Home AFRICAN STORY First Disney Animation Series, “Iwájú”, Premieres In Grand Style In Lagos

First Disney Animation Series, “Iwájú”, Premieres In Grand Style In Lagos

by inlandtownadmin
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Walt Disney Animation Studios and the Pan-African Entertainment Company Kugali unveiled their brand-new series “Iwájú” with a grand premiere in Lagos, Nigeria, at the Filmhouse Cinemas IMAX Lekki, just before the anticipated launch of all six episodes on Disney+.

Originally slated for a 2022 debut exclusively on Disney’s streaming platform, Disney+, the series encountered delays, pushing its release to 2023, and then finally to February 28, 2024.

The premiere event welcomed notable filmmakers like Olufikayo Ziki Adeola (director), Hamid Ibrahim (production designer), Tolu Olowofoyeku (cultural consultant), and Ré Olunuga (music composer).

They were joined by industry guests and celebrities, including the voice cast members: Ireti Doyle (Mrs. Usman), Chioma ‘Chigul’ Omeruah (Chioma), Kehinde Bankole (Mama Kole), Bisola Aiyeola (Happiness), Femi Branch (Bode DeSousa), Simisola Gbadamosi (Tola Martins), Toyin Oshinaike (Godspower), and Obi Maduegbuna (Hawkers & Lackeys). This groundbreaking collaboration marks Disney’s first partnership with an external studio in a century.

“Iwáju,” meaning ‘future’ in Yoruba, encapsulates the anticipation of what lies ahead, evident in the storyline. Departing from traditional animated narratives, the series unfolds in a futuristic Lagos, Nigeria, exploring the intertwined lives of Tola (voiced by Simisola Gbadamosi), a young girl from an affluent island, and her friend Kole (voiced by Siji Soetan), a tech-savvy prodigy.

Against the backdrop of a class-divided society, “Iwáju” delves into themes of inequality and societal norms, challenging viewers to contemplate the realities faced by communities worldwide.

Director Ziki Nelson, a co-founder of Kugali, describes the series as “a reflection of life’s everyday struggles in Nigeria and beyond, aiming to inspire societal change”. For Ibrahim, “it fulfils a lifelong ambition to share his cultural narrative”. With a blend of rich visuals and technological marvels inspired by Lagos, “Iwáju” promises a unique cinematic experience.

Produced by Disney Animation’s Christina Chen, with a screenplay by Adeola and Halima Hudson, “Iwáju” also features the voices of Dayo Okeniyi, Shaffy Belo, and Weruche Opia.

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