The Cast and Crew of ‘Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur’ Discuss the New Series
Moviefone speaks with the cast and crew of ‘Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.’ “‘Spider-Verse’ was a huge inspiration for us,” says producer Steve Loter.
Young Marvel fans will soon get a new hero with the arrival of Disney Channel’s ‘Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.’ Based on the Marvel comic book of the same name, the animated series tells the adventures of Lunella Lafayette, aka Moon Girl, a 13-year-old genius who partners with a bright red Tyrannosaurus to fight crime on the streets of her New York neighborhood.
Moviefone recently joined a group of journalists in chatting with the show’s cast and crew, including executive producer (and the voice of Lunella’s recurring foe The Beyonder) Laurence Fishburne, executive producer Steve Loter, and actors Diamond White (the voice of Lunella) and Fred Tatasciore (Devil Dinosaur). Here’s what they told us about the show’s 17-episode first season, premiering February 10th on the Disney Channel and February 15th on Disney+.
Why Laurence Fishburne wanted to be part of the project.
Laurence Fishburne: As a lover of animation, as a lover of all the great Warner Bros. characters – like the 'Super Friends,' 'Hong Kong Phooey' – as someone who grew up on all that stuff— ‘The Flintstones,’ 'Woody Woodpecker' – the trajectory of my career as an artist has led me to this place. It just so happened that I got to meet Moon Girl at the right time and I got to meet Steve at the right time. And we've all gotten together and here we are in this place where we can bring ‘Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur’ to an audience that's hungry for it.
Diamond White on voicing Lunella.
Diamond White: I grew up being African American and when I was seven, all I wanted was a character like this to come to life. So it's cool to have someone of my skin tone and of my hair texture really be there. The representation means a lot to me.
I've experienced someone calling my hair frizzy or messy, and that's why it was important for me to see the episode where Lunella gets her hair straightened, the perm episode. That touched my soul in a place where it was like, “Yeah, I've been through this.” Growing up Black, your hair becomes your enemy. So, it's really cool to see that play out and that's something that I've never seen on television before. I thank everyone on the team for allowing me to, like, bring my voice to that episode because I needed to see that. My younger self is just thriving right now, so thank you, guys.
About the show’s unique look.
Steve Loter: I think we wanted to make sure that we were doing something unique. ‘Spider-Verse’ was a huge inspiration for us. It really kinda blew the doors wide open to do superhero animation that looked really specialized and unique. Laurence and I connected early, and we kinda talked about the vision of the show and what it should look like. Laurence is a huge comic book fan, so we used that as a kind of springboard for the visual styling, particularly the line work on the characters and the overall look of the show.
LF: Yeah, we had a lot of conversations about backgrounds and about the environment, the color palette and all of these kinda textures. You guys talked about graffiti, for example, as one of the elements in our backgrounds and textures for New York and the Lower East Side. So it was all those things. Plus, we are people who really, really love animation, from the very beginning of our lives. So it's just a joy for us to be creating this kind of show which, as Diamond said, is a show like we've never seen before.
On the show’s first villain Aftershock.
SL: Aftershock is the first real formidable villain that Lunella faces as Moon Girl. We really did wanna encapsulate a lot about the mission statement of the series – the “one girl makes a difference” storyline is super important. So to have this character coming into the Lower East Side sapping it of its energy, it is a statement about gentrification. It's a statement about losing community and neighborhood and connection. So it was really important for Aftershock to kinda be the conduit—no pun intended—for that kind of story. It's the daughter of Electro, so that's fun, too. Yeah, Aftershock definitely had to be our first villain.
The challenges of voicing Devil Dinosaur.
Fred Tatasciore: Difficult and funny, those are good words for it. It's a beautiful artistic challenge, because I feel like I'm showing up with this broken saxophone instrument. We know the traditional sounds, what we think of dinosaurs – and the scariness. He's a force of nature. But then we wanted to figure out the language of his heart and articulation with Lunella. So we had to really work together to find it, where that center lied. It ends up being very comical. We will start with a long sentence and then reduce it down to four sounds, you know? I'm of course aided with great animation and emojis to illustrate some points. It’s funny, and it's really great when you get to the sweet parts, like “I love you,” “I'm worried about you.” Things like that. Things you wouldn't think normally that something like that would speak. So it does get silly.
‘Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur' premieres February 10th on the Disney Channel and February 15th on Disney+.