Disney has started production on its first TV series inspired by the culture and customs of India.
Called "Mira, Royal Detective," the animated series for preschoolers is set in the fictional, Indian-inspired land of Jalpur. The protagonist is a courageous and resourceful girl called Mira, who, after saving the kingdom's young prince, is appointed royal detective.
Judging by the talent of the voice cast, production and musicians who’ve signed on, the show is going to be a hit.
Mira will be voiced by 15-year-old newcomer Leela Ladnier and the supporting cast is a virtual who’s who of actors with Indian heritage.
Kal Penn ("Designated Survivor”) and Utkarsh Ambudkar ("The Mindy Project") will provide comic relief as a pair of mongoose sidekicks.
Hannah Simone ("New Girl") will voice a young commoner named Pinky while Jameela Jamil ("The Good Place") will be Mira's Auntie Pushpa. Freida Pinto (“Slumdog Millionaire”) will voice Queen Shanti.
The adventure series is set to air on Disney Junior channels and programming blocks around the world in 2020, according to a Disney news release.
The series aims to encourage critical thinking and deductive reasoning in its viewers. Each episode will include music and dance between two 11-minutes stories. It’ll be the latest addition to Disney Junior’s female-fronted shows such as “Sofia the First,” “Elena of Avalor,” “Doc McStuffins,” “Vampirina” and “Fancy Nancy.”
"We are eager to introduce kids and their families to the rich, diverse cultures and customs of India through Mira, a young girl who looks at things with her own unique lens to gain different perspectives and help others in her community. We hope that she will encourage our audience to actively engage with the inspiring world around them and appreciate the little details that make life extraordinary," Joe D'Ambrosia, senior vice president of original programming at Disney Junior, said in a written statement.
Creative minds behind the show:
Emmy-nominated Sascha Paladino ("Miles from Tomorrowland") is executive producer and Becca Topol ("Elena of Avalor") is story editor.
The show’s music will be led by Matthew Tishler ("Fancy Nancy"), Jeannie Lurie ("The Muppets") and Amritha Vaz ("Miss India America").
Cultural consultants include IW Group's Shagorika Ghosh, Bollywood dancer and choreographer Nakul Dev Mahajan ("So You Think You Can Dance") and music producer Deepak Ramapriyan ("Basmati Blues").
The series is produced by Wild Canary in association with Disney Junior.