This may be nostalgia talking, but the late ‘2000s were the golden age of children’s television. And if you had a childhood remotely similar to mine, you spent all your time after school watching Disney Channel India. The channel launched in India in 2004 and ran Disney‘s original shows imported from the U.S. These included fan favourites such as Hannah Montana, Lizzie McGuire, That’s So Raven, and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, among others. To this day, I find myself connecting with American friends over this shared aspect of our childhoods. I also find great joy in the disbelief when I tell them that all these shows were dubbed in Hindi and that Sunidhi Chauhan sang the Hindi version of ‘Gotta Go My Own Way’ from High School Musical 2.
In 2006, however, after the success of the U.S. Disney shows, Disney Channel India launched Vicky Aur Vetaal, the first locally produced series for the channel. This show marked the start of the era that gave us phenomenal children’s live-action shows. The following 5 years saw the production of original shows that launched many faces we still recognize today. However, in 2010, the Japanese Manga series Doraemon started taking up most of the airtime on the channel. Since then, the channel has also seen local remakes of U.S. shows, like Best Of Luck Nikki for Good Luck Charlie.
Although I’m sure the children today will speak highly of the current productions on the channel, I truly believe there is nothing like the OGs. Here lies a list of some of the original Disney India that headlined the golden era of the network. They may be gone, but they will never be forgotten. Also, if anyone wants to start a petition to Disney+ to make these shows available for streaming, I will be the first person to sign it.
1. Dhoom Machao Dhoom
Truly the only Indian show of its kind, Dhoom Machao Dhoom was a pioneer for dramas about female friendships. This Disney show depicted a girl band that stuck together despite everything that tested their friendship. It also gave us many actors that have come to find bigger success today, including Sriti Jha, Maanvi Gagroo, Jay Bhanushali, and Vikrant Massey to name a few.
2. Vicky & Vetaal
A sitcom based on the Sanskrit collection of tales called Baital Pachisi, Vicky & Vetaal was the first major production by Disney India. The show was based on sixth-grader Vicky‘s mischievous adventures, and friendly but silly ghost Vetaal‘s attempts to help Vicky. Actor Vishal Malhotra (Vetaal) was one of the recognizable names that starred in the series.
3. Kya Mast Hai Life
Another Disney sitcom based on the lives of 5 college friends, Kya Mast Hai Life was a light-hearted show about the life of Ragini Juneja, the daughter of a Bollywood megastar, and her finding her way into a friendship with a group of 4 friends. The show placed emphasis on the unbreakable bond of friends and launched actors Shaheer Sheikh, Sana Sheikh, and Shweta Tripathi.
4. Agadam Bagdam Tigdam
An ingenious Disney show about an alien family from the planet of Zoltar, Agadam Bagdam Tigdam was a comedy series based on the British show My Parents Are Aliens. The show revolved around the Malhotra family, who are trying to disguise themselves as humans on earth, and whose secret is often vulnerable to being exposed due to their nosy neighbours. Prominent comedic actors Kiku Sharda and Dilip Joshi acted in the show.
Have you seen any of these shows? Which shows from Disney Channel do you miss the most?
Do you, too, wish Disney would give in already and make these shows available to stream online? Let me know in the comments below!
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