‘Molly of Denali’ | Source: PBS Kids

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on travel plans, kids can still explore the wonders of Alaska in the animated series Molly of Denali.

Produced by GBH Boston and its animation partner, Atomic Cartoons, Molly of Denali follows the adventures of Molly Mabray, a curious and resourceful 10-year-old Alaska Native girl who lives in the fictional village of Qyah, Alaska. The series features Native American and Alaska Native lead characters, and integrates Alaska Native voices in all parts of the production — both on screen and behind the scenes. All of the Indigenous characters are voiced by Indigenous actors, including Molly, who is voiced by Alaska Native Sovereign Bill (Tlingit and Muckleshoot). The stories also incorporate Native languages.

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The series is heading into its second season this fall on PBS Kids with a one-hour special and 23 half-hour episodes that will each feature two 11-minute stories and a live-action interstitial to put the spotlight on Alaska’s natural wonders, diverse Alaska Native cultures, and the importance of community. Some of the new episodes include “Uqiquq (Throw Party),” in which Tooey writes and delivers a speech to his grandmother in their native language, and “Molly and Elizabeth,” which tells the story of Elizabeth Peratrovich, a historical member of the Tlingit nation who worked for equality on behalf of Alaska Native people. In the episode, Elizabeth inspires Molly to stand up to a group of tourists who make stereotypical assumptions about Alaska Native people.

Along with the second season, fans can also enjoy new digital games based on the show (available on pbskids.org and on the PBS Kids Games app), the “Molly of Denali” podcast, hands-on activities, and educational resources on PBS LearningMedia.

About the author

Jackie Cucco

Jackie Cucco

Jackie Cucco is the senior editor of The Toy Insider, The Toy Book, and The Pop Insider. She covers toy trends, pop culture, and entertainment news, and makes appearances on national and regional outlets, including CBS, WPIX, News 12, and more. Jackie spends her time watching horror movies and working her way through every Stephen King novel out there.