To Monica White Pigeon
After almost a year and a half in development, Spirit Rangers, Netflix’s new native-themed animated children’s show, debuts on October 10th.
The show is part of Netflix’s Representation Matters Collection, which consists of movies and TV series about people of color and focused on storytelling by people of color. The show follows his three brothers (Codi, Summer, and Eddie) who are secretive “spirit rangers” and natives who guard the national park they call home. This premise is influenced by her experiences during her childhood when showrunner Carissa Valencia explored her tribe’s territory with her sister.
“I quickly found that my writing voice was most soothing when I was writing projects that were supernatural, fantastical, or animated. We found it.Show it together.
Eighteen months later, Valencia is thrilled to see this project come to life. She spoke with Native News Online this week to discuss her journey, her influence, and the show’s next release date.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Carissa, it’s great to hear from you again. For native creatives, especially female content her creators, television seems to be in a golden age. How does it feel to be in this position?
It feels incredible! Native women are my heroes. I am so grateful to be a part of this amazing transformation that is happening behind and in front of the camera. I was trying to find out who worked on them. I was disappointed when I realized there were very few women on the team, let alone native women. I hope that future girls who dream of becoming writers one day will find my name and know what they can do. We can’t wait to see what the next generation brings to our TV screens.
I heard there is an update on the Netflix show Spirit Rangers. How many stories do you have? When is the release date? Can the whole family enjoy it?
We are very excited to announce that Spirit Rangers is coming to Netflix on October 10th, 2022. In about 200 countries he will deliver 10 22-minute episodes. The premiere is on the same day as Indigenous Peoples Day, so it feels like a total celebration. Follow their adventures in the national parks the children of Skycedar call home, and meet spirits inspired by stories from tribes around the world. Learn about nature, wildlife, and the culture of the Chumash and Kaulitz tribes.
What makes today even more special is that we can finally share who is in the cast! Everyone will fall in love with newcomers and series leaders Wacinyeya, Isis and Talon. It’s been a blast watching them soar as they bring this show to life. Native icon Kimberly Guerrero provides the voice of Mama, the park’s lead ranger. The multi-talented John Timothy calls out his dad, the park’s chief scientist. Voice-over powerhouse Cree Summer is Lizard and Dee Dee. We also have the wonderful Devery Jacobs as The Wind He Eagle, Sean Taylor-Corbett as Coyote, and Nyla His Rose as the Volcano Spirit Rowetlala.
Last time we talked, you mentioned that the series will shed light on the culture of Chumash and Kaulitz by following the adventures of the Skycedar family. Which character do you most relate to or enjoy the most?
Great question! The dynamic duo of Coyote and Lizard means a lot to me. Coyote is my all time favorite Trickster character and the Lizard is part of our creation her story. There is the story of Samara, where a lizard and a coyote helped create the first humans (our hands are like lizards!). So seeing these two of her go on adventures with Spirit-her rangers, watching over the land of Samara and looking ridiculously fun is exactly how I imagine Coyotes and Lizards to be there.
What was your experience like working at Netflix? Did the production team support or embrace the sharing of native stories?
The series’ Native Avengers brings together native talent from each production department. Netflix has empowered us to tell stories and be creative like never before. Our cast and crew dares to be truly who they are.
When Underscore composer Jordan Kamalu came up with the idea to invite the Samala Singers into the scoring process, not only did Netflix congratulate us, but the music team made an unforgettable recording at East West Studios. held a session. I could hear Samara singing loud and proud in the same room where artists like Barbara Streisand recorded. Now I can hear their voices on the show Underscore and it feels like home.
Will there be any goods accompanying the release? How can families show support and represent the show?
Unfortunately there are no products at this time. But we hope to have some soon! We’re also looking for fan art and costumes for kids who love the series, so feel free to tag us with #spiritrangers!
A trailer for ‘Spirit Ranger’ will be released next week and will premiere on Netflix on October 10, 2022.
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