Sep 14, 2020Press Releases

Thunderbird Entertainment Congratulates Molly of Denali Cast, Crew and Partners for 2020 TCA Award Win

Co-produced by GBH Boston and Atomic Cartoons for PBS KIDS and CBC Kids, the animated series was acknowledged for “Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming”

Vancouver, Canada, September 14, 2020 — Following today’s announcement that Molly of Denali has won the 2020 Television Critics Association (TCA) award for “Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming”, Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TSXV: TBRD, OTC – THBRF) (Thunderbird or the Company)wishes to congratulate the entire cast and crew, and all partners involved, in producing this ground breaking animated series.

Co-produced by Thunderbird’s kids and family division (Atomic Cartoons) and GBH Boston for public broadcasters PBS KIDS and CBC Kids, Molly of Denali has been widely celebrated as the first nationally distributed series to feature an Native American lead character. It airs on PBS stations and digital platforms across the United States, and on CBC and the free CBC Gem streaming service in Canada.

“Molly is an authentic voice, and the series has become renowned for its representation and inclusion. To be acknowledged by the TCA, an organization that has been helping curate the best content on television for decades, is a tremendous honour and a testament to the incredible talent and dedicated partnerships behind this production,” said Jennifer Twiner McCarron, Chief Executive Officer, Thunderbird Entertainment.

Molly of Denali involves Alaska Native voices in all aspects of the production, both on screen and behind the scenes. Every Indigenous character is voiced by an Indigenous actor, including Molly, voiced by Alaska Native Sovereign Bill (Tlingit and Muckleshoot). The series was developed with an Alaska Native working group, with funding through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), as part of a scriptwriting fellowship for Alaska Native writers. Its theme song is sung by Phillip Blanchett and Karina Moeller of the Yupik Alaska Native band Pamyua, with the Athabascan fiddle and traditional drum played by Gwich’in musician Brennan Firth.

Additionally, Molly of Denali is grounded in a pioneering curriculum focused on informational text, a foundational aspect of literacy education. In every episode, Molly navigates her world and solves problems with the help of books, online resources, field guides, historical documents, maps, tables, posters, photos, Indigenous knowledge from elders, her very own vlog and more.

The TCA represents more than 200 professional journalists and critics who cover television for publications across the United States and Canada. Its members reach tens of millions of consumers each week, and are considered experts within the industry, representing their employers as moderators, panelists, radio/TV guests and more. The organization has honoured outstanding achievements in content from broadcast, cable and streaming outlets with its annual TCA awards since 1984.

In addition to this latest honour from the TCA, Molly of Denali was also the recipient of a prestigious 2020 Peabody Award in the Children’s and Youth Category.

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