Spotify Launches Latest Edition of ‘Sound Up’

Spotify has launched the most recent edition of its “Sound Up” program. Much like The Nerds of Color, Spotify created the program as a way to give a voice to the underrepresented communities in society. Thus far the program has launched in 12 markets — including Japan, Italy, the U.S., U.S. Latinx, India, Mexico, Australia, Sweden, the U.K., Germany, Brazil, and Argentina. And paved the way for creators across all communities, including the Latino, African American, Asian, and LGBTQ communities, to create content on their platform.

Continue reading “Spotify Launches Latest Edition of ‘Sound Up’”

‘The Ghost and Molly McGee’ Sneak Peek: Scratch Learns about Ghost-Feeding Thai Festival

Just when I think The Ghost and Molly McGee couldn’t get any more adorable, they keep coming up with more stories filled with hilarious dialogue and entertaining situations, but also never forgetting to include Molly’s cultural upbringing into the mix.

Continue reading “‘The Ghost and Molly McGee’ Sneak Peek: Scratch Learns about Ghost-Feeding Thai Festival”

‘The Ghost and Molly McGee’ Star Ashly Burch Celebrates Thai Culture in Her New Series

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”

‘Aquaman: King of Atlantis’ Makes a Splash in First HBO Max Promo

The first promo for Aquaman: King of Atlantis, a new animated reimagining of the iconic DC Super Hero. This original story follows Aquaman’s first adventures as King of Atlantis alongside his royal advisor Vulko, and warrior-princess Mera.

Continue reading “‘Aquaman: King of Atlantis’ Makes a Splash in First HBO Max Promo”

NOC Interview: Quintin Smith of People Make Games on “Roblox Exploitation”

Like many games finding a surge in popularity at the height of the pandemic, Roblox has amassed a following that could rival the likes of Fortnite with its appeal to younger audiences. However, after weeks of careful research, Quintin Smith, journalist and presenter at People Make Games, discovered that Roblox frequently, and unflinchingly, exploits young video game developers on its platform.

Continue reading “NOC Interview: Quintin Smith of People Make Games on “Roblox Exploitation””

Disney Channel’s ‘The Ghost and Molly McGee’ Already Greenlit for a Second Season

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 Doubles Down on ‘He-Man and Masters of the Universe’

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’”

Booboo Stewart and Cheyenne Jackson on ‘Descendants: The Royal Wedding’

Hades Gonna Hate!

With the upcoming release of Descendants: The Royal Wedding, Booboo Stewart (Jay) and Cheyenne Jackson (Hades) sat down with me to talk about their roles in the film, what it was like doing voice work versus live action, and how they get into character.

Continue reading “Booboo Stewart and Cheyenne Jackson on ‘Descendants: The Royal Wedding’”

DC Launches First-Ever Batman ‘Bat-Tech’ Augmented Reality App

DC just announced the ultimate Batman mobile experience for kids, the DC: Batman Bat-Tech Edition app! You can download the free mobile app now in the Apple and Google Play stores. I’ve had the opportunity to play around in the app for the last week and can say it’s a truly immersive and fun way for kids to experience the world of Batman.

Continue reading “DC Launches First-Ever Batman ‘Bat-Tech’ Augmented Reality App”

Get Ready to Meet the Family in The Disney Channel Original Movie ‘Spin’

Get ready to fall in love with the next best DJ in The Disney Channel’s Original Movie Spin.

Directed by Manjari Makijany, the film follows Indian American teen Rhea who lives a pretty normal life that revolves around her eclectic group of friends, Molly, Watson and Ginger, her after-school coding club, her family’s Indian restaurant, and her tight-knit, multi-generational family, which includes her father Arvind, younger brother Rohan and her grandmother Asha.

Continue reading “Get Ready to Meet the Family in The Disney Channel Original Movie ‘Spin’”

The NOC’s Kid Reporter Takes on ‘Tom and Jerry’

There are celebrities and there are Hollywood legends. It’s not every day that The Nerds of Color gets to interview the latter. But I’m thrilled to say that recently, The Nerds of Color was actually able to sit down with two of the most iconic legends on the planet; A duo whose career pre-dates the filmography of icons like Scorsese, Coppola, and Spielberg, and whose work would revolutionize the way we look at cartoon violence!

That’s right, I’m talking about Tom and Jerry!

Continue reading “The NOC’s Kid Reporter Takes on ‘Tom and Jerry’”

‘Hamilton’ Star Jordan Fisher Talks Netflix Series ‘Archibald’s Next Big Thing Is Here’ and More

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”

The Inspiration Behind the Story of Disney’s ‘Flora & Ulysses’

When you first hear about the upcoming Disney+ film, Flora & Ulysses, you wonder just how Newbury Award-winning author and executive producer Kate DiCamillo came up with the idea of a girl and her superhero squirrel. The film, which premieres this Friday, tells the story of Flora, an avid comic book fan and self-avowed cynic, whose parents have separated. After saving a squirrel after being sucked up by an out-of-control vacuum, Flora names her new furry friend, Ulysses. She discovers, like the comic books, that Ulysses possesses unique superhero powers that help change Flora’s outlook on life for the better.

Continue reading “The Inspiration Behind the Story of Disney’s ‘Flora & Ulysses’”

‘Mira, Royal Detective’ and Celebrating Diversity and Community in the Time of Social Distancing

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”

Freida Pinto is Ready to be Queen in Disney Junior’s ‘Mira, Royal Detective’

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’”

Utkarsh Ambudkar Hopes Disney’s ‘Mira, Royal Detective’ Normalizes Brown People

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”

Hard NOC Life: Zack Stentz at the ‘Rim of the World’

With the premiere of the new Netflix original movie Rim of the World debuting this Memorial Day weekend, the film’s screenwriter Zack Stentz joins Hard NOC Life to talk about its origins and the current state of pop culture fandom.

Continue reading “Hard NOC Life: Zack Stentz at the ‘Rim of the World’”

‘Andi Mack,’ Children’s Television, and a Future in Full Color

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”

SIUniverse Celebrates Lunar New Year at The Met in NYC

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”

An N.O.C. Halloween: Our Children’s Edition

Amongst my friends and family, it is no secret that the only holiday I care about is Halloween. No, it isn’t just because the candy is free and flowing — although this is a huge bonus. What I love the most about he holiday is that there is this unbridled demonstration of ingenuity, creativity, and imagination. People get to step a little outside of their mundane lives and step into the realm of the fantastic.

Another thing I love are the costumes. I don’t think I’m alone in this, especially amongst my fellow NOC. While many of us were too busy to dress up, we made sure that our children did.

I would like to present to you the NOC Parade of Costumes: Our Children’s Addition.

Continue reading “An N.O.C. Halloween: Our Children’s Edition”

The LEGO Movie’s Lessons for Raising NOCs-In-Training

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”

Dressing Our NOCs-in-Training on Halloween

In honor of The Nerds of Color’s first Halloween, this week’s School of Hard NOCs features our own little NOCs in Training in Halloween costumes past and present. We’ll forgo any identifying information to protect the innocent (inasmuch as we can do so while acknowledging that we are both dressing our children in geeky costumes and posting their pictures in said costumes online), but astute readers can probably figure out which younglings belong to which NOC.

To whet your appetite, we wanted share our favorite Halloween-themed commercial that proves the old adage that the NOC family that dresses in themed costumes and trick-or-treats together stays awesome together; click on the “more” link below that to see our own kids (both human and non-) in costume. From our families to yours, Happy Halloween!

Continue reading “Dressing Our NOCs-in-Training on Halloween”