Leading Mumbai-based movie studio, Yashraj Films, has announced a 50-50 alliance with Walt Disney Animation.
'We've tied up with Walt Disney to make exclusive animation films. The first, Roadside Romeo, would be released in summer 2008 and will have its share of music, dance, songs and romance,' said producer-director Yash Chopra, managing director of Yashraj Films (YRF).
While Yashraj will take care of all aspects of the film, Walt Disney Studios will offer technical supervision to meet international standards. Animation on Roadside Romeo is taking place at Tata Elxsi, Mumbai.
While the Disney-YRF alliance is 'exclusive for animation features', Disney will work other Indian partners for live-action features.
Cook said: 'We're thrilled to be working with Yash and (his son) Aditya Chopra and their talented team at YRF Studios to create exceptional animated films in the Indian language that are culturally relevant for the avid movie-going audiences in India and around the world.'
Present at the announcement was Mark Zoradi, president of marketing and distribution for Walt Disney Motion Pictures, as well as Richard Cook, chairman, Walt Disney Studios.
The first film from the deal will be Roadside Romeo written and directed by Jugal Hansraj and produced by Aditya Chopra. Leading Bollywood stars such as Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Jaaved Jafferi are lending their voices to the animated characters. It is expected that the film will be released in Telugu and Tamil in addition to Hindi.
The two partners have agreed to co-produce one film a year, with budgets ranging between $4m and $10m.