For the first time ever, Disney Animation Studios is teaming up with an African entertainment company, Kugali, for a new sci-fi series called ‘Iwájú.’
‘Iwájú’, which translates to “The Future” in Nigeria’s Yoruba language, is set in a futuristic Lagos city and steeped in science-fiction, explores deep themes of class, innocence and challenging the status quo.
The animated series will premiere on its Disney+ streaming platform in 2022, with the company calling it a “first-of-its-kind collaboration.”
Kurali media was created in 2017 by three friends from Nigeria and Uganda, Tolu Olowofoyeku, Ziki Nelson and Hamid Ibrahim to tell stories inspired by “African culture” using comic books, art and augmented reality. These stories not only respect the history and embrace the present, but also imagine the future of Africa. The Pan-African company headquartered in London has produced several titles focusing on African stories, including Nani, Lake of Tears, Mumu Juju, and an anthology series that collects the work of artists from the continent.
In a tweet, Disney shared the first look at the visual development art from the series which showed the main characters as well as the logo of the future series. The visuals reveal a futuristic African city or country, similar to Wakanda in Marvel’s ‘Black Panther.’
This series will be a watershed for Disney, as it will be their first animated series working together with a comic studio outside of Marvel.