The 'Madagascar' Crew Are Kids In Dreamworks' New TV Series
It’s ‘Madagascar,’ but all the characters are kids — and your kids are going to love it
If your kids loved the Madagascar movie franchise (and who didn’t), we have great news. There’s now a brand-new TV series featuring the beloved characters as kids growing up in a wildlife rescue habitat at the Central Park Zoo.
The show, called Madagascar: A Little Wild, rolled out its first season of six episodes (with many more to come!) that became available September 7, 2020 on Hulu and Peacock. It in, we get a glimpse of the child versions of Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe, and Gloria the hippo getting into their share of adventures. What’s more, the series producers are making sure issues like diversity and inclusion, affection, and healthy friendships are front and center as lessons for our kids.
“We’ve pushed very hard to make diversity and inclusion a priority, both onscreen and behind the scenes,” Executive Producer Johanna Stein tells Scary Mommy. “We have a deaf character who signs, as well as another who translates for him. We worked with a team of ASL consultants to recreate the ASL accurately for our storyboard artists to convey. We’ve also been working regularly with Dr. Darnell Hunt, UCLA Dean of Social Sciences and an expert on media and race, on representation and diversity.”
Stein, who also worked with Dreamworks on shows like Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny and Spirit, said it was not only important to capture the characters’ unique personalities which we’ve come to know and love as adults, but to tackle positive social/emotional themes as well. “We’ve focused on things like acceptance, friendship, courage, self-discovery, boundaries, responsibility, resilience, and dealing with loss,” Stein says. “We’ve also concentrated on modeling positive, healthy displays of platonic affection between our characters (particularly the boys).”
Since it’s been about eight years since the last Madagascar movie came out, the series is a welcome addition to the three movies already released. Plus, we get to see them as baby animals which is adorable and a much-needed addition to living in 2020.
They also did a great job of mirroring the characters’ personalities to the adult versions in the movies. Alex is still a little self-centered and dreams of big things, Marty is still a rule-follower, Gloria is still lovable and adventurous, and Melman is still — well — Melman (and we love him for it.)
Stein also said with quite a few working parents on the show, her team talked at length about how the content on the show relates to their kids. “I don’t mean in terms of how our kids respond to the episodes (though they do make a great focus group),” she explained, “but more, what are the kinds of stories and messages that we want our kids to see, hear and absorb.”
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