Strong Black Animation: The Obamas and Doc McStuffins Creator Team Up on New Series Ada Twist, Scientist

Ada Twist, Scientist (2021)
Ada Twist, Scientist (2021)
Illustration: Courtesy of Netflix

Get ready for a bit more Black in STEM representation—and this time, it’s animated!

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As Deadline reports, Netflix has ordered forty 12-minute episodes of a new animated preschool series from Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company Higher Ground Productions called Ada Twist, Scientist. The TV series, created by Doc McStuffins creator Chris Nee, is adapted from the book series written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts.

Deadline provides the scoop on what to expect in the series:

Eight-year old Ada Twist is a pint-size scientist with a giant-size curiosity who aspires to discover the truth about absolutely everything. With the help of her two best friends, Rosie Revere and Iggy Peck, Ada unravels and solves mysteries for her friends and family. But solving the mystery is only the beginning, because science isn’t just about learning how and why and what — it’s about putting that knowledge into action to make the world a better place.

The series also will feature real scientists to inspire young viewers.

Kerri Grant (who was in the Doc McStuffins writers’ room from 2013-2017) will serve as showrunner and co-executive producer.

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“I’m thrilled to be partnering with Higher Ground to bring Ada Twist to the screen,” Nee said. “As a fan of the books, I was taken with the diverse characters, striking designs and vital message that science matters. Plus, Ada fulfills my personal need to populate children’s television with strong girls who aren’t afraid to be the smartest kids in the room. Once Kerri Grant came on board to showrun, I knew we had the dream team to bring this special series to life.”

“It brings me immense joy to be a part of bringing Ada Twist to the screen,” Grant said. “As a young, curious Black girl who grew up loving TV, I simply became accustomed to rarely seeing images that reflected me onscreen — and the ones that did, represented an anti-intellectual stereotype that led me to hide my own light under a bushel. To be a part of bringing a show to kids that features a young, Black girl being unapologetically the smartest kid in the room, in a world as diverse and visually stunning as the one created by the book series’ author and illustrator, fills my heart to capacity. Working with Chris Nee, my old boss and certified preschool TV hit-maker; and Higher Ground and their commitment to representation, dreaming big, and excellence, has been the alignment of so many stars, it’s truly a celestial event.”

A celestial event, indeed—Black Girl Magic, even. The Obamas are on a roll since first signing their multi-deal production contract with Netflix in 2018 and we’re sure this new project will bring so much joy to so many kids, especially Black kids!

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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DISCUSSION

Sounds wonderful! My son is a bit beyond the age of the target audience, but I still plan to have him watch it!