Molly of Denali

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Molly of Denali
Molly of Denali.jpg
Created byDorothea Gillim
Kathy Waugh
StarringSovereign Bill
Opening theme"Molly of Denali" sung by Phillip Blanchett and Karina Moeller
Ending theme"Molly of Denali" (instrumental)
Country of originCanada
United States
No. of episodes13
Production company(s)Atomic Cartoons
WGBH Kids
Release
Original networkPBS Kids
CBC Television
Original releaseJuly 15, 2019 (2019-07-15) –
present
External links
Website

Molly of Denali is an American-Canadian animated television series[1] created and produced by Atomic Cartoons and WGBH Kids for PBS Kids and CBC Television.[2] It premiered on July 15, 2019. The series is the first ever nationally distributed children's show to feature an Alaska Native as the main character and protagonist. Thirty-eight half-hours have been ordered. Between the two 11-minute story segments, there is a special live-action segment filmed in Alaska.

Plot[edit]

The series follows 10-year-old Molly, an Alaska Native girl from the fictional village of Qyah, and her family, friends, and other residents. Her family runs the Denali Trading Post.

Cast[edit]

  • Sovereign Bill as Molly Mabray
  • Sequoia Janvier as Tooey Ookami
  • Vienna Leacock as Trini Mumford
  • Jules Koostachin as Layla Mabray
  • Ronnie Dean Harris as Walter Mabray
  • Lorne Cardinal as Grandpa Nat
  • Adeline Potts as Auntie Midge
  • Ellen Kennedy as Singing Moose, Video Voice, and Connie
  • Luc Roderique as Daniel and Announcer
  • Michelle Thrush as Shyahtsoo
  • Shaun Youngchief as Mr. Patak
  • Katrina Salisbury as Nina
  • Rhona Rees as Barb
  • Rebecca Shoichet as Dr. Antigone

Voice direction by Nicole Oliver[3]

