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Disney+ unveils local APAC slate as international push continues

Disney+ APAC content

The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) has unveiled a slate of local-language content for Disney+ from countries including Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, China and Australia as the streamer continues to expand across Asia Pacific (APAC).

Having already arrived in India, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, Disney+ will launch in South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan in November.

TWDC is seeking to greenlight over 50 APAC originals by 2023 and has begun its push with a host of titles spanning drama, comedy, fantasy, romance, science-fiction, crime, horror, variety shows, documentaries and anime.

These originals will sit alongside the company the streamer is creating based on its brands and franchises Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and National Geographic.

Subject to local availability, the 18 recently commissioned APAC content titles will be available on the streaming service over the next year.

These include: Moving, an action hero thriller from Korea based on the webtoon of the same name by Kang Full about three teenagers discovering their unusual powers; Snowdrop, a romantic melodrama series starring Korean actor Jung Hae-in and Korean pop group Blackpink’s Jisoo; and coming-of-age romantic drama Rookies, featuring K-pop idol Kang Daniel.

It has also ordered other originals such as: Australian documentary Shipwreck Hunters; Chinese period drama Delicacies Destiny; and Tokyo MER (Mobile Emergency Room), a collaboration with TBS in Japan.

The originals push mirrors TWDC’s strategy in Europe, where it recently upped its target to 60 originals by 2024.

Meanwhile, TWDC plans to have switched off 100 TV channels around the world in 2021, while channels in markets including the UK, Australia and New Zealand have already gone dark.

TWDC has also announced the launch of its APAC Creative Experience Program, an initiative to connect hundreds of creators from APAC with Disney filmmakers and creators through creative masterclasses, live panels and other engagement activities.

“We hope that this program will inspire the creative community and add further momentum to the creative development of Asia Pacific, which I believe is emerging as a global content and media powerhouse,” said Luke Kang, president of TWDC Asia Pacific.

“The creative talent and content we are seeing from many APAC countries is world class and will only get better. Disney’s unparalleled storytelling is the foundation of our special connection to our audiences and we look forward to offering top talent in the region with insights into the creative processes of the world’s best storytellers.”

“With over-the-top services going mainstream, emergence of world-class content from Asia Pacific and rising consumer sophistication, we believe that this is the right time for us to deepen our collaboration with the region’s best content creators to deliver unparalleled storytelling to global audiences.”

Jessica Kam-Engle, Disney’s APAC head of content and development, added: “Our production strategy is centred on working with the best local storytellers in the region, leveraging our brand power, scale and dedication to creative excellence. We look forward to collaborating with award-winning and emerging creative talent in Asia Pacific and sharing authentic stories that reflect the unique cultural and social dynamics from this region to global audiences.”


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