Walt Disney Co India (WDCI) has announced that it will start releasing home entertainment content in India directly, rather than license product to local distributor Excel Home Video.

The studio is setting up an in-house home entertainment team which will oversee the DVD sales and marketing business. Its first release will be animated feature Tinkerbell on May 13.

Disney will distribute to major chains, while Excel will continue to supply Disney DVDs to smaller retail outlets.

Other upcoming releases include High School Musical, Hannah Montana and dubbed versions of Bolt, Mickey Mouse Club House and My Friends Tigger And Pooh. Local Disney productions are also lined up forDVD release such as animation Roadside Romeo, which Disney co-produced with Yash Raj Films.

WDCI senior vice president and managing director Mahesh Samat said: “Disney has a firm stake in developing the family entertainment sector in this country and we continue to strengthen our market presence by extending our franchises across multiple lines of businesses.”

Disney’s upcoming local productions include Zokkoman, a live-action film directed by Satyajit Bhatkal slated for release in December 2009, and multi-lingual martial arts adventure 19th Step, to be directed by Bharat Bala from this summer.