'Madagascar' Series Debuts Pride Episode Featuring Nonbinary Character

by Julie Scagell
Originally Published: 
DreamWorks Animation

Odee is the newest member of the habitat on Madagascar: A Little Wild

DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar: A Little Wild is a hit with kids and their families. Now, the writers are introducing the show’s first non-binary character, “Odee Elliot” the Okapi, who will debut in the Pride-themed episode, Whatever Floats Your Float.

Odee will be voiced by nonbinary actor Ezra Menas. Menas has appearted in Spielberg’s West Side Story and Broadway’s Jagged Little Pill (pronouns: zie/hir/they) and said seeing a character like this when they were a child would have been life-changing.

“If I would have seen this when I was a kid, I don’t even know what I would’ve done,” Menas says via press release. “This kind of acceptance and love and celebration, I think, is the biggest takeaway from this episode. It’s just a beautiful thing. Makes me cry.”

The show will also feature a new original song called “Be Proud!” an ode to people being happy with who they are in all aspects of their lives. “It doesn’t matter what we are as long as we’re proud of who we are,” Odee says in the lead up to the song.

In the trailer, the animals are getting excited for the habitat’s annual Animal Pride Parade. When Marty meets new resident Odee, he can’t decide what float zie should join.

“What kind of animal are you,” the group asks Odee when they meet. “I don’t know what kind of animal I am? Oh wait, yes I do,” Odee says, “I’m a party animal. I’m the only me I know. But when Marty tries to define what kind of animal Odee is, he is missing the uniqueness and individuality Odee is bringing to the rest of the habitat.

The Whatever Floats Your Float episode of Madagascar: A Little Wild lets kids and parents have a conversation about being proud of who they are no matter how they describe themselves.

The episode comes at a time in society when LGBTQ inclusion for kids and their families is being recognized as critically important. According to a statement, Dreamworks Animation is working with GLAAD to make sure every person is represented and feels seen. “The writers have crafted a beautiful episode about identity at a time when LGBTQ inclusion in kids and family programming is rapidly growing and more industry leaders like Dreamworks Animation are working with GLAAD to ensure that all families are represented on-screen. We can’t wait for kids and parents around the world to fall in love with Odee, the same way that we have!” noted Jeremy Blacklow, GLAAD Director of Entertainment Media.

The episode will be premiering on Peacock and Hulu on May 27. In it, we get to watch our favorite characters Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, and Gloria the Hippo open their hearts and welcome Odee into the habitat, showing kids who are watching that being different is actually pretty cool.

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