From DreamWorks Animation, Madagascar: A Little Wild is kicking off Pride Month with a Pride-themed episode and brand new original song “Be Proud!”, featured among the series’ newest episodes premiering on Peacock and Hulu on May 27. The episode and colorful anthem features new habitat resident and nonbinary character “Odee Elliot” the Okapi and is voiced by nonbinary actor Ezra Menas (Spielberg’s West Side Story, Broadway’s Jagged Little Pill, pronouns: zie/hir/they).
“If I would have seen this when I was a kid, I don’t even know what I would’ve done,” Menas said in a statement. “This kind of acceptance and love and celebration, I think, is the biggest takeaway from this episode. It’s just a beautiful thing. Makes me cry.”
The song is part of the Pride-themed episode called “Whatever Floats Your Float,” written by Laura Zak, taking place in the lead-up to the habitat’s annual Animal Pride Parade. When Marty meets the habitat’s newest resident Odee, Marty can’t decide what float Odee should join. Are they a zebra? Or a giraffe? In Marty’s personal mission to define what kind of animal Odee is, he is missing out on celebrating all the wonderful things that make Odee who they are.
“The ‘Whatever Floats Your Float’ episode of Madagascar: A Little Wild shows kids and parents that there’s a place for everyone to ‘Be Proud’ of who they are. The writers have crafted a beautiful episode about identity at a time when LGBTQ inclusion in kids and family programming is rapidly growing and more industry leaders like Dreamworks Animation are working with GLAAD to ensure that all families are represented on-screen. We can’t wait for kids and parents around the world to fall in love with Odee, the same way that we have!” noted Jeremy Blacklow, GLAAD Director of Entertainment Media.
Check out the “Be Proud” video below:
Loveable foursome Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, and Gloria the Hippo steal the show in Madagascar: A Little Wild, executive produced by Johanna Stein (Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny). Capturing the iconic personalities of each of the four dynamos, Madagascar: A Little Wild showcases the team as kids residing in their rescue habitat at the Central Park Zoo. They might be small, but like everybody who lands in New York City, these little guys have big dreams and Madagascar: A Little Wild will follow all of their adventures.
Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria continue their big adventures in New York City. Melman gets jealous when a new friend is getting more attention from Kate, Marty sets out to stage the best Animal Pride Parade the habitat has ever seen, and the foursome takes a trip to Coney Island to ride the newest roller coaster. But even when their adventures cause a bit of chaos, these pals always find the bright side of any situation.
The series’ voice actors include Tucker Chandler (I Lost My Body) as “Alex”, Amir O’Neil (Mann and Wife) as “Marty”, Shaylin Becton (Strive) as “Gloria”, Luke Lowe (Big City Greens) as “Melman”, Jasmine Gatewood (Animal Kingdom) as “Kate”, and Eric Petersen (Kirstie) as “Ant’Ney”. Da’Vine Joy Randolph (High Fidelity) as “Sergeant Hoof”, Ezra Menas (Jagged Little Pill) as “Odee Eliot”, and Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) as “Harley Horns” guest star.
Madagascar: A Little Wild is executive produced by Johanna Stein (Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny) with Dana Starfield (Monster High: Welcome to Monster High) co-executive producing.