A Disney representative has answered a letter from Iceland’s Minister of Education and Culture urging the company to add Icelandic-language subbing and dubbing to their streaming service Disney+, which launched in Iceland last year. In a letter to the Minister, Manager of The Walt Disney Company in the Nordic and Baltic regions Hans van Rijn states the company is currently working on adding Icelandic dubbing and subtitles to the service but it will take “a few months” to complete the project.
Iceland’s Minister of Education and Culture Lilja Alfreðsdóttir wrote a letter to Disney CEO Bob Chapek on February 1 urging the company to add Icelandic subtitles and dubbing to its Disney+ streaming service. Disney films and TV shows have been subtitled and dubbed in Icelandic over the past several decades and Disney owns the rights to that material, but it has not been made available on the company’s streaming service, which entered the Icelandic market last September. In her letter, Lilja described the Icelandic language as “the core of the nation’s culture and identity,” adding: “We work hard to maintain it, especially among children and young people who are heavily exposed to other languages daily, mainly English.”
In his reply, Van Rijn thanked Lilja for her letter, saying Disney “strive[s] to be locally and culturally relevant” in all markets in which it operates, adding that the company had been exploring how to add “more dubbed and subtitled stories in Icelandic” to its service since launching in the country last September. Among the titles that van Rijn says the company will make available in Icelandic in the future are the four Toy Story films, the Cars franchise, The Lion King, WALL-E, and more recent titles such as Frozen 2 and Coco.
In a Facebook post, Lilja described the letter as a “sign of goodwill,” saying she would push for the project to be sped up so Icelandic content would be available even sooner.