Disney Jr. is starting a new cycle with its newest character, a little girl named Eureka who lives in the prehistoric age with her parents, friends and “cute” (but large) pets. Eureka is an inventor and she sees every problem as a chance to invent something useful. The team behind of and in front of the proverbial camera are diverse here, and the average viewer loves to see the amount of thought and care that went into creating this character and her universe. The series kicks off June 22 on both Disney Jr and on streamer Disney +, and with an emphasis on invention, and a diverse cast of characters who don’t appear to be typecast, it looks like “Eureka” is set up to be the next “Doc McStuffins,” i.e., a big animated tv show hit.
- Eureka is a brown-skinned central character with natural hair, so she is both hair and skin tone positive for viewers in the United States and elsewhere. This is important for a few reasons. One, the industry needs to reflect the faces and hair types of the kids (and parents) who watch Disney Jr and who want to go to Disney World. Two, it’s just nice to have more options on television featuring a fully-developed, brown-skinned central character – not a side kick – who operates from a position of positivity and ability rather than from a stereotypical deficit-based mindset seen too often in characters who appear to be black.
- The cast is next level. Not only is animation OG Cree Summer voicing a character, but Loretta Devine (who you already know from Doc McStuffins) shows up alongside world-famous drummer Sheila E and ballet dancer extraordinaire and New York Times
bestselling author Misty Copeland. Copeland plays a teacher. Shiela E voices a traveling musician and Devine plays Eureka’s grandmother Wanda. Lil Rel Howery plays Eureka’s dad Rollo.
- Eureka’s recurring guest stars are also stars I love to watch – and hear. Ryan Michelle Bathe plays the mom, Sierra, of Barry, who is one of Eureka’s besties. And Wendell Pierce is Barry’s dad Cliff. Ellie Kemper and Jack McBrayer from 30 Rock round out these guests. Plus, anything, and I mean anything, that stars Bathe and Pierce deserves a watch on general principle.
- Ruth Righi stars as Eureka, giving the now 16-year-old “Sidney to the Max” star another reason to find a new set of fans.
- “Hamilton” stars serve as series regulars: Renee Elise Goldsberry (Angelica Schuyler in Broadway’s Hamilton) and Javier Munoz (who portrayed Alexander Hamilton on Broadway from 2016 to 2018) will be frequently seen as Eureka’s mom Roxy and her teacher Ohm.