'Mira, Royal Detective': Why we can’t wait for Disney Junior’s new series inspired by Indian culture

Rooted in India’s rich and vibrant heritage, each episode will weave in authentic music, dance and customs. This is a charming new step for India's soft power.

 |  3-minute read |   04-12-2018
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Aided by their special powers, as Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup protected the world from mad scientists, bank robbers and aliens, we got introduced to a fictional city named Townsville, in a very real country — America.

The superwomen captured our collective imagination as they took on the evil powers of the world, subtly introducing us along the way to American culture. We, unknowingly enough, got to know what people in the US have for breakfast even as we focused only on how The Powerpuff Girls took on their enemy, whom we also began to see as ‘our enemy’.

powerpuff-690_120418022742.jpgThe Powerpuff Girls taught us a lot about the American way of life.

The Christmas specials of the show made Santa Claus real for us, giving us hope that our empty socks will indeed be filled with gifts when we wake up on December 25. Many parents secretly filled the socks to ensure innocent childhood fantasies were tendered with care. But that is another story.

Daria Morgendorffer in Daria introduced us to the suburban American town of Lawndale and high school life. Before we knew how to pack our bags according to our timetables, we knew children in another part of the world had lockers in schools and went for proms.

daria-690_120418023221.jpgDaria introduced us to high school life in America. (Source: MTV)

They merrily chit-chatted around those lockers, and also fought and cried near them. Proms were serious business that caused heartaches and also became a source of tremendous joy depending on whether the unadulterated childhood love was requited or a proposal turned down.

We knew about summer breaks, about working parents, about ready-to-eat food, about how children referred to each other’s parents not as 'uncle' and 'aunty', but Mr or Mrs X, Y or Z.   

Animated characters became the tools that taught us about cultures far and away.

Many of these characters have come to us through Disney, which, so far, left India ignored, not as a market for an audience, but as a backdrop for action and an originator for characters set on Indian soil, rooted in an Indian ethos.

The wait is over!

Disney Junior has given the green signal to a new animated series, Mira, Royal Detective, which is inspired by the culture and customs of India.

mira-690_120418022829.jpgMira, Royal Detective, which will air on Disney Junior in 2020, will be Disney's first series inspired by India. (Photo: Disney Junior)

The series is reportedly going to feature our favourite Indian American stars.

The production for Mira, Royal Detective, which is likely to be a mystery-adventure series, is said to have begun and is expected to go on air in 2020.

The plot, which reportedly aims to have mainly preschoolers, children around 3-4 years old, as its target audience, is set in the fictional land of Jalpur.

The series is touted to follow the brave Mira, a commoner who is appointed a royal detective after solving a mystery that involves saving the kingdom’s young prince.

As royal detective, Mira travels throughout the kingdom, helping both royals and commoners alike. In the process, she will also be giving young viewers a sneak peek into India’s cultures and customs, its rituals and traditions.

Rooted in India’s vibrant heritage, each episode will weave in authentic music, dance and customs.

There can’t be a better way to teach children about India’s rich culture than introduce them to animated characters.

Animated superheroes are just like children. A bundle of energy and they narrate stories of utter innocence.

They don’t talk about out of the world dramas, hard facts and tangled emotions.

Children can relate to these animated characters more than they can to the real, sulking and bogged-down adults around them. It is thus natural that they also learn from these characters.

Mira can also prove to be our way of telling children world over what constitutes the Indian way of life — its songs, dances and rituals. Its celebration, indeed, of life.

(Who knows, our Diwali could just become the thing that Christmas is world over!)

India is banking big on Mira. This will be asserting India’s soft power on young, impressionable, inquisitive children, not just in India, but perhaps, all over the world.

Also read: Why this Japanese animation film will make you want to cry


Vandana Vandana @vandana5

Author is assistant editor DailyO.

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