BURBANK, California: Walt Disney Studios International Productions is reportedly planning to extend its saccharine franchise across the Middle East – a move likely to do for US-Arabic cultural relations what Sarah Palin has done for moose welfare.
Despite Disney's relentless PollyAnna approach to moviemaking, general manager Jason Reed believes that such all-American boffos as High School Musical can succeed in the Arab market if remade with a local angle rather than just redubbed.
"There's a really strong affinity between the strong family values in the region and the Disney brand," says Reed. "We want to go out and try to make a film that will play to families from North Africa to the Gulf states."
The region is ripe for Disney content, Reed believes. "By 2012, seventy percent of Arab speakers will be under 30. There is limited family fare in those countries."
Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff