Ashly Burch is proud of her Thai heritage.
Being of Thai descent, Burch has never really gotten the opportunity to play a Thai character, let alone showcase her mixed heritage onscreen until now with Disney Channel’s new animated series, The Ghost and Molly McGee. After Burch was cast as the title character, the creators — Bob Roth and Bill Motz — decided to base Molly and her family on Burch’s own cultural background.
Continue reading “‘The Ghost and Molly McGee’ Star Ashly Burch Celebrates Thai Culture in Her New Series”
Director Aphton Corbin is excited and surprised to see her Disney-Pixar SparksShort Twenty Something come to life on Disney+.
“My inspiration was my own 20s journey through life where I just feel like a new director — the panic and stress of ‘oh my gosh, did they pick the wrong person?’ I’m just barely figuring out how to be a functional adult in life,” said Corbin during a Zoom interview with The Nerds of Color. It was a fun insecurity to dig into of what was making me feel this way.”
Continue reading “‘Twenty Something’ Director Aphton Corbin Inspired By Her Youth for SparksShort”
Ahead of its premiere this October on the Disney Channel, the animated buddy-comedy The Ghost and Molly McGree has been renewed for a second season! Executive produced by Bill Motz, Bob Roth, and Steve Loter, the series follows Thai American tween Molly McGee (Ashly Burch), who lives to make the world a better place, and grumpy ghost Scratch (Dana Snyder), who is always miserable, as they go through life together and build this unexpected friendship.
Continue reading “Disney Channel’s ‘The Ghost and Molly McGee’ Already Greenlit for a Second Season”
Netflix is single-handedly reviving the Masters of the Universe brand for a new generation! After debuting Kevin Smith’s revelatory continuation of the classic series from the 1980s, Netflix is giving another creative team carte blanche to completely reinterpret Eternia for 21st century kids.
Continue reading “Netflix Doubles Down on ‘He-Man and Masters of the Universe’”
Netflix’s newest animated series, Archibald’s Next Big Thing Is Here, premieres February 18 and I had the opportunity to sit down with Hamilton star and quadruple Hollywood threat, Jordan Fisher (Dancing with the Stars), to talk his experience working on the show as well as his many other goings on.
Continue reading “‘Hamilton’ Star Jordan Fisher Talks Netflix Series ‘Archibald’s Next Big Thing Is Here’ and More”
This was supposed to be a different kind of article.
Two weeks ago, The Nerds of Color youth correspondents and their parental units were invited to attend the premiere screening party for Disney Jr.’s landmark new animated series, Mira Royal Detective (premiering on Disney Jr. today in the United States and India) and interview the cast of voice actors from the South Asian diaspora on the red (or rather blue) carpet at Disney’s Burbank studios. It was a celebration of diversity and community, of difference and commonality, full of music and laughter, of children of all colors and artists and craftspeople from all parts of Hollywood joining together to marvel that this milestone of representation was finally on-screen.
Continue reading “‘Mira, Royal Detective’ and Celebrating Diversity and Community in the Time of Social Distancing”
It’s extremely hard to look directly into the eyes of Freida Pinto without blushing.
When I first entered the press room where Pinto was prepping for the premiere of Disney Junior’s latest animated series, Mira, Royal Detective, I couldn’t help but compliment her on her beauty, successful career, and her work for empowering women. Named by Vanity Fair as one of the most beautiful women in the world, Pinto humbly laughed off the compliments aimed at her and got serious when we began talking about her role as Disney royalty in the new series.
“I keep forgetting it’s a Disney Queen,” laughs Pinto. “It’s not just a Disney character.”
Continue reading “Freida Pinto is Ready to be Queen in Disney Junior’s ‘Mira, Royal Detective’”
It’s press day for Disney Junior’s upcoming animated series Mira, Royal Detective, the first animation based on the cultures and customs of India for children. Set in the fictional land of Jalpur, the series follows Mira (Leea Ladnier), a commoner who is appointed to the role of royal detective by the Queen (Freida Pinto). Mira solves mysteries with help from her friends, thus proving she is indeed one of the best detectives in the land.
Continue reading “Utkarsh Ambudkar Hopes Disney’s ‘Mira, Royal Detective’ Normalizes Brown People”
What does it take to become a Latino-icon in Hollywood? We all know that Hollywood is a city/industry that favors Caucasian leads with the occasional Latino thrown in for good measure. For every Evans/Pratt/Hemsworth/Reynolds, you’ll occasionally get a Banderas/Hayek/Del Toro that crosses over into the mainstream American Hollywood spotlight. Thankfully, as of 2013, we can add “Derbez” to that list.
Continue reading “Exploring the ‘Lost City of Gold’ with ‘Dora’ Star Eugenio Derbez”
The ’90s-’00s were some of the best years for Nickelodeon. And while this was a bit after my generation, I wasn’t blind to the magnetic charms and multicultural influence the Nick Jr flagship property, Dora the Explorer, had on kids of its generation.
Continue reading “Go, Diego, Go! An Interview with ‘Dora and the Lost City of Gold’ Star Jeff Wahlberg”
This Saturday, May 25 at 11am I will be joined by artist Jamie Noguchi for a Today at Apple session at the new flagship Apple Store in Washington D.C.’s historic Carnegie Library. This kid-friendly event is free and open to the public, just sign up here.
Continue reading “Today at Apple: You Can Be Heroes”
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend “Incredible Kid Day!” with the cast of Shazam! in Hollywood! The event, sponsored by Warner Bros., Camp Fire, Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Kizuna, and Jack and Jill of America, was organized to celebrate the achievements of some of the most impressive youths in the Southern California region, in such areas as science, sports, academia, and responsible citizenship.
Helping these kids celebrate their wonderful achievements were Marta Milans (Rosa), Jovan Armand (Pedro), Grace Fulton (Mary), Ian Chen (Eugene), and Faithe Herman (Darla), who play Billy Batson and Freddie Freeman’s adopted family in the movie. The cast passed out awards and the kids were able to take one-on-one pictures with the whole crew following the conclusion of the ceremony.
Continue reading “Talking with the Cast of ‘Shazam!’ on Incredible Kid Day”
A lot of people of color of my generation who are passionate about diversity and representation in the media tend to point to the media we consumed as children as the reason why — to the absences, omissions, and misrepresentations, and to the token presences we latched onto like lifelines. Today, our childhood experiences are ever-present motivators in our lives as fans, consumers, and creators in our own right, trying to redress past wrongs by ensuring the existence of the mirrors, windows, and doorways we were denied years before.
As a father watching contemporary media aimed at kids, tweens, and teens with my own tween and teen daughters, I’m slowly getting the hopeful feeling that their future will be different — or, if it isn’t, there will be hell to pay. That’s not to say that there isn’t vast room for improvement — we haven’t solved it, not by a long shot — but the energy, the diversity, the mere and sheer presence in the media world with which my children interact and which they take for granted as normal is so far from what we grew up with, and so close to what we wish the media landscape at large looked like, that I can’t help but be a little optimistic.
Continue reading “‘Andi Mack,’ Children’s Television, and a Future in Full Color”
Originally posted at Pop Culture Collab
“It’s Panther season, family.”
My cousin recently said this to me after I asked how her freshman year at an Ivy League university was going. Let’s be clear, by no means is my cousin a comic book or superhero film fan. She always teased me for being an “Afrogeek” and wondered why I loved superheroes, horror, science fiction, and related genres.
Continue reading “‘Black Panther’ Ignites the Next Generation of Fandom Movements”
A little over two weeks ago, I had the honor of leading a comics workshop with my SIUniverse partner Jerry Ma at the world renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Part of their annual Lunar New Year festival, Jerry and I helped small children and their families use inspiration from the museum’s rooms of Asian art to create their own superhero characters.
Continue reading “SIUniverse Celebrates Lunar New Year at The Met in NYC”
Close to a decade ago, I met a Blaxican artist at Dr. Comics and Mr. Games in Oakland, CA. We had mutual geek interests, as well as an undying love and connection to hip-hop culture — the vibe was pure fiyah. He was already a parent, and I was about to be one. We became friends. He’s a visual artist, toy maker, animator, and filmmaker. I’m a writer, marketing guy, pop culture scholar, and performer. Match made in geek heaven. We bandied about ideas on how best we could work together, but nothing really panned out. Then, something happened. I don’t know what his catalyzing agent was, but mine was WonderCon. Continue reading “Coming Soon: MaeJay and the Mech“
by Mayka Mei | Originally posted at The Maykazine
Last week I cried three times. First, the shooting at Emanuel AME Church. Then when I watched Inside Out. Then my friends got married. Adult life is confusing.
Each instance occurred within the span of three days, and though each event has warranted its own inner reflection and the outer two are deserving of their own longwinded meanderings, right now I want to write about the middle one, the kids’ movie. (I’ve also written about the AME shooting. Here are my raw thoughts from the morning after that god-awful Wednesday night.)
Continue reading “Inside Out is Not for Kids, and That’s Exactly Why Your Kids Should See It”
In the immortal words of Jim Carrey: “How was your weekend?” For the new DreamWorks film, Home, it was a very good weekend indeed. As of this writing, Home has raked in $54 million and is the #1 movie in the U.S. — despite some naysayers‘ predictions. This is the studio’s highest non-sequel opening since 2009’s Monsters vs. Aliens. And it is daughter approved:
“Daddy. This movie is official.”
Continue reading “An Endorsement of Home: It’s Daughter Approved”
Tonight marks the official debut of Fresh Off the Boat in its regular Tuesday night time slot. Though it did pretty big numbers last week, tonight’s airing is the make-or-break since it’ll be going up against ratings behemoth NCIS — as well as our beloved The Flash. This is why god invented DVRs.
But the Huangs weren’t the only Asian American family to show up on television last week. Over on the Disney Channel, the Callistos made their debut as well with the premiere of the new Disney Junior series Miles From Tomorrowland. And just like FOTB, a precocious Asian American tween is at the center of the show.
Continue reading “Asian American Boys as the Hero? Props, Disney”
I’m sure that by now you’ve seen the video in which young Jathan Muhar answers the perennial graduation-time question of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” with an answer to warm any NOC’s heart. He wanted to be Batman. [Ed. note: I guess kindergarteners are a superstitious, cowardly lot. Also, somebody should warn the kid’s parents to never walk down any dark alleys at night. Just sayin’.]
In one short day, it’s been everywhere from Break.com to Gawker to The Huffington Post to the Facebook page of the Ellen DeGeneres Show. But I saw it before it went viral — I saw it live because my 5-year-old daughter was a classmate of his, graduating with him this past Wednesday.
Continue reading “My Daughter’s Preschool Class Sang “Let It Go””
I took my 9- and 5-year-old daughters to see The LEGO Movie on the second day it was out, and all three of us loved it. It is a true family film, one that can be enjoyed by different age groups at different levels — kids will love the humor, the action, that song they won’t stop singing once they get home, and, hey, it’s LEGO, while their parents will appreciate all the references to the kits and playsets of their childhoods, the inside jokes (ones that stick in my mind include the bearded fantasy wizard confusion, needy Green Lantern, Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson playing parodies of their archetypal screen personas, and, of course, Batman and his song), and the amazingly detailed art and animation. It is also more subversive and heartwarming than you’d expect an hour-and-a-half-long corporate toy commercial could ever be.
Continue reading “The LEGO Movie’s Lessons for Raising NOCs-In-Training”
I don’t remember the wonder anymore.
As a child, I did not collect comics weekly. At ten, I lacked the funds and access to a friendly neighborhood comic book shop. Travel to the closest store required leaving Black suburban safety, crossing highways and railroad tracks, and strolling through an alien White community three miles away to feed a Cable and Nightwing habit. No. Besides, graphic novels offered complete story arcs, so to read new comics I would cajole my mother into forking over twenty dollars American (not including sales tax) each time I wished to depart Waldenbooks in Chesapeake Square Mall with the Spider-Man Clone Saga, or Batman: Contagion.
Continue reading “Comics are for Children”