Molly of Denali

Ages: 4 - 8Producer: WGBH Educational FoundationRating: TV Y - All Children

In this animated half-hour series from PBS Kids, a spirited young Alaskan Native girl named Molly explores the land, appreciates wildlife, learns about her heritage, and solves problems, often joined by her dog and two best friends.

Each episode of Molly of Denali features two separate stories, plus a live-action sequence filmed in Alaska, using interviews and video to share intriguing facts about the land, its people, and their history.

In Eagle Egg Hunt, a video camera helps the town keep track of an eagle nest and its eggs, but the camera blows over.  It’s a race against time as Molly and her dad locate the camera and reposition it before the eggs hatch.  Name Game explores the custom of earning a moniker that reflects a particular quality of its owner.  Molly interviews neighbors and compiles a book of their stories … earning her own native name in the process.  And, in Grandpa’s Drums, the storyline references a dark period in history when native children were sent to boarding schools and discouraged from expressing their culture.  Molly uses clues observed in an old photograph to track down a drum her Grandpa Nat left with a friend many years ago, in hopes of returning it to her grandpa in time for him to play at an upcoming ceremony. It’s a touching storyline that deals sensitively with difficult subject matter.

For its impeccable research and deep respect for Native Alaskan culture, noteworthy storylines, original content, and an admirable young heroine, don’t be surprised if Molly of Denali becomes must-see TV in your home.


Gina Catanzarite ©2020 Parents’ Choice

Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 14 Emmy® awards, 37 Emmy® nominations, a Matrix award, 3 Golden Quill awards, 2 Pennsylvania Broadcaster’s Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.