Prasad Devineni
Prakash Kovelamudi
Telugu film [48]
Zokkomon Satyajit Bhatkal [49]
2012 Arjun: The Warrior Prince Arnab Chaudhuri Ronnie Screwvala
Siddharth Roy Kapur
UTV Motion Pictures Animated Film
Nominated – Grand Prix at 2013 Annecy International Animated Film Festival[50]
Luck Luck Ki Baat Iqbal Khan Disney Channel India SOL Productions Television film
Remake of 2001 Disney Channel original movie The Luck of the Irish
2014 Khoobsurat Shashanka Ghosh Fawad Khan
  • UTV Motion Pictures
  • Anil Kapoor Film Company
2015 ABCD 2 Remo D'Souza Siddharth Roy Kapur UTV Motion Pictures Sequel to the 2013 film ABCD: Any Body Can Dance. [54]
2016 Apna Bhai Gaju Bhai Sandeep Patil and Aarsh Vohra Disney Channel India Toonz Animation Animated TV movie
based on Disney Channel's animated TV series Gaju Bhai
Dangal Nitesh Tiwari
Aamir Khan Productions
UTV Motion Pictures
Highest Grossing Indian film till date. [56]
2017 Jagga Jasoos Anurag Basu Anurag Basu
Ranbir Kapoor
Siddharth Roy Kapur
  • PictureShuru Entertainment
  • UTV Motion Pictures
  • Ishana Movies

Home Entertainment

The following Indian films were released under the Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment banner.

Home Entertainment Release date Film International Title Original Theatrical Release date Production Company Notes Ref.
12 January 2010 Taare Zameen Par Like Stars on Earth 21 December 2007 Aamir Khan Productions and PVR Pictures [58]
26 July 2011 Anaganaga O Dheerudu Once Upon a Warrior 14 January 2011 Disney India, A Bellyful of Dreams Entertainment, Arka Media Works and Disney World Cinema Part of Disney World Cinema series [59]
Do Dooni Chaar Two Twos Are Four 8 October 2010 Disney India, Planman Motion Pictures and Disney World Cinema
Zokkomon Zokkomon 22 April 2011 Disney India and Disney World Cinema

Disney Live Entertainment


Current Channels

The following channels will soon be brought under Disney Star Private Limited once UTV channels are replaced by Star-themed channels.

See also: List of Disney TV programming blocks § India

Channel Launched Language(s) Category Notes
Bindass 24 September 2007 Hindi Music
Disney Channel 17 December 2004 English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu Kids
Disney Junior 15 October 2012
Super Hungama 26 September 2004[a] Replaced Disney XD
Disney International HD 29 October 2017 English General Entertainment Replaced Bindass Play
Hungama TV 26 September 2004[b] Hindi, Tamil and Telugu Kids
UTV Action 1 January 2010[61][c][c] Hindi Movies
UTV HD 21 October 2018[c]
UTV Movies 24 February 2008[c]

Former Channels

The following list includes channels discontinued by The Walt Disney Company India

Channel Launched Discontinued Language(s) Category Notes
Marvel HQ 20 January 2019 1 March 2022 English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu Kids Replaced by Super Hungama
Disney XD 14 November 2009 20 January 2019 English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu Kids Replaced by Marvel HQ
Toon Disney / Jetix 17 December 2004 14 November 2009 English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu Kids Replaced by Disney XD
Bindass Play 1 October 2014 29 October 2017 Hindi Music Replaced by

Disney International HD

UTV Stars 19 August 2011 1 October 2014 Hindi LIfestyle Replaced by

Bindass Play

UTV World Movies 22 February 2008 5 October 2014 English Movies
UTVi // Bloomberg UTV 8 April 2008 31 August 2019 English Business News Replaced by Bloomberg Television India

See also


  1. ^ Acquired in 2006
  2. ^ Acquired in 2006
  3. ^ a b c d Acquired in 2012


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