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (2019)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Grandpa's Drum/Have Canoe, Will Paddle"Uwe Rafael BraunRaye Lankford
Tim McKeon
July 15, 2019 (2019-07-15)
When Grandpa Nat feels that he can't play the drums at an upcoming ceremony honoring their people's native heritage, Molly and Tooey find an old photograph of Nat during his boarding school days and make it their mission to get back his native drum by finding the girl he'd met in another town/Molly, Tooey, and Trini have formed a canoe team so they can compete in a local canoe race, but need help in how they do it. After some training from a former Olympic athlete, the team is ready, but when their canoe suddenly gets damaged, a surprise awaits them on the day of the race
22"Cabbagezilla/Name Game"Uwe Rafael BraunLeah Gotscik
Tim McKeon
July 15, 2019 (2019-07-15)
Molly's friend Trini is excited to be competing in a cabbage contest, only to find that something has started making a meal out of her giant cabbage, Cabbagezilla. With a moose as a suspect, Molly and Trini seek advice on how to protect Cabbagezila, only to find the real culprits...and an unexpected visitor to the contest/Molly dreads the visit of her silent but serious Aunt Merna. After she helps Aunt Merna with the jam jars, she is instructed to take them to a place she's never heard of, but Molly's mother solves the mystery by explaining to Molly that the name Aunt Merna used was the native name given to Molly's mother. After Molly's father and Grandpa Nat reveal their native names, Molly becomes determined to gain a native name for herself, but upon learning she has to earn it, she goes around asking Qyah's Alaskan Native residents their native names and how they got them, eventually compiling them in a book that she gives to Trini's father, who works for the Qyah Library. After an attempt to impress Aunt Merna backfires, Molly goes down to the library, where her book is being recognized, enough for Aunt Merna to give her her native name...based on one of her favorite hobbies.
33"Berry Itchy Day/Herring Eggs or Bust"Uwe Rafael BraunRaye Lankford
Peter Ferland
July 17, 2019 (2019-07-17)
Molly and her parents go to pick blueberries, but when Molly accidentally brings the wrong spray bottle instead of bug repellent, the mosquitoes come in on the attack and Molly tries asking for a homemade bug repellent from Tooey, who stayed behind to look after the trading post/After hearing about how much herring eggs her cousin is catching, Molly wants to go get some for herself, but when her mother denies the request, Molly goes round town looking for other reasons from everybody else to go to her cousin's hometown.
44"First Fish/A-maze-ing Snow"Uwe Rafael BraunRaye Lankford
Douglas Wood
July 17, 2019 (2019-07-17)
After listening to Grandpa Nat and her parents tell tall tales about their first fish, Molly is over the moon when the salmon start running. On the day she and her father go out to fish, Molly seems to have no luck in catching a fish. Tooey and his dad, passing by in their motorboat, offer advice on the best fishing spot, but when their boat breaks down, they try to have Molly's other friends pass on the message (which ends up getting more mixed up as everybody has to shout the message). Just when Molly gets a very strange message, some seagulls lead her to the perfect spot...and the perfect tall tale/During a snow day, the school roof collapses as a result of too much snow and with the emergency funds already depleted from being spent on snowplows, Molly and Tooey suggest a carnival to raise funds to repair the roof. While setting up the carnival, Molly gets the idea to create a maze out of the deep snow, but as Molly's dad is helping make the maze, he runs into a rock, which causes an alteration of the maze's design. When Trini gives the maze a try, she ends up lost (as Molly and Tooey forgot to alter their map after learning about the rock) and could miss the blanket toss contest, but Suki comes to the rescue.
55"Bird in Hand/Bye-Bye Birdie"Uwe Rafael BraunPeter Ferland
Douglas Wood
July 18, 2019 (2019-07-18)
After checking out an old cabin as the result of a double dare, Molly and Tooey need to use the bathroom in the bunkhouse (as Molly's dad has shut off the water so he could do some plumbing work), but a strange noise in the dryer lint pipe scares the children. Thinking there could be a ghost, Molly and Tooey attempt to take a picture of the ghost...only to discover that the "ghost" is really an owl that was only looking for a new home after its old one near the old cabin got cut down/When Nina goes off to a fjord to make observations of the puffins that live there, Molly and Trini are over the moon about it and join their friend. Upon finding the puffin nests, Nina discovers that she accidentally left her camera along the switchback trail leading up to the nests, so while she goes back for it, Molly and Trini get the opportunity to write down their observations of the puffins until a couple of puffins getting ready to jump off a cliff causes the girls some alarm.
66"Culture Clash/Party Moose"Uwe Rafael BraunTim McKeon
Kathy Waugh
July 22, 2019 (2019-07-22)
