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Jameela Jamil confirmed for revolutionary Disney animation “with smart girl as the lead”

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Kayleigh Dray
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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 02: Jameela Jamil discusses 'The Good Place' with the Build Series at Build Studio on October 2, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

“My inner child is screaming,” says Jameela Jamil.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Jameela Jamil is one of our absolute favourite people. Not only is she a brilliant actress (her starring role as Tahani al-Jamil in Mike Schur’s The Good Place has received critical acclaim), but she is also funny, incredibly down-to-earth and a truly inspiring force of nature, too. 

Throw in the fact that she’s been using her position in the spotlight to fight the good feminist fight (and call out misogynist bulls**t whenever she encounters it), and you have a recipe for sheer perfection.

So, when we learned that Jamil will be lending her talents to a revolutionary new Disney project, we were – understandably – very excited.

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Of course, it’s no secret that some of the older Disney films haven’t aged well. Just a few weeks ago, Frozen’s Kristen Bell – who stars opposite Jamil in The Good Place – voiced concerns about Snow White’s dangerous message on consent. Keira Knightley, similarly, has stated that she has banned Cinderella from her household, because she doesn’t want her daughter to think it’s OK to wait around for a rich guy to rescue her. 

And Beauty & The Beast has also become a point of contention for many, with some citing Stockholm Syndrome as the true source of her affections for the Beast. 

However, over the years, we’ve seen Disney slowly begin to edge away from the traditional girl-meets-boy (or should that be princess-meets-prince?) story. Or, at the very least, take their characters further than a meaningful glance, woodland duet, and swift (some may say ill-advised) marriage: think Frozen’s Elsa, Tangled’s Rapunzel, Brave’s Merida, Moana and Mulan.

And now Disney Junior has commissioned an all-Indian Disney show called Mira, Royal Detective, which is due to land on TV screens in 2020.

“It’s the story of a young girl who’s smart, resourceful and has a knack for solving mysteries,” reads the official bio. 

Sharing the news on her own account, an excited Jamil wrote: “THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE I AM A CASTMEMBER IN AN ALL INDIAN @Disney SHOW WITH A SMART GIRL AS THE LEAD!”

“My inner child is screaming,” she added.

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As well as Jamil, Mira will star Freida Pinto, Hannah Simone, Kal Penn, Jameela Jamil, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Aparna Nancherla, and others. 15-year-old newcomer Leela Ladnier will voice the titular protagonist, a brave and resourceful commoner who gets appointed as a royal detective after she solves a mystery involving young Prince Neel (Kamran Lucas). 

Mira and Neel then team up to travel throughout the kingdom and help royals and commoners alike. Mira’s creative cousin Priya (newcomer Roshni Edwards) is also along for the ride, as are “comical mongoose sidekicks” Mikku (Penn) and Chikku (Ambudkar).

“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,” Disney Junior vice president Joe D’Ambrosia said in a statement. 

“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.”

The show is slated for release in 2020.

Images: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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