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Iwaju, Now On Disney+

Set in a futuristic Lagos, Nigeria, the new animated series from Disney, Iwaju (out now on Disney+) is the cutest, classiest Black animated series. A full stop here is important, given Disney’s track record on Black representation. Iwaju is amazing, they got this one right!

Lest we forget, the first big animated feature film centering on a lead of African descent, the princess spent most of the movie as a frog! The Princess And The Frog feature film is both beloved and bemoaned by Black audiences. Some were overjoyed to finally see a Disney film with African American lead characters, while others are still upset about having to watch an amphibian on screen for most of the film.

However, Iwaju is quite different. Audiences on all continents of all races prepare to fall in love with Tola. Young, precocious, and smart, Tola is typical in every way, which makes her character extraordinary in the Disney universe. Voiced by rising star Simisola Gbadamosi, Tola is identifiable and aspirational. Audiences will invest in her journey. Little girls will want to be her. Parents will see their own children in Tola.

The same way audiences of all races around the globe have identified with the countless characters Disney has created over the century, Tola will be routine too. She will take her rightful place in the Disney lexicon, which is an extraordinary achievement.

Directed by Olufikayo Ziki Adeola, the screenplay is by the dynamic duo, Adeola and Halima Hudson. Together, this team of African creatives, delivers audiences an immersive experience, rich in colors and textures, that creates a futuristic Nigeria, and shows its people and places in the most captivating ways. 

By: Donnell Sims, Courtesy of IGeyser

Ebony Huerta Wells has over 25 years of writing and media experience. She was a former business journalist with a major newspaper and worked for other niche publications.

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