In a flashback, Molly recalls the day when Trini moved to Alaska from Texas. After accidentally offending Trini about playing basketball, Molly and Tooey try to make it up to her by acting more Texan, based on what they see from a movie set in Texas. Once Trini and her father explain the people and culture of Texas, Molly and Tooey return the favor by explaining the people and culture of Alaska when Trini reveals her fear of polar bears/Molly and her mother are taking supplies out to Nina and her team, who are out studying caribou, and to celebrate her birthday. However, upon approach to the landing strip, they discover a moose in the way of where the plane needs to come down. When all efforts fail to drive the moose away, something in Nina's birthday present just might help save her birthday before the plane has to turn back for more fuel.
77"Hot Springs Eternal/Tooey's Hero"Uwe Rafael BraunLeah Gotscik
Peter Ferland
July 24, 2019 (2019-07-24)
While Molly and Tooey are enjoying hot chocolate during a freeze that's left big icicles on the porch of the Denali Trading Post, a customers spies Grandpa Nat's old picture of a landmark dubbed "The Moose Tree" and tells Molly that he's seen the very landmark and is more than happy to give Molly the directions to find it (as Grandpa Nat doesn't remember the route). After Tooey wishes aloud that he could swim in hot springs, Molly makes it her mission to find the hot springs that Grandpa Nat also mentioned. With Molly's father and Grandpa Nat giving the children transport, they follow the directions Molly has written, but when the sun sets, it takes one more extra special detail that Grandpa Nat remembers to help them find the hot springs from the "Moose Tree"/Tooey is over the moon when famous dog sledder Eugene Pike is recreating the Great Mail Run for its centennial and more excited that his hero will be passing through Qyah, which is one of the stops on the Great Mail Run, and will give them a special package courtesy of the Governor of Alaska. All of Qyah gets ready for the special occasion (despite the welcome banner being misprinted as "Welcome Herf" instead of "Welcome Hero"), but Tooey gets an awful thought: earlier, he and Molly saw that, due to global warming, the ice in the river Eugene needs to cross as part of the run is breaking up earlier than usual. With no time to lose, Molly and Tooey make it to the river just in time and are able to warn Eugene Pike, but the famous dog sledder has a trick up his sleeve to ensure that Qyah gets its special package even if he can't cross the river.
88"The Worm Turns/Little Dog Lost"Uwe Rafael BraunRaye Lankford
Mark Zaslove & Kathy Waugh
July 29, 2019 (2019-07-29)
During Molly's sleepover, Grandpa Nat tells Molly, Tooey, and Trini a spooky story about a giant ice worm. The story leaves Molly and her friends worried about seeing a worm and their fears are further heightened when they see a trail out in the snow and when the power suddenly goes off. Next morning, suspecting that a giant ice worm was responsible for everything from the previous night, the three friends go to the library, where they learn to use more than one source to learn the truth...and not let their imaginations run away with them/Tooey is out giving his sled dog team's newest member Onka a test run when Molly's Auntie Midge gives the latest weather report. When an accident with the dog sled on the way home leads Tooey to try to get the sled dogs untangled, Onka runs away. Molly helps her friend look for the missing sled dog, but when making a trail using dog biscuits fails, Molly and Auntie Midge help Tooey use the power of the radio to gain help from the people of Qyah to look for Onka...as well as being specific with Onka's descriptions.
99"Eagle Egg Hunt/Dream Tube"Uwe Rafael BraunKeith Wagner
Katherine Sandford
July 30, 2019 (2019-07-30)
On the day an eagle's eggs are due to hatch, the wind blows the video camera out of alignment, so Molly and her dad go to readjust the camera, but as wind has blown off the stick-it notes from a map detailing other animal cameras, it's a race against time to find the right camera/Molly and her friends are excited to see a tube raft, but not so much at how much it costs. After learning about a special kind of rock that is found at the riverbeds and that the trading post sells them, the three friends set up their own rock selling business, but end up coming short of the price for the raft. Fortunately, a customer who has her eyes on the raft as well has a bright idea in mind.
1010"Suki's Bone/Brand New Flag"Uwe Rafael BraunPeter Ferland
Keith Wagner
July 31, 2019 (2019-07-31)
While playing at a stream, Molly's dog Suki digs up a bone with markings on it. After Grandpa Nat, Molly, and Tooey take it to a museum where a friend of Grandpa Nat's works, Molly and Tooey are inspired by an exhibit depicting an ancient game to try it for themselves. Thought Tooey has some difficulty at first, his practice comes in handy when their friend, Oscar (who found another artifact at the same time Suki found hers), gets his kite stuck up in a tree/Inspired by her own school project detailing the history of the design of the Alaskan Flag, Molly arranges a contest for her hometown to design a flag for the Denali Trading Post. With many entries, Molly finds the task of finding the best design very hard...especially with her friends pressuring her into selecting their designs. With advice from her aunt and a new entry from a mystery artist, Molly might just find the perfect flag that represents the trading post.
1111"Sap Season/Book of Mammoths"Uwe Rafael BraunKatherine Sandford
Ann Austen
August 12, 2019 (2019-08-12)
