Disney Branded Television’s animated series Firebuds, which follows a team of young first responders and their talking vehicle sidekicks, will focus on disability representation in two upcoming episodes.
Two upcoming episodes, titled “Cleft Hood” and “All That Jazzy,” will spotlight disability representation addressing volunteerism, community service, teamwork, wheelchair use, and cleft palate disorder.
“Cleft Hood” introduces a new vehicle character named Castor, who was born with a cleft hood.
It was written by Jeremy Shipp, part of the Emmy-winning writing team behind Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure, and inspired by his own son, Henry, who was born with a cleft lip and palate.
“Cleft Hood” premieres Friday, March 10 at 11:30am ET on Disney Channel, 1:25pm ET on Disney Junior, and will be available to stream on Disney+ starting March 15.
“All That Jazzy” focuses on the character Jazzy, who uses a wheelchair, and who wants to be the star of a dance performance. After watching a performance starring dancers Ayanna and Gliderbella, Jazzy vows to prove she is ready to be a lead dancer too.
This episode premieres March 15 on Disney+, and airs Friday, April 7 on Disney Channel and Disney Junior.
“With one in five individuals living with a disability, it is vitally important that disabled children see themselves represented on screen, and for non-disabled children to see disabled peers being fully involved in community life,” said Lauren Appelbaum, SVP Communications and Entertainment & News Media at RespectAbility.
“Firebuds helps achieve this in so many ways. I particularly love the storyline of Castor, which allows children with a variety of medical conditions who have to miss school for hospital visits and doctor appointments to not feel alone. Having a disability can sometimes feel like a lonely experience, but it’s important for disabled kids to learn they are not alone.”
Set in a fantastical world where talking vehicles live, work and play with the humans who drive them, Disney Branded Television’s Firebuds follows a boy and his firetruck as they team up with their first responder friends to help others in their community with problems, both big and small.
Whether rescuing a young car that’s stuck in a tree, tracking down lost Dalmatian puppies or helping their neighbors stock up on emergency supplies during a blackout, the Firebuds highlight the importance of teamwork and helping your fellow citizens.
Each episode is comprised of two 11-minute stories, and features at least one new original song. The cast of the series includes characters voiced by Lou Diamond Phillips, Melissa Rauch, Yvette Nicole Brown, Lauren “Lolo” Spencer, Tatiana Lee, and Ali Stroker.