A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this podcast.
First season was developed under a grant for the Department of Education. Native Alaskan language is sprinkled throughout each episode's dialogue. It's not specified which language is being spoken, but there's usually context given to the word so that the listener can understand what it means. Alaska Native culture, tradition, and values are highlighted.
Teamwork, perseverance, and compassion are major themes. Each episode is an example of the saying "it takes a village," as everyone in town often has to come together to find a solution for obstacles. Creative and thoughtful problem-solving. Highlights exploring Indigenous culture and traditions.
Positive Role Models
Molly is surrounded by supportive family and friends. In turn, Molly supports and encourages her friends. Molly and friends face stumbles but learn how to overcome obstacles and difficult situations. All characters show teamwork and perseverance; they have to come together to find creative solutions to problems they face. In one episode, two rival competitors have to work together to solve a problem and end up learning that they work better together than against one another.
This podcast is the first nationally distributed kids show in the U.S. to feature a Native American lead: Sovereign Bill, who voices Molly, is of Tlingit and Muckleshoot descent. All characters are culturally diverse. All Indigenous characters are voiced by Indigenous actors. Theme song includes music from Gwich'in fiddler Brennan Firth and is sung by members of the Yupik Alaska Native band Pamyua. A team of Alaska Native advisers were brought in to all areas of production to inform how to approach script, plot, character design, etc.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Molly of Denali is the podcast prequel to the Peabody Award-winning animated TV series of the same name. It follows Alaska Native Molly Mabray as she goes on adventures and solves problems with her friends and family in their fictional Alaskan town of Qyah. Themes of compassion, perseverance, and teamwork are part of each episode, as Molly and her friends and family must often work together to solve a mystery, overcome an obstacle, or help others in need. The show is an example of kids' media mirroring diverse life experience in an authentic way, as all Indigenous characters are voiced by Indigenous actors. It's also the first nationally distributed kids' show in the United States to feature a Native American lead. Much care was put into the authenticity of the show, from the script to character design and all the way down to the show's catchy theme song: A team of Alaska Native advisers was brought in to all areas of the production process to inform ways to approach the show's creation. Episodes each season build upon one another, so it's good to start from the first episode in a season to get context. Both kids and adults are likely to find this podcast engaging and insightful.
Is It Any Good?
A beautiful example of authentic diversity and inclusion in kids' media, this show is a fun, playful, and engaging look into Alaska Native culture and tradition. With care put into every production detail of Molly of Denali -- from the all-Indigenous cast voicing Indigenous characters to the all-too-catchy theme song with music from Gwich'in fiddler Brennan Firth and vocals by members of the Yupik Alaska Native band Pamyua -- this immersive audio experience doesn't miss a beat.
The major theme of teamwork running through each episode helps kids understand what it means to work together and define their "village" to feel supported and in turn support others. For fans of the TV series, this is sure to be a great screen-free complement to the show. Even adults will find themselves listening to one more episode.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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