Trial Blazing As Disney Junior’s Doc McStuffins
By Rych McCain, International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist
In 2009, the Walt Disney Studio made history with a ground breaking animated film that featured the first mainstream African American Princess. “The Princess And The Frog,” starring gorgeous Anika Noni Rose as the voice of Tiana, became not only a major hit movie but established an image on the big silver screen that was long over due. Especially in light of the “Not-Taught-In-School” historical fact that the Black Africans, who were the original people of the ancient Afrikan Nile Valley AKA Kemet ( whom the invading Greeks later name Egypt) were the earth’s original Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses. The invading Europeans observed the Black Afrikan Kemetic system of royalty (including the Great Pharaohs), then adopted the concept and took it back to Europe and imitated it by setting up their own system of royalty.
|Kiara Muhammad (Photo Courtesy of Disney Junior)|
After having made history on the big screen, The Walt Disney Studios has made history again, this time on the small screen! The network debuted “Doc McStuffins,” their new animated series airing mornings 10: AM EST/9: AM CDT on the Disney Junior block of the Disney Channel and also airs on the 24hr Disney Channel. Doc McStuffins is a six-year-old girl who has magical powers to talk to stuffed animals and toys. They in turn talk back to her. She heals the toys by patching up their rips and tears and fixing their mechanical breakdowns while teaching them about staying healthy via their diet, getting the proper rest, exercise etc., and eases their fears about child related concerns such as going to the doctor for a check-up. The historical part is that Doc McStuffins is played via voice over by 13yr-old Kiara Muhammad and African American. Muhammad (called FuFu by family and close friends) is a native of Boston. The family relocated to Brooklyn, NY. where she took an interest in acting. After extensive training and securing an agent Muhammad started to book commercials and print modeling jobs which led to the family relocating again to Los Angeles.
How did Muhammad secure this coveted historical role? She explains, “I auditioned two times. The first time I just went in because my agent always sends me in to voice auditions and he said good job. That’s what he says all the time. Then my dad called and said you got a call back so I went back. This time there were a lot more people and they gave me way more direction and I sang a song. I sing the theme song for the show. My dad came home from work one day and said hey Doc McStuffins. I said I got it and he said yes! Then I said yes! That’s pretty much what happened.”
What was Muhammad’s impression of the character and what did she think she would have to do to portray her? She laughs, “Honestly, I had to heighten my voice to make it really high because she’s six years old. And sometimes there’s these situations she gets into where she has to become the leader. She has to tell them what to do and guide them so I have to do a leader voice. And sometimes she’s just like really silly so I have to do a silly thing to my voice (she breaks out into a silly giggle as a sample). So she’s just a really fun character.” Muhammad really drinks in the accomplishment of securing a lead role on a major project so soon in her career. She exclaims, “This is one of my first voices over jobs. I was really happy when I got it because it is a series lead. So when the show got picked up I said to myself, wow I got a lead role in a series already and it’s only my second voice over job. So I was really happy about that so I can feel proud.”
©2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication tm
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