Molly of Denali: new PBS KIDS series

Molly of Denali: new PBS KIDS series

Molly and her mom

Courtesy of © 2018 WGBH Educational Foundation

WXXI-TV is pleased to bring our youngest fans the first nationally distributed children’s series to feature a Native American lead character.

Molly of Denali is about Alaska Native Molly Mabray, a feisty and resourceful 10-year-old Gwich’in/Koyukon/Dena’ina Athabascan girl, who takes viewers ages 4 to 8 along with her on adventures and fosters literacy skills along the way. The series will air weekdays at 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on WXXI-TV and every evening at 7:30 p.m. on WXXI-Kids 24/7. Informational texts are designed to convey information and can include written words, images, graphics, video and oral language. In every episode, Molly navigates her world and solves problems with the help of books, online resources, field guides, historical documents, maps, tables, posters, photos, Indigenous knowledge from elders, her very own vlog and more.

Listen to the Interview by WXXI News Morning Edition Host, Beth Adams, talking with Executive Producer and co-creator Dorothea Gillim, originally from Rochester, NY

Watch Clips from the Playlist | Explore the Molly of Denali Website Videos & Games

FUN FACT: The show is produced by Dorothea Gillim, who is a Rochester native and Brighton High School graduate. She also produces Word Girl. Molly’s family runs a trading post, and that trading post was modeled after Dorothea’s memories of shopping with her mom at Wegmans.

Each episode of Molly of Denali will include two 11-minute stories as well as interstitial content – including live-action segments featuring real children and regions in Alaska. The series is currently in production of 38 half-hour episodes and a one-hour special. Molly of Denali features Alaska Native voices in all aspects of the production, both on camera and behind the scenes. Every Indigenous character is voiced by an Indigenous actor, including the lead character of Molly, who is voiced by Alaska Native Sovereign Bill (Tlingit and Muckleshoot). Alaska Native screenwriters and producers are also part of bringing the series to life

WGBH Boston developed Molly of Denali with a working group of Alaska Native advisors, and is creating opportunities for developing Alaska Native talent via a Scriptwriting Fellowship. The show also gives young viewers a window into the Alaskan experience through live-action interstitials featuring local children and regions filmed by Alaskan production teams, including Alaska Public Media, KUAC, UAF Frame and Channel Films. The theme song was sung by Phillip Blanchett and Karina Moeller of the Yupik Alaska Native band Pamyua, and the Athabascan fiddle and traditional drum in the song were played by Gwich’in fiddler Brennan Firth.