In an article in the Wall Street Journal, “Lilo & Stitch,” the popular Disney duo, will be adapted into a Japanese television show called “Stitch” this October. Only instead of Lilo, the orphan who lives on a Hawaiian island, Japanese viewers will get to meet Hanako, who resides on a tropical island in Okinawa. Stitch will still look like a blue alien, but Hanako will appear “very Japanese.”
From the WSJ:
The move marks the first time the U.S. entertainment giant produces major TV content outside the U.S., Disney officials in Tokyo said. It underscores a drive among American companies to design characters that resonate in other cultures rather than to simply dub Hollywood-made programs into foreign languages.
Working with production houses in Japan would also allow Disney to tap the country’s expertise in animation, making it a testing ground for creating new characters, according to Disney officials in Tokyo.