After spending a long winter without syrup, Auntie Midge takes Molly and Tooey out to tap the trees in the woods for syrup. After Molly and Tooey tap as much trees as they can, Auntie Midge takes them out the next day to fill the barrels, but when a cheeky raven untangles the rope for Auntie Midge's boat and lets it float down the river to sea, Auntie Midge and the kids must find a way back to go back down the river to Qyah for the syrup Auntie Midge has been making closer to home...and to prevent themselves from floating out to sea as well/When Molly and her father prepare to go out on a camping trip, a tourist named Travis arrives in Qyah from Florida and joins the campers...with the intentions of finding a Woolly Mammoth. Despite Molly and her father's explanations about the mammoths being extinct since the end of the Ice Age, Travis is determined to find one, as a book he had purchased before his trip states there are mammoths that survived extinction. Along the way, after Molly finds out the truth about Travis' book and saves him from a predicament, she helps him understand that he can't always believe everything he reads...and to appreciate the other interesting things about Alaska.
1212"New Nivagi/Crane Song"Uwe Rafael BraunVera Starbard
Princess Daazhraii Johnson
August 19, 2019 (2019-08-19)
Grandpa Nat is going on a trip to see a volcano in the Aleutian Islands, but the downside to going is that he will be missing out in the upcoming Qyah Ice Cream Competition, of which he has won lots of times, so he entrusts Molly with his recipe and securing a spot in the competition. Molly makes the ice cream, but no sooner is it finished than Suki suddenly eats it, and worst of all...some of the ice cream has soiled the recipe. With the competition just hours away, Molly and Tooey race against time to recreate the recipe, secure moose fat from a local barter, and find wild carrots and wild strawberries, but when the strawberries are out of season, Molly has to make do with different berries, but will it be enough to impress Auntie Midge whose judging the competition?/Nina and her friend Dr. Antigone are going out to band crane colts in the wild before their migration to Texas and invite Molly and her father along for the trip. During the trip, a beaver (angry at seeing humans in its territory) slapping its tail disturbs the cranes during an attempt to sneak up on them and Dr. Antigone catches a cold after a backfired attempt to band a colt. All the while, Molly writes down notes on what to do and what not to do for next time, but it's Grandpa Nat who offers the best advice for banding cranes and makes the trip a success.
1313"Fiddle of Nowhere/A Splash of Mink"Uwe Rafael BraunKeith Wagner
McPaul Smith
August 26, 2019 (2019-08-26)
While dropping off some magazines to Oscar, Molly is surprised to find her friend playing the fiddle. After showing Molly an article about his idol Finnegan King in a fiddle magazine, Oscar starts to play Finnegan's signature song about Qyah (which he hopes to play at a fiddle festival that night), but the E String breaks midway through playing. When Qyah's other fiddle playing residents don't have a spare string, Molly and Oscar's last hope is Mr. Patak, who has only had one fiddle lesson, but is on his way to return a fiddle he just fixed to a mysterious person known as the "Fiddler in the woods". Although he misses the fiddle festival, Oscar is in for a big surprise when he learns the true identity of the "Fiddler in the woods"/Trini is excited to be participating in Qyah's annual jig for the first time, but while she and Molly are practicing their dance moves out in the woods, Suki accidentally disturbs a mink that sprays the girls. Upon arrival back into Qyah, Molly and Trini discover that they have the mink stench and the smell also bothers Oscar, who is in charge of admission to the jig. When suggested methods of getting rid of the smell backfire (including turning to a source with completely false information on how to get rid of certain problems), Grandpa Nat explains to the girls that they have to go to a source they can trust and explains the true method to get rid of mink smell, which Tooey uses for his sled dogs. Once the girls finally get rid of the smell, they finally make it to the jig, but it quickly ends...for somebody else has been accidentally sprayed by the mink.
1414"Northern Lights/Fiddlesticks [4]"TBATBAOctober 7, 2019 (2019-10-07)
1515"Mollyball/Visit Qyah"TBATBAOctober 8, 2019 (2019-10-08)
1616"The Night Manager/Not So Permafrost"TBATBAOctober 9, 2019 (2019-10-09)
1717"Tooth or Consequences/Qyah Spy"TBATBAOctober 10, 2019 (2019-10-10)
1818"Ice Sculpture/Tale of the Totem"TBATBAOctober 11, 2019 (2019-10-11)

Production[edit]

The show's theme song is sung by Phillip Blanchett and Karina Moeller from the band Pamyua, with a fiddle and drum played by Brennan Firth.[5]

Broadcast[edit]

Molly of Denali premieres on Nat Geo Kids in Latin America on September 2019. It premiered on CBC Kids in Canada on September 2, 2019.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "PBS Kids orders animated series from Atomic Cartoons". Playback, May 9, 2018.
  2. ^ "Upfronts ’18: CBC debuts 17 new series". Playback, May 24, 2018.
  3. ^ http://kidscreen.com/2018/06/25/how-molly-of-denali-found-its-diverse-cast-and-crew
  4. ^ "Molly of Denali on Alabama Public Television". Retrieved 2019-09-07.
  5. ^ http://www.pbs.org/about/blogs/news/pbs-kids-announces-molly-of-denali-premiering-july-15-2019/