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Disney's 'HSM' heads to Latin America - 7/28/06


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  • Disney's 'HSM' heads to Latin America - 7/28/06

    Disney's "Musical" heads to Latin America

    Fri Jul 28,11:34 PM ET

    School's out for summer -- but not at Walt Disney Co., which is bringing its blockbuster cable TV movie franchise "High School Musical" to South America.

    "High School Musical" will premiere on TV July 30 in Brazil, and August 6 in the rest of Latin America. The movie (dubbed in Portuguese and Spanish, respectively, but with the songs in their original English renditions) will be followed by a singalong version, a making-of version and a dance-along version, as happened in the States. The movie will be promoted by a daily Disney show called "Zapping Zone," which is produced in separate versions for Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

    After that initial TV run, the fun begins.

    "We believe the potential is far wider than television," says Diego Lerner, president of Walt Disney Co. Latin America.
    "Yes, it will (start) in television. However, we see it as a point of presentation for a major franchise," Lerner says. This would include individual, theatrical productions of "High School Musical" for Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, featuring local talent. In addition, Disney is planning local TV versions of "High School Musical," also in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. The cast selection in each country will become a TV program, a la "American Idol."

    Meanwhile, the "High School Musical" soundtrack -- still in the top 10 of The Billboard 200 after 28 weeks -- will be released on different dates across the region between late July and early August.

    The track listing remains the same as the U.S. edition, save for "Eres Tu," a Spanish-language version of "What We've Been Waiting For," performed by Mexican pop group Belanova.

    Despite Disney's enthusiasm for "High School Musical" in Latin America, there are no plans to target the Latin audience within the United States. "We are producing this for the cultural environment of Latin America," Lerner says.

    With the original version, there was no outreach by Disney toward U.S. Hispanics, notwithstanding the character of Gabriella Montez (played not by a Latina, but by half-Filipino, half-Irish actress Vanessa Anne Hudgens).

    But plenty of Hispanic kids embraced it anyway.

    Chalk it up to the magic of Disney.
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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