2017 Mar 15
by Vandana Hiranand
Disney is quite possibly the most popular source of entertainment – for kids and adults alike! The range of animated and live-action movies and TV shows produced by Disney is quite astounding. As such, we began to wonder how different Disney would be if it was Sri Lankan.
1. Unnecessary censoring
There would be a whole lot of censoring – even with the animated kissing scenes! In fact, entire scenes may sometimes be weirdly glossed over and cut, such as a kissing scene in their live-action movies – with an awkward teenager and his girlfriend, for example. Of course, Sri Lankan Disney romance would be even more different! We would probably witness quite a few animated umbrellas in parks, rather than magic carpets flying through the sky.
2. Old Historical Stories
As is expected, the classic Sinhalese historical stories would be given prominence and made into animated movies – particularly stories of old Sri Lankan Kings and Queens. While this would be a wonderful platform for our rich history, is anyone else picturing the classic slow-moving plays and olden movies? Undoubtedly, these Disney movies would have to include more excitement and energy to reach that level.
3. Costumes, Clothing, and Settings
The costumes for many movies would probably be close to traditional Sri Lankan clothing – like sarees and sarongs! Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan versions of TV shows such as the popular Drake and Josh, would have predominantly had school uniforms as clothing, possibly the white dresses, shirts and pants that most Lankan students wear. In fact, the settings of most shows would be schools, parks, and the nearby saiver kadey. Other movies and shows might be set in rural areas, villages, and small towns, with Sri Lankan Disney princesses singing in rice fields.
4. The Music
The generally popular Disney songs would be replaced with exceedingly long romantic Sinhala songs, spanning about four verses and five choruses. I mean seriously can you not just hear Nanda Malini’s voice in the scene where Cinderella and the Prince danced the night away? Meanwhile, the fast-paced parts of movies would probably consist of music similar to baila, which would probably be accompanied by a horde of girls carrying out a synchronized dance together.
5. Sri Lankan Disneyland
The country to create Disney would most definitely be the home to Disneyland, the biggest theme park! Unfortunately, we can only hope that this wonderland is just as exciting and magical as it’s meant to be. However, from the theme park references we currently have, Disneyland would probably look a lot like Leisure World.
6. The Little Things
Small Sri Lankan aspects would no doubt be included in all the popular movies. For example, ‘Cars’ would include friendly Tuk Tuks, the rat in Ratatouille would make the best chicken cheese kottu, and Tangled would’ve had Rapunzel singing about oil lamps, rather than lanterns. In fact, fishermen would probably make it into more movies than pirates.
7. Children’s TV Shows
Popular Disney shows and movies such as Camp Rock, Hannah Montana, High School Musical, Lizzie McGuire, and Wizards of Waverly Place would center on school-age children in typical Sri Lankan school uniforms, with much more influence of parents. In fact, the young characters would probably have very different storylines, since they wouldn’t be able to do things such as: hang out alone at all hours of the day, sneak out of the house, have girlfriends and boyfriends, and go places without informing their parents! The parental influence on these shows would be way too high.
8. Superhero Movies
Sri Lankan superhero movies would star superheroes in extremely Lankan costumes – maybe wearing oversized shades or sarongs outside his suit rather than underwear. Our Lankan superhero would protect the streets of Colombo – probably from all the protests, dangerous drivers, and innumerable road accidents. Hopefully the threat of a powerful superhero that stands for justice would encourage our drivers to follow road rules!
And there you have it. If Disney was Sri Lankan, it would probably have most of these elements – along with many others too! The storylines would probably change completely to fit our culture and country. While we have no idea whether the movies would be great, the theme park most definitely would be! For now, we can only dream of a Disneyland in Sri Lanka.