Last week, Disney announced it’d be collaborating with Kugali Media, a pan-African entertainment company founded by creatives from Nigeria and Uganda.
This partnership would lead to an adaptation of Kugali Media’s comic book titled, Iwájú, a Yoruba term which roughly translates to ‘the Future’. The animation will be set in Lagos, Nigeria.
The production is set to begin in 2021 while the movie is expected to debut on Disney’s streaming service, Disney+ in 2022.
Sounds exciting but…
This isn’t the first animated African story that has got Disney’s attention. In July 2018, Disney was working on an African fairytale movie Sadé, the fairytale story of an African princess that, through the help of newly-developed magical powers, saved her kingdom. However, the project didn’t happen for unknown reasons.
Africa’s movie industry might be booming but its animation segment is still in its infancy. If this project goes on to be a reality and even more a success, it could bring spur the creation of other animation movies in Africa.
As one of the authors of Iwájú said, “Most of what you find out there about Africa is being told by non-Africans, and it was crucial to us that Africans tell their own stories.”
Looking forward: Disney plus announced last week that it surpassed 73 million subscribers. An impressive feat considering that Disney’s goal, at its launch, was to reach 60 million to 90 million subscriptions by 2024. While Disney plus isn’t officially available in Africa yet (except you use a VPN), an African animation movie could help Disney reach its goal faster, or even hint at an official launch in Africa soon.