Animated ‘Molly of Denali’ is truly a reality show

By Dayna Harpster -

The first nationally distributed children’s series to feature a Native American lead character is about to debut on WGCU. And from voice actors to scriptwriters and consultants, “Molly” has been produced along with the indigenous people it represents.

Molly Mabray is a feisty and resourceful 10-year-old who lives in Alaska and stars in the animated series about her life, “Molly of Denali.” She’s all about family and intergenerational relationships, respect for elders and sharing what she has with others.

And of course, since the public media mission is to entertain, inspire, engage and also to educate – especially when it comes to kids – Molly brings viewers ages 4 to 8 along on her adventures but also fosters literacy skills along the way.

She also serves to showcase contemporary aspects of rural life, including strong female role models and how technology aids in education.

“Molly of Denali” uses a method called informational text, which is fundamental to literacy education. Informational texts are designed to convey information and can include written words, images, graphics, video and oral language. In every episode, Molly navigates her world and solves problems with the help of books, online resources, field guides, historical documents, maps, tables, posters, photos, Indigenous knowledge from elders, her own vlog and more.

Every indigenous character in “Molly” is voiced by an indigenous actor. In addition, Alaska Native screenwriters and producers are also part of bringing the series to life. WGBH Boston developed the show with a working group of Alaska Native advisors.

Each episode of “Molly of Denali” includes two 11-minute stories as well as a live-action interstitial. The first season will feature 38 half-hour episodes, along with a one-hour special.

Go to wgcu.org/tvschedules for showtimes.

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