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A trailer and key art is now available for the original series “Iwájú.” Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pan-African Comic Book Entertainment Company Kugali’s all-new series streams on Disney+ beginning Feb. 28. Set in a futuristic Lagos, Nigeria, the exciting coming-of-age story follows Tola (voice of Simisola Gbadamosi), a young girl from the wealthy island, and her best friend, Kole (voice of Siji Soetan), a self-taught tech expert, as they discover the secrets and dangers hidden in their different worlds. Kugali filmmakers—including director Olufikayo Ziki Adeola, production designer Hamid Ibrahim and cultural consultant Toluwalakin Olowofoyeku—take viewers on a unique journey into the world of “Iwájú,” bursting with unique visual elements and technological advancements inspired by the spirit of Lagos. Produced by Disney Animation’s Christina Chen with a screenplay by Adeola and Halima Hudson, “Iwájú” also features the voices of Dayo Okeniyi, Femi Branch and Weruche Opia.SOUNDTRACK AVAILABLE DIGITALLY MARCH 1 The series’ authentic African-influenced music is by renowned Nigerian composer Ré Olunuga, whose credits include music for the 2022 Disney+ original movie “Rise” and the BBC film “Girl.” “I rarely bring my own emotions into writing a score,” he said. “I tend to inhabit the emotions of the characters or subjects and then translate them into music. In this case, it couldn’t be avoided. In addition to Tola's adventurous spirit, Kole’s ingenuity and the many other fun and beautiful emotional threads explored in ‘Iwájú.’ The score is steeped in my own very deep love for Lagos and its multiple layers. It also includes many treats and winks for anyone familiar with or curious about the film music lexicon of Nollywood. Being invited by Ziki and the amazing teams at Disney and Kugali to help tell this beautiful coming-of-age story that explores themes of family, friendship and ingenuity has been an amazing adventure in itself.”
Also debuting Feb. 28 on Disney+ is “Iwájú: A Day Ahead,” a documentary special filmedacross three continents that shares the story of the founders of the Pan-African entertainment company, Kugali, who made their dream a reality creating an originalanimation series with Walt Disney Animation Studios. Created by the ABC News Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios team that brought you “Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2,”the documentary shows anything is possible when talent meets opportunity. “Iwájú: A DayAhead” is directed by Megan Harding and executive produced by Amy Astley and Beth Hoppe.
“DISNEY IWÁJÚ: RISING CHEF” GAME AVAILABLE FEB. 28
Also revealed today is an all-new game inspired by the animated series. “Disney Iwájú: Rising Chef” will take players into the world of “Iwájú” and allow them to explore authentic African delicacies through this fast-paced and accessible cooking game that celebrates the culture and cuisine of Nigeria. Developed by Maliyo Games in collaboration with Disney and Kugali, “Iwájú: Rising Chef” will allow players to advance their culinary skills, become the best chef in Lagos, and take over the fanciest restaurant in town. “Iwájú: Rising Chef” will be available for iOS and Android on Feb. 28, to coincide with the debut of the Disney+ series.
With authenticity and creativity at its heart, Kugali is an African-owned and operated storytelling collective spearheading Africa’s modern emergence into the AAA media landscape. Founded in 2017 by Tolu Olowofoyeku, Olufikayo Adeola and Hamid Ibrahim with the purpose of taking African stories to the world, Kugali Media has attracted recognition from companies like Disney and the BBC, as well as paved the way for a generation of new African storytellers to find their voices in graphic novels. Their most notable achievements include record-breaking crowdfunding campaigns, a slew of award-winning graphic novels and their upcoming Disney+ series in collaboration with Disney Animation, “Iwájú.”
About Walt Disney Animation Studios
Combining masterful artistry and storytelling with groundbreaking technology, Walt Disney Animation Studios is a filmmaker-driven animation studio responsible for creating some of the most beloved films ever made. Disney Animation continues to build on its rich legacy of innovation and creativity, including the first fully-animated feature film, 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and 2019’s Frozen 2, the biggest animated film of all time. Among the studio's timeless creations are Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Frozen, Zootopia and Encanto.
About ABC News Studios
ABC News Studios, inspired by ABC News’ trusted reporting, is an award-winning, premium news and documentary original production house and commissioning partner of series and specials. ABC News Studios champions untold and authentic stories driving the cultural zeitgeist spanning true-crime, investigations, pop culture and news-adjacent stories. ABCNews Studios’ original titles include critically acclaimed documentaries “Pretty Baby: BrookeShields,” “Sound of the Police,” “The Lady Bird Diaries” and “Aftershock,” and popular docu-series and documentaries, including “Killing County,” “Wild Crime,” “Mormon No More,”“The Randall Scandal: Love, Loathing, and Vanderpump” and “Jelly Roll: Save Me.”
Disney+ is the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, along with The Simpsons and much more. In select international markets, it also includes the general entertainment content brand, Star, and in the U.S., Disney Bundle subscribers can also access extensive Hulu content, including next day TV and Hulu Original titles, on Disney+. The flagship direct-to-consumer streaming service from The Walt Disney Company, Disney+ offers an ever-growing collection of exclusive originals, including feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series, and short-form content. With unprecedented access to Disney’s long history of incredible film and television entertainment, Disney+ is also the exclusive streaming home for the newest releases from The Walt Disney Studios. Disney+ is available as a standalone streaming service, as part of the Disney Bundle in the U.S. that gives subscribers access to Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, or as part of Combo+ in Latin America with Star+, the standalone general entertainment and sports streaming service in the region. For more, visit disneyplus.com, or find the Disney+ app on most mobile and connected TV devices.
Kugali Media Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
Kugali Media Head of PR