Everyone has their own superhero inside of them. However, it may take a little extra creativity and ingenuity to tap into them. The latest animated show Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur follows the journey of a budding young STEM genius named Lunella who transforms into the compassionate superhero Moon Girl. In the midst of big changes occurring in her community, this 13-year-old—with the help of a "10-ton Tyrannosaurus Rex"—set out to help those around her by whatever means necessary.
Voiced by actress Diamond White, Lunella not only has a deep sense of care for her city but an even more profound love for her family. She is uplifted by her mom, dad, granddad and grandma Mimi, who is voiced by film and television legend Alfre Woodard.
White and Woodard spoke to EBONY about their excitement over the show and what makes it so special.
EBONY: How does it feel to be a part of the Marvel Universe?
Diamond White: It feels incredible. Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is their first African American teenage girl superhero with her own series. So we made history with this. I'm so happy to be the vessel bringing it to life. When I got the call, I was just like, "Oh my God, this can't be happening." But it's an honor. I'm super excited.
Alfre Woodard: I was in Luke Cage and Captain America. I laugh because in these projects, we have everyday street-level heroes in New York City, but these stories could not be more different. As an actor, I love doing that. I don't ever like to do the same thing. As long as I'm engaged and excited about what I'm going to do, then my viewers will be as well. So I like the fact that the Marvel stories I've been a part of are so genuine.
This show merges so many beautiful elements: traditional comic book style, music, intergenerational family dynamics, cultural themes–like caring for natural hair, and STEM. What enamors you the most about Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur and why did you choose to align with the role?
White: The theme that one person can make a difference made me align with this role. One girl can make a difference in her community. The show is based on multigenerational relationships. Lunella runs the rink with her family, and she has her best friend Casey, which is like her public relations/social media goddess, and then, of course, her dinosaur, which gives her the brawn to the brain. So it's a very inclusive show and very diverse show. The producers of the show encouraged me to give them a list of all the things that I went through as a Black girl. For example, there is a hair episode with Jennifer Hudson that was pulled from having a first perm. They have allowed me and encouraged me to bring my voice to the show and that's really important to see that kind of representation.
Woodard: As I'm reading the material and getting to know the character, what starts to happen is that I get emotional. I get excited in my core and belly, which is how I know I'm connected to it organically. Plus, these characters are smart. I was really drawn to my character Mimi and even more so to Lunella. I was drawn to the fact that she is a teenager who was a super genius and an inventor. Especially with the efforts in the last decade, this show can help ensure that young girls, young Black girls, understand that they have a place in science. Besides, everybody would love to have Devil Dinosaur on their crew!
What makes a true superhero?
Woodard: As my mother would say when I was growing up in elementary school—and I keep it close my heart to this day—if somebody is telling the truth, never let them stand alone. So that means that you never let anybody stand by themselves. That's the sensibility I grew up with and I carry that with me.
If you had to choose your favorite Marvel character, who would it be?
White: I would definitely be a version of Spiderman; I absolutely love him! I'd definitely be a Black girl version of Spiderman.
Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is streaming on Disney+ and new episodes debut Saturdays on the Disney Channel.