(Above: ‘Molly of Denali,’ courtesy PBS Kids Prime Video Channel)
Molly of Denali, the first nationally distributed kids’ series featuring a Native American lead character, debuted for free today on PBS stations, the over-the-air PBS Kids channel, and the PBS Kids video app. It will also be available starting Friday via Amazon Prime’s $4.99 PBS Kids add-on channel,
Designed for 4 to 8 year-olds, the mostly animated series revolves around the adventures of 10-year-old Alaskan Molly Mabray– a Gwich’in/Koyukon/Dena’ina Athabascan native. Along the way, Molly solves problems with the help of books, online resources, field guides, historical documents, maps, tables, posters, photos, Indigenous knowledge from elders, her own vlog and more.
The first season consists of 38 half-hours, each including two 11-minute animated stories, with all voices by Indigenous actors, and one live-action interstitial, featuring local Alaskan children. A one-hour special will also be included.
Eight Molly of Denali episodes are already available free on the PBS Kids YouTube channel. Here’s episode one, with the stories “Grandpa’s Drum” and “Have Canoe, Will Paddle.” The catchy theme song is sung by members of the Yupik Alaska Native band Pamyua, with Athabascan fiddle and traditional drum played by Gwich’in fiddler Brenna Firth.
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