10:57am PT by Kimberly Nordyke
Disney Junior Orders Animated Mystery Series Inspired by Indian Cultures and Customs
Disney Junior has greenlighted an animated mystery-adventure series for preschoolers that is inspired by the cultures and customs of India.
Mira, Royal Detective will star 15-year-old newcomer Leela Ladnier in the title role, along with the voices of Freida Pinto, Hannah Simone, Kal Penn, Jameela Jamil, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Aasif Mandvi.
Set in the magical Indian-inspired land of Jalpur, the series follows the brave and resourceful Mira, a commoner who is appointed to the role of royal detective after solving a mystery that involves saving the kingdom's young prince.
Mira travels throughout the kingdom helping royals and commoners alike. Along with her friend Prince Neel, a talented inventor, creative cousin Priya and comical mongoose sidekicks Mikku and Chikku, she will stop at nothing to solve a case, taking young viewers on adventures that highlight critical thinking and encourage deductive reasoning.
Each episode of the show, "rooted in India's vibrant heritage," will weave authentic music, dance and customs into two 11-minutes stories.
As the call for more representation on TV increases, Mira, Royal Detective expands Disney Junior's portfolio of shows representing diverse cultures, which also includes Elena of Avalor, the Sofia the First spinoff that's inspired by Latin traditions and folklore.
Sascha Paladino (Miles From Tomorrowland) is executive producer of the series, which was developed by Becca Topol (Elena of Avalor), who also serves as story editor.
Production is underway, with the show set to debut in 2020 on Disney Junior channels and programming blocks around the world.
"We are eager to introduce kids and their families to the rich, diverse cultures and customs of India through Mira, a young girl who looks at things with her own unique lens to gain different perspectives and help others in her community," said Joe D'Ambrosia, senior vp original programming at Disney Junior. "We hope that she will encourage our audience to actively engage with the inspiring world around them and appreciate the little details that make life extraordinary."
Pinto voices Queen Shanti; Simone is a commoner named Pinky; Jamil is Mira's Auntie Pushpa; Penn and Ambudkar voice mongooses Mikku and Chikku, respectively; and Mandvi is Mira's father, Sahil.
Other voice castmembers include Sarita Choudhury (Homeland), Aparna Nancherla (BoJack Horseman), Kamran Lucas (Disney's Mech-X4), Karan Brar (Disney Channel's Bunk'd), Karan Soni (Deadpool), Sarayu Blue (I Feel Bad), Parvesh Cheena (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Sonal Shah (Scrubs) and newcomer Roshni Edwards.
The series is produced by Wild Canary in association with Disney Junior.