10 Great Animated Movies And TV Shows Centered On Black Characters, While We Wait For Soul

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The wait might be long, but we’ve got you covered!

In approximately 2 months, Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios’ Pete Docter directorial, Soul will release.

The film follows Joe Gardner who aspires to be a jazz musician. However, right before he can pursue his dreams professionally, an accident separates Gardner’s soul from his body.

In a race against time, Gardner must return to his body before his enemy Paul steals his opportunity, and even worse, his body dies.

Since Jazz is considered as an integral part of the African American culture, the film stands as a celebration of the African American culture, especially at a historically significant time when the Black Lives Matter movement is ongoing.

As a celebration of the African culture, here is a list of 10 films that have black characters in the lead:

The Princess And The Frog:

Standing as the first animated film to feature a Black princess, Tiana’s character had major cultural significance where black girls could finally see themselves as a Disney Princess. Not to mention, The Princess and the Frog also is a fresh take on The Frog Princess Tale that makes it one of a kind.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse:

The Academy winner for Best Animated Picture saw a biracial character, and finally saw a black character play the role of a superhero, a.k.a. Spider-man, that in the mainstream cinema predominantly is represented by a white character. This also brought the story of Miles Morales to the center. 

The Proud Family:

A series initially, The Proud Family sees Penny go through the various roller coasters of life with her family by her side. 

Hair Love:

A short film that won the Academy Award for Best Short, through unfortunate events brings a father and a daughter closer and celebrates the black hair as a symbol of their culture and uniqueness.

Bebe’s Kids:

The comedy film follows Harris and Jamika who decide to go on a date along with her well behaved son. However, the date instantly turns into a nightmare for Harris when Jamika is tasked to babysit Bebe’s two children who she gets them along with to the amusement park.

The Cleveland Show:

Just like its parent show, The Family Guy that has a dysfunctional family and over-the-top characters, The Cleveland Show too was similar in those aspects and followed the life of Cleveland Brown and Donna Tubbs, his highschool crush and now, wife.

The Boondocks:

Widely popular to mock the white gaze and satirize class differences, stereotypes, and black culture, The Boondocks was a crowd favorite. So much, that the series is being revived by HBO.

The PJs:

Despite its satirical narrative which earned the series three Emmys, many critics found the show to have instances that used negative racial stereotypes.

Happily Ever After Fairy Tales For Every Child:

In this series, HBO attempts to diversify fairy tales known to people by showing them as characters of different racial ethnicities and cultures.

Kirikou and the Sorceress:

The French animated film brings West African folklore and culture to the forefront and teaches various life lessons such as kindness, forgiveness, etc